12/17/2015 11:38AM

Jerardi: Baffert duo capable of winning Beyer in Futurity

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Mor Spirit scored a 92 Beyer Speed Figure for this maiden win at Santa Anita on Oct. 23.

As I look at any race, the first question is: What Beyer Speed Figure will it take to win?

We will conduct a test here and report back with the results next week. I am going to predict the winning Beyer in four stakes races around the country, explain my conclusions, and try to determine which horses are most likely to get that figure.

The target Beyer in the Los Alamitos Futurity is an 85, and Mor Spirit is the most likely horse to attain that figure, the exact number he got when second Nov. 28 in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs. Is it possible that Mor Spirit could go higher? Yes, but not likely after flights to and from Kentucky and just three weeks between races.

But, you might ask, Mor Spirit already got a 92 when he won his maiden. Well, the evidence suggests that that number was an outlier. Mor Spirit went down seven points in his next start, and Urlacher, who was 4 1/4 lengths back of Mor Spirit in that maiden race, went back eight points when he finished first in his next start before getting disqualified.

I think 85 is closer to Mor Spirit’s reality at this point than 92, but he is not the only horse with that capability. Toews On Ice, his stablemate in the Bob Baffert barn, has gone 83, 83, and 85 in his last three. Now, Toews On Ice has not gone long yet, but he looks like lone speed with a terrific speed rider in Martin Garcia. So, Toews On Ice is not without his chances of running right back to that 85. A Baffert dead heat?

The Mr. Prospector at Gulfstream Park is much more straightforward than the Futurity, with all those inexperienced horses who are not fully formed yet. I am looking at a 100 for this race, and like everybody else, I am looking at Stallwalkin’ Dude. I wrote before his last race two weeks ago that even though he was clearly the fastest horse, perhaps all those starts in the last two years were catching up to him. Wrong.

In start No. 30 in 2014-15, Stallwalkin’ Dude won for the 12th time and got a 102, a point off his career best. I am predicting a bit of a Beyer dip, but not much of one in a race where the others have just a few triple-digit Beyers and are trying a horse who just keeps putting those 100 Beyers on the board.

The Queens County at Aqueduct is a bit of a puzzle because it has so little pace. I try not to bet a race when I can’t form a picture of how it is most likely to be run. I am looking at a 98, but I’m not filled with confidence.

Kid Cruz has not won this year, but in his four consecutive seconds, he keeps getting better Beyers – 92, 93, 99, and 102. Whatever the pace up top, Kid Cruz comes running late, and I don’t see this being any different even though a hot, contested pace certainly would make a win more likely. Given his consistency, Kid Cruz is the most likely horse to hit the target Beyer, but he’s no lock.

Tommy Macho comes off a career-best 99 when he blew away the field in the Discovery. A late-developing 3-year-old with a pair of 95 Beyers in the summer, there is a good chance that that figure is going to be the new normal for this colt, which, of course, makes him very dangerous.

Mylute is capable but does not make me want to run to the windows. He has earned two triple-digit Beyers this year but also has been a no-show twice, including in his last race, where he got just an 86 while fourth in an optional claimer at odds-on.

My target Beyer in the Tropical Park Derby at Gulfstream is a 95. I can make a case for five horses getting to that number, but I’m leaning toward Watchyourownbobber as the most likely horse to get there. The horse comes off a career-best 97 Beyer when he cleared the field Oct. 31. He obviously loves this course and looks like he has better than a 50 percent chance of getting a clear lead again.

John Boyes More than 1 year ago
Agree with Frank ! After I read where the Beyers are adjusted if they seem out of wack, then they are not what Im looking for . Over the past couple years Ive gone back to watching the speed #'s for consistancy and they seem to gage the race better ! Seems like a horse running against past proven track records gives me more than a subjective change in a number "just because "
Frank Reach More than 1 year ago
Mr. Jerardi, I appreciate your perspective. However, if your first question when you "look at any race" is "what beyer speed figure will it take to win?" Well, I'd say, your first question should be, "when am i going to stop losing and start winning at the races". Predicting a Beyer speed figure needed to win a race is of no use. First off, the figure itself is a SUBJECTIVE number anyway, which makes it useless. And even if someone truly believes there is any objectivity to it all, ( which if you look closely it isn't), the number only deals with the final time of the race. Which for great handicappers know means little to nothing. Now, do interior fractions, pace, possible bias, class mean anything....well, of course. But, even do I fully respect you...and I do. Worrying about what Beyer number is needed to win a race is like worrying about yesterdays temperature. No matter the number, it doesn't matter. The horse that finishes first today is the question. They can run slow or fast. Beyer changes depending on what "they" think the race should be. Which is subjective. Example: AP's Preakness Beyer this year. Totally subjective. Many times you'll see claimers run the same distance as an allowance race on the same day and possible run the same time. Does anyone really think the claimers are as good. There are exceptions, but, truth is we all know better. Subjective is subjective. I always love when I hear that the Beyer numbers is yet another tool to add to your handicapping. Funny thing is anyone who thinks that, for sure, they are a losing player. They are useless. Period.