02/26/2002 12:00AM

More misses than hits

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LAS VEGAS - For those who believe in Dosage, and in particular, the "dual qualifying" system, there are 19 dual qualifiers for this year's Kentucky Derby.

The father of Dosage, Lt. Col. J.J. Vuillier, first classified Thoroughbred pedigrees by type and cataloged selected stallions who had an impact on the breed, naming them chefs-de-race. Five categories, from speed to stamina, make up the groups of chefs-de-race: Brilliant, Intermediate, Classic, Solid, and Professional. Dr. Franco Varola modified Vuillier's original theory, and in 1981, Dr. Steve Roman further adjusted Dosage, and created the dual qualifying system.

A dual qualifier is a 3-year-old with a Dosage Index (DI) of 4.00 or less and ranked as a 2-year-old within 10 pounds of the highweight on the Experimental Free Handicap, or designated a champion in another country. The DI is a mathematical formula of the balance between speed and stamina inherited from selected stallions. A high DI indicates speed and a low DI indicates stamina.

Champion 2-year-old Johannesburg qualifies with a 3.67 DI, surprising considering that his pedigree is top-heavy with brilliant influences. Of course, Johannesburg may be a very special animal who is capable of carrying his pedigree much farther than his breeding suggests. In addition, he does not look or perform like a sprinter.

While it is no surprise that Siphonic and Repent are dual qualifiers, some of this year's dual qualifiers raise eyebrows. Came Home just squeaks in with a DI of 4.00, although he gets an inordinate amount of brilliance from both his sire (Gone West) and damsire (Clever Trick). Buster's Daydream (Housebuster), Fonz's (Out of Place), Smok'n Frolic (Smoke Glacken), and Who Loves Aleyna (Out of Place) are dual qualifiers, even though they are all unlikely to get 1 1/4 miles.

Nine of the 19 dual qualifiers are fillies, including 2-year-old filly champion Tempera, as well as major stakes winners Habibti, Imperial Gesture, You, and Belterra. Of these, Tempera (A.P. Indy), Habibti (Tabasco Cat), and Belterra (Unbridled) are most likely to appreciate 1 1/4 miles, while Imperial Gesture and You, despite their low DI's, are on the bubble regarding the Derby distance.

Imperial Gesture is from the first crop of Langfuhr (Danzig), a champion sprinter in Canada who won his first stakes at age 4. Imperial Gesture receives much-needed stamina from her damsire, Hoist the Flag, because her second damsire, Mr. Brick, was strictly a speed influence. You may be able to stretch out to 1 1/8 miles, but classic distances are probably out of reach, despite some solid stamina influences in her pedigree. You is by sprinter-miler You and I, but gets stamina points from You and I's sire, Kris S. (Roberto), as well as her damsire, Homebuilder, who has the formidable stayer Vaguely Noble as his damsire.

Non-dual qualifiers have edge since 1988

While dual qualifiers were highly successful in the Kentucky Derby during the 1970's and most of the 1980's, it has been a different story since 1988. Non-qualifiers won nine Kentucky Derbies while dual qualifiers have won five.

In 1988, non-qualifiers Winning Colors and Risen Star finished first and third, respectively, with dual qualifier Forty Niner second. In 1989, non-qualifiers Sunday Silence and Awe Inspiring also finished first and third, with dual qualifier Easy Goer second. Dual qualifiers filled the top three spots in the 1990 Derby with Unbridled, Summer Squall, and Pleasant Tap.

In 1991, Dosage took a hit when Strike the Gold won the Derby and non-qualifier Mane Minister finished third. When the Kentucky Derby was run, Strike the Gold's sire, Alydar, had not yet been named a chef-de-race, so Strike the Gold's DI was through the roof. When Alydar was subsequently named a chef, Strike the Gold's DI fell under 4.00, but it was after the fact.

In 1992, non-qualifiers, Lil E. Tee, Casual Lies, and Dance Floor swept the first three spots. Dual-qualifier Sea Hero won in 1993, with non-qualifiers Prairie Bayou and Wild Gale finishing second and third. Go for Gin, a dual qualifier, won in 1994 with non-qualifier Strodes Creek second. In 1995, dual qualifiers Thunder Gulch, Tejano Run, and Timber Country swept the top three spots.

In 1996, non-qualifiers Grindstone and Prince of Thieves finished first and third. Of six dual qualifiers that year, only Cavonnier finished in the money. In 1997, dual qualifier, Silver Charm finished first, with two non-qualifiers, Captain Bodgit and Free House, finishing second and third.

Four in a row for non-qualifiers

The last four runnings of the Derby have been won by non-qualifiers (Real Quiet, Charismatic, Fusaichi Pegasus, and Monarchos). In 1998, there were no dual qualifiers, and non-qualifiers Real Quiet, Victory Gallop, and Indian Charlie finished one-two-three. In 1999, there were six dual qualifiers, but non-qualifiers Charismatic and Menifee finished one-two. In 2000, the five dual qualifiers finished out of the money, while non-qualifiers Fusaichi Pegasus, Aptitude, and Impeachment completed the trifecta.

Non-qualifiers continued their roll last year when Monarchos, Invisible Ink, and Congaree swept the first three spots.

Will dual qualifiers Johannesburg, Siphonic, or Repent translate their brilliant 2-year-old form at 1 1/4 miles, or will it be a Charismatic-like year?

2002 Dual Qualifers

EFHHORSESIREDI

126JohannesburgHennessy3.67

124SiphonicSiphon1.00

123RepentLouis Quatorze1.50

123TemperaA.P. Indy2.64

121HabibtiTabasco Cat1.86

120Imperial GestureLangfuhr2.29

120YouYou and I1.77

119Came HomeGone West4.00

119PublicationPetionville3.00

118Cashier's DreamService Stripe4.00

117Buster's DaydreamHousebuster3.50

117Fonz'sOut of Place3.00

117Tali'sluckybusrideDelineator3.80

116BelterraUnbridled1.73

116SaarlandUnbridled1.84

116Smok'n FrolicSmoke Glacken2.20

116Who Loves AleynaOut of Place1.32

English champion

Dubai DestinationKingmambo2.60

Canadian champion

Rare FriendsHelmsman1.93

YEARDUAL QUALIFERSTOP NON-QUALIFIERS

1988 Forty Niner (2nd)WINNING COLORS (1st)

Regal Classic (5th)Risen Star (3rd)

Kingpost (15th)

1989Easy Goer (2nd)SUNDAY SILENCE (1st)

Hawkster (5th)Awe Inspiring (3rd)

Irish Actor (7th)

1990UNBRIDLED (1st)

Summer Squall (2nd)

Pleasant Tap (3rd)

Mister Frisky (8th)

1991Best Pal (2nd)STRIKE THE GOLD (1st)

Fly So Free (5th) Mane Minister (3rd)

Hansel (10th)

Happy Jazz Band (11th)

1992Pine Bluff (5th)LIL E. TEE (1st)

Arazi (8th)Casual Lies (2nd)

Pistols and Roses (16th)Dance Floor (3rd)

1993SEA HERO (1st)Prairie Bayou (2nd)

Silver of Silver (8th)Wild Gale (3rd)

Truth Of It All (10th)

1994 GO FOR GIN (1st)Strodes Creek (2nd)

Blumin Affair (3rd)

Brocco (4th)

Tabasco Cat (6th)

Valiant Nature (13th)

1995THUNDER GULCH (1st)

Tejano Run (2nd)

Timber Country (3rd)

1996 Cavonnier (2nd)GRINDSTONE (1st)

Unbridled's Song (5th)Prince of Thieves (3rd)

Editor's Note (6th)

Diligence (9th)

Matty G (18th)

Honour and Glory (19th)

1997SILVER CHARM (1st)Captain Bodgit (2nd)

Hello (8th)Free House (3rd)

1998No Dual Qualifiers REAL QUIET (1st)

Victory Gallop (2nd)

Indian Charlie (3rd)

1999 Cat Thief (3rd)CHARISMATIC (1st)

Prime Timber (4th)Menifee (2nd)

Excellent Meeting (5th)

Lemon Drop Kid (9th)

Answer Lively (10th)

Three Ring (19th)

2000More Than Ready (4th)FUSAICHI PEGASUS (1st)

Captain Steve (8th)Aptitude (2nd)

Exchange Rate (12th)Impeachment (3rd)

Anees (13th)

High Yield (15th)

2001Point Given (5th)MONARCHOS (1st)

A P Valentine (7th)Invisible Ink (2nd)

Dollar Bill (15th) Congaree (3rd)