05/11/2006 12:00AM

Timeform favors Barbaro's Derby


Barbaro has nosed out George Washington by a margin of 130 to 129+, according to the Timeform ratings earned by the winners of their respective classic races on opposite sides of the Atlantic last Saturday.

Barbaro's Timeform rating of 130 is the highest awarded to a Kentucky Derby winner since 1998, when Real Quiet earned a 131. His margin over George Washington, the 2000 Guineas winner, means that he would theoretically be weighted one pound higher if the two were to meet in a handicap. The plus sign after George Washington's rating, however, means that the handicappers at Timeform believe that the race may be better than they have rated it. Timeform ratings, produced by the West Yorkshire, England-based publishers of daily, weekly, and annual handicapping guides, are based on speed and class.

With the exception of Kings Best's Guineas rating of 130+ in 2000, the Timeform ratings of Barbaro and George Washington, both of whom were bred by Roy and Gretchen Jackson of West Grove, Pa., are the highest earned in either classic this decade.

Barbaro was given a Beyer Speed Figure of 111 for his Derby win.