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Blog - GAMBLING

Photo courtesy of Adam Coglianese/NYRA

The Kentucky Derby Championship Series gets going this weekend with two races awarding 50 of the all-important Derby qualifying points to the winners. A solid field of 11 was entered for Saturday’s Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park, run at 1 1/16 miles, a distance with a short run to the first turn and the shortest stretch on a traditionally sized course in America. Through Monday, 43 races had been contested at that distance this meet, and it should be no surprise this blog looks at some of the data extracted from those races.

Horses breaking from gates one, two, or three are a combined 25 of 43 (58%) while gates eight and higher have yielded just four wins from a total of 67 horses breaking from those gates at this distance during the current stand. Winning from a wide draw is hardly impossible, however. Brother Bird won from gate 12 in the Claiming Crown Iron Horse Stakes on opening weekend. He is the only starter from gates nine and higher to win 

Violence, the undefeated morning-line favorite and December winner of the CashCall Futurity (G1), is well drawn in gate three. The focus of how the trip might work for others posted wide is a more significant question. Below, you will find the average distance traveled for horses starting from each gate so far this meet at Gulfstream Park.

1 1/16 Miles - Gulfstream Park - Dirt

Gate

Average (feet)

Delta

Delta to Lengths

Wins       2012-2013

1

5675

-

-

8

2

5681

6

0.71

8

3

5684

9

1.06

9

4

5691

16

1.88

3

5

5694

19

2.24

5

6

5699

24

2.82

3

7

5704

29

3.41

3

8

5705

30

3.53

3

9

5713

38

4.47

0

10

5713

38

4.47

0

11

5708

33

3.88

0

12

5708

33

3.88

1


Compared with other studies of races at this distance, the ground-traveled figures are not particularly strange. At Keeneland, for example, horses breaking from gate 10 over this trip cover just five feet less than those at Gulfstream, where the turns are longer and the straightaways shorter. 

The horse most impacted by the draw in Saturday’s race seems to be Falling Sky, the winner of the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs. As mentioned in a previous report, he covered one of the shortest trips in that race, and now is drawn in gate 10.

FALLING SKY WINNING SAM F. DAVIS STAKES

Fallin Sky Inside

Photo courtesy of Tom Cooley Photography

He’s Had Enough, second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and a well-beaten third in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita, has had varying trips. In November, the Doug O’Neill trainee saved ground throughout his Breeders’ Cup runner-up finish at long odds to Shanghai Bobby, but covered 32 feet more than well-clear winner Flashback in the Lewis. The average runner from gate nine at the 1 1/16-mile trip covers almost 4.5 lengths more than horses breaking from the rail. Given the configuration of the start and stretch, the field size and the need for those all-important Derby qualifying points, the Fountain of Youth is a compelling race.

Better trip for Cash Rules?

Saturday’s Canadian Turf Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream features Cash Rules, the well-beaten second-place finisher from the Sunshine Millions Classic Stakes. Ron the Greek ran away and hid en route to that win, but Cash Rules covered plenty of extra ground. The Peace Rules gelding’s running line reads “5wd 1st, 4wd into lane.” Specifically, Cash Rules covered 65 feet more than Ron the Greek, equating to about 7.5 lengths. Surely, there are questions as to whether this David Fawkes trainee wants to run on the grass, having a third-place finish at Gulfstream last April to show for his only try on turf. Cash Rules had some trouble in that event – he was checked in midstretch - and still ran on well at 20-1 odds after close attendance to a brisk :45.90 opening half-mile. With a better trip, the price might be right for the gelding who has been out of the money on only two occasions in 17 starts.

Image Description

Pat Cummings

Pat Cummings is the Director of Racing Information for Trakus. Based in Boston, Mass., Trakus provides full-field in-race tracking, instantaneous motion graphics, and real-time information to racetrack operators worldwide. Trakus is currently installed at racetracks in the USA, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Data analysis from Trakus appears on Twitter regularly @TrakusRacing.

Cummings also serves as the editor of DubaiRaceNight.com, a comprehensive website covering racing in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. He has covered the Dubai World Cup on site each year since 2007 and provides selections for the entire season of racing in the United Arab Emirates and full-card analysis for all racing at Meydan. He also is the North American correspondent for Al Adiyat, a Dubai-based weekly racing publication.

Prior to joining Trakus, he worked for seven years in the financial services industry, and has served the racing industry in various capacities since 1999.  Pat was the backup announcer at Philadelphia Park (now Parx Racing) from 1999 to 2009, and also has called cards at Atlantic City Race Course, Louisiana Downs, Lone Star Park, Manor Downs, and Monmouth Park.

A member of the Turf Publicists of America, Pat earned his MBA from Baylor University in Texas and a BA from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.

 

Image Description

Pat Cummings

Pat Cummings is the Director of Racing Information for Trakus. Based in Boston, Mass., Trakus provides full-field in-race tracking, instantaneous motion graphics, and real-time information to racetrack operators worldwide. Trakus is currently installed at racetracks in the USA, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Data analysis from Trakus appears on Twitter regularly @TrakusRacing.

Cummings also serves as the editor of DubaiRaceNight.com, a comprehensive website covering racing in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. He has covered the Dubai World Cup on site each year since 2007 and provides selections for the entire season of racing in the United Arab Emirates and full-card analysis for all racing at Meydan. He also is the North American correspondent for Al Adiyat, a Dubai-based weekly racing publication.

Prior to joining Trakus, he worked for seven years in the financial services industry, and has served the racing industry in various capacities since 1999.  Pat was the backup announcer at Philadelphia Park (now Parx Racing) from 1999 to 2009, and also has called cards at Atlantic City Race Course, Louisiana Downs, Lone Star Park, Manor Downs, and Monmouth Park.

A member of the Turf Publicists of America, Pat earned his MBA from Baylor University in Texas and a BA from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.

 

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