• 2014 Kentucky Derby Analysis

    POSTED Apr 30, 2014

    Name Comments
    California Chrome Pros: Top last-race BSF (4-25, +68% ROI since '92). Best overall LSRs. Won last race by 5+ lengths.
    6-1 fair odds Cons: Typically doesn't gain ground on the turn; needs clean trip. Sire (Lucky Pulpit) has 6.40 AWD.
    Vicar's In Trouble Pros: Big move on the turn in the Risen Star. 
    30-1 fair odds Cons: Weak final prep (2.5 Key Race Rating), big speed figure improvement last time makes him a bounce candidate, 5.00 Dosage Index and trainer Mike Maker has 0.36 IV in the Kentucky Derby.
    Dance With Fate Pros: Solid juvenile base and good three-year-old form.
    30-1 fair odds Cons: Sprint sire (6.33 AWD) and he lost position/ground from the first- to second-call last time (29-0-2-0 since 1992). Runs like a turf/AWS specialist.
    Wicked Strong Pros: Improving LSRs, strong pedigree.
    12-1 fair odds Cons: Brisnet speed figure in the Wood was 14 points superior to his next-best number.
    Samraat Pros: Great juvenile form, very game and he's learned to rate.
    10-1 fair odds Cons: No Brisnet speed figure progression this year.
    Danza Pros: His performance in the Arkansas Derby was outstanding, featuring a negative ESR and a positive Pace Profile (10-of-98, +31.12% ROI since '92). He's also working well.
    20-1 fair odds Cons: Most recent BSF 17 points superior to previous figure; greater than 15-1 in final prep (60-0-2-3 since '92); Todd Pletcher's Derby charges tend to be underlays.
    Hoppertunity Pros: Gradual improvement and a trainer (Bob Baffert) with a stellar record in the Run for the Roses (1.44 IV).
    12-1 fair odds Cons: "The Curse of Apollo" — son of Any Given Saturday didn't race as a two-year-old. Kind of a plodder, doesn't accelerate quickly.
    Intense Holiday Pros: Shows quick acceleration and is typically in the mix. May have been compromised by being closer to the pace last time.
    20-1 fair odds Cons: Louisiana Derby field of dubious quality (2.5 KRR). Has only two career wins — neither in Grade I company.
    Wildcat Red Pros: Tough to get by in the stretch, with one win and two losses by a neck or less.
    50-1 fair odds Cons: If it looks like a sprinter and runs like a sprinter, it's a sprinter. Wildcat Red has a 5.67 DI and unratable speed — not the ideal combination to get 10 furlongs on the first Saturday in May.
    We Miss Artie Pros: He's gained significant position and ground on the turn in each of his last two starts and recorded a positive Pace Profile in the Spiral.
    20-1 fair odds Cons: most recent BSF 13 points superior to previous figure; Todd Pletcher's Derby charges underperform their Derby odds 77% of the time (8-27, 0.80 IV).
    Ride On Curlin Pros: Responded well after a rough trip last time and is reunited with Calvin Borel in Louisville.
    25-1 fair odds Cons: Arkansas Derby had a 2.7 KRR and son of Curlin recorded his best BSF in a 5 1/2-furlong sprint at ELP.
    Chitu Pros: Top trainer and a game effort in the Grade II Robert B. Lewis.
    50-1 fair odds Cons: Like Wildcat Red, this guy looks like an unbridled sprinter. Hard to imagine him getting the kind of trip he desires.
    Tapiture Pros: Excellent juvenile form and he showed the ability to rate in the grade II Rebel.
    20-1 fair odds Cons: Last-race Form Rating less than 33% (61-0-2-1 since 1992) and trainer Steve Asmussen underperforms the tote board 83% of the time (0.64 IV) in America's greatest horse race.
    General A Rod Pros: Very game, fast and possesses surprisingly good route breeding.
    15-1 fair odds Cons: Trainer Mike Maker has been awful in the Derby and "General" has 8 Quirin speed points (Big Brown only winner since 2000).
    Medal Count Pros: Trainer Dale Romans' charges have outrun their odds in three of his four Derby tries —  and two of those three (Paddy O'Prado and Dullahan) looked an awful lot like this guy.
    15-1 fair odds Cons: Like Dullahan, Medal Count does most of his running late, which might leave the son of Dynaformer with too much to do in the stretch.
    Candy Boy Pros: Steady improvement, ability to accelerate quickly mid-race and likely value, thanks to a too-close-to-the-pace effort in the SA Derby that led to an 8 3/4-length defeat by California Chrome.
    8-1 fair odds Cons: Tactics aside, Candy Boy's most recent effort was hardly encouraging. 
    Uncle Sigh Pros: Raced well prior to throwing a clunker in the Wood.
    75-1 fair odds Cons: Poor form and the apparent inability to rate makes this guy a very dubious proposition.
    Vinceremos Pros: Well-bred WinStar colt.
    99-1 fair odds Cons: He was beaten 10+ lengths in his last race (39-0-1-0 over the past 22 years) and, even if one were to look past that debacle, the son of Pioneerof the Nile looks too slow.
    Harry's Holiday Pros: Good effort in the Spiral.
    99-1 fair odds Cons: Atrocious recent form and his best race came in an ungraded sprint stakes at Turfway Park.
    Commanding Curve Pros: Consistent improvement and the ability to move on the turn make him a threat. Trainer Dallas Stewart (2.03 IV in the Derby) adds to the appeal.
    25-1 fair odds Cons: Only one win — a maiden affair at Churchill Downs — to his credit and a +2 ESR last time (3-of-103, -56% ROI since 1992).
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