April 25, 2019

2019 Kentucky Derby Study Materials

Before there’s the Greatest Two Minutes of Sports on May 4 at Churchill Downs, there is nearly 3 weeks of Kentucky Derby analysis. This page will serve as a one-stop shop for information, data, etc. for the Run for the Roses starting with FREE Brisnet.com Ultimate Past Performances for contenders in points order.

My How To Bet Horse Racing Podcast will also feature a lot of great Kentucky Derby discussion. Guests are sure to include Pete Denk, Emily Gullickson, Joe Kristufek, James Scully, Scott Shapiro, Danny Zucker, and more! Subscribe via iTunes and never miss an episode!

Before we get into the nitty gritty of this year’s preps, here are the Brisnet.com Ultimate PPs as they appeared on Kentucky Derby for each edition of the race since 2000 along with the chart of the race.

Since 2000, the only horse to win the Kentucky Derby with a Prime Power less than 140 was Mine That Bird in 2009. In this year’s group, (as of right now) that 140 threshold would eliminate Cutting Humor, Anothertwistafate, By My Standards, Code of Honor, Country House, Sueno, Plus Que Parfait, Bodexpress, and Gray Magician.

The chart below lists every eventual Kentucky Derby winner and how he performed in the preceding points races that year. As you can see, every eventual Kentucky Derby winner since the points system began in 2012-2013 has won all his points races, but there are other certain parameters as well (see after chart).

Every Kentucky Derby winner has in his points races (from left to right in the chart)…

  1. Been no higher than 5.6-to-1 in any race
  2. Posted at least a 96 Speed Rating
  3. Registered at least a 119 Class Rating
  4. Been in a race that received at least a 115 Race Rating
  5. Run an E1 Pace Rating of at least 76
  6. Run an E2 Pace Rating of at least 85
  7. Run a Late Pace Rating of at least 89

Applying all those filters to the list of horses who have also won all their points races yields the following list: Maximum Security, Omaha Beach, and Roadster. When further limiting it to “undefeated at 3” we’re left with Roadster. This is where handicapping science turns to art because I don’t love Roadster as one of the favorites. I greatly prefer a horse like Tacitus, who checks every box except the odds one and will be a slightly better price. I also hope “Big Money” Mike Smith picks Roadster because I think that would help the price on Omaha Beach, who also prefer to Roadster.

Speaking of prices, here’s how I envision the betting going based on current expected entrants:

Of course, no Kentucky Derby discussion would be complete without top 10 lists and such. You can find the TwinSpires.com team’s at KentuckyDerby.com.

The chart below lists every winner of every points race since Churchill Downs inaugurated the system in 2012-2013.

Want even more info about this year’s preps? Check out Jessica Chapel’s tweet below:

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