04/14/2009 9:08PM

The Repeaters


A year ago, there were 25 graded stakes races for 3-year-old males at a mile or more before the Kentucky Derby, and they were won by 23 different horses. Only two colts -- Colonel John (Sham, SA Derby) and Pyro (Risen Star, Louisiana Derby) -- won two of them.

The results have been radically different this year. With 22 of those 25 races in the books, there have been seven -- rather than two -- multiple winners:

Put another way, last year only 4 of 25 races -- 16 percent -- were won by multiple winners. This year, 16 of 22 races -- 72 percent -- have been won by such horses.

The seven multiple winners include five with two such triumphs and a pair with three:

--Friesan Fire (LeComte, Risen Star, Louisiana Derby)

--Pioneerof the Nile (RB Lewis, San Felipe, SA Derby)

--General Quarters (Sam F Davis, Blue Grass)

--I Want Revenge (Gotham, Wood)

--Musket Man (Tampa Bay Derby, Illinois Derby)

--Quality Road (Fountain of Youth, Florida Derby)

--The Pamplemousse (San Rafael, Sham, but sidelined until 2010)

This is an astounding and perhaps unprecedented group of multiple major-prep winners, and speaks well for the appeal and quality of this year's Derby class. Four such horses who dominated their regions are the four Derby favorites: I Want Revenge (New York), Quality Road (Florida), Pioneerofthenile (California) and Friesan Fire (Louisiana). The only venue with three such races that produced three different winners was Oaklawn, where Old Fashioned (Southwest), Win Willy (Rebel) and Papa Clem (Arkansas Derby) carved things up. Kentucky will have done the same by Saturday, since neither Hold Me Back (Lane's End) nor General Quarters (Blue Grass) will be running in the Lexington.

Wayne80 More than 1 year ago
My list of live runners in the P6 would include five runners. Value plays Musket Man, who has been nothing but professional, and Chocolate Candy, who was best in SA Derby, as well as the logical choices QR, IWR and defensively POTN. Friesan Fire will not be on any ticket of mine off this layoff, nor will the overrated Dunkirk who would be 20-1 if not for his sales price and connections.
arcstats More than 1 year ago
George_Quin, I completely disagree with your position regarding the derby. 20 horses all trying to do something for the first time does not make for value, but rather a lottery environment. The fact that a handful of horses have dominated this year's prep races would make this edition very compelling if only 12 horses were in the race. But a 20 horse field in all likelyhood will create some bogus type result. It amazes me how horseplayers get so wrapped up in trying to nail the dumbest race of the year. Find a solid 10-1 shot (they're out there every day) and try to crush that race - if you're right, you'll get "value".
DigitalI More than 1 year ago
Derby ? - - Anyone know if Churchill will be offering dime supers on Derby day - - specifically the Derby itself? Thanks
Dan MacKenzie More than 1 year ago
I looked at only 4 of the 2009 races won by multiple winners, so this is not a significant sample, but in all 4 races, there were larger fields in 2008. That would make it easier to be a multiple winner in 2009. Wood 2009; I Want Revenge; defeated 7 opponents Wood 2008; Tale of Ekati; defeated 8 opponents Santa Anita Derby 2009; Pioneerof the Nile; defeated 6 opponents Santa Anita Derby 2008; Colonel John; defeated 10 opponents Blue Grass 2009; General Quarters; defeated 10 opponents Blue Grass 2008; Monba; defeated 11 opponents Florida Derby 2009; Quality Road; defeated 6 opponents Florida Derby 2008; Big Brown; defeated 11 opponents
Phil More than 1 year ago
Steve- great work as usual, very eye opening- however as an administrative point I think you have the winners of the Derby Trial and Withers reversed.
Walt More than 1 year ago
Meant to respond to the last blog concerning my idea of shifting the less NYRA three year old stakes around so the Gotham returns to being a one-turn mile with mainly a new focus on horses not necessairly pointing for the Derby, to me it makes sense. While that would be the main purpose, as noted in that thread two weeks before the Derby also gives those who are desperate one last chance to do so on dirt rather than Poly with the Gotham at that point. I suspect such a Gotham would get a full field of 12-14 almost every year because of a mix of sprinters trying to handle a mile and others trying to get Derby earnings. In addition, I would also be looking at reviving the Lawrence Realization as a $500,000 race for three year olds at 1 1/2 Miles on turf on the final Saturday of the Big A Spring meet, which would be a big way to close out the Aqueduct season as that race likely would also get a full field that would include a number of Euro shippers. Speaking of races that should be moved around, if I'm at Philadelphia Park, I cut the Pennsylvania Derby to $600,000 and reposition it to the week before or week after the BC to make it the last big money race for three year olds on dirt (since it likely would retain its Grade 2 status since on Labor Day it has no chance of being a Grade 1 since its too close to the Travers) while moving the Cotillion (currently a Grade 2, $750,000 race in late September) for three year old fillies to Memorial Day, lengthen it from its current 1 1/16 Mile distance to 1 1/4 Miles and increase it to $1,000,000. Doing that makes the Cotilion the first big race for three year old fillies after the Kentucky Oaks with it likely becoming a Grade 1 within two years. At the same time, at Philly Park I would be looking at creating a new race for three year olds on Labor Day at 1 1/2 Miles on turf for $1,250,000 that I would call The Pennsylvania Turf Cup. That is a race that likely would also become a prime candidate within a few years for Grade 1 status and be a major three year old prep for the BC Turf. Just some thoughts on tax day.
bochalls More than 1 year ago
Hey Art, I can recall two horses winning the Derby without winning a prep that year: Funny Cide's Derby win was his first win of the year, and Alysheba was still eligible for a n2l condition when he won his Derby (as a result of his DQ in the Blue Grass).
C More than 1 year ago
gofor broke, Sorry, I hate to beat the proverbial dead horse, but I feel compelled to challenge the "golden rail" thing about that BC at Churchill whenever it comes up, even if it was years ago. Some of those "1"s didn't even race along the rail. ============================== Why all the love for Atlantic City? Why waste your money? To win WHAT, exactly? THEY HAVE NO POOL. They don't even send out their races for simulcast.
yuwipi More than 1 year ago
I'd first like to draw the attention of all Crist blog readers who are DRF+ members to the "Derby Contender Short List" article by James Quinn. I'm glad it didn't slip by me. An excellent article from an authoritative handicapper, IMHO. Secondly, thanks much for the charts above. Juxtaposing them with those from the Final Preps post has already started me hoping I can get off my Derby losing streak. I have to say though that I'm not so sure the number of multiple winners is so much due to the quality of the crop (which seems strong) as to the distribution of soup cans at the country's racetracks who line up for a beating every few weeks.
ponyman More than 1 year ago
Atlantic City--My old home track. Remember 7:30 post/summer night/cold beer/good racing plus United Nations & Matchmaker stakes. I,m back to play all weeds card. Ponyman now enjoys Florida living. Great racing to all. Turf will be yielding.