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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Degrees of Separation

With a little help from a Railbird (who has collected some terrific data that's a must see) I've completed the early edition of my Derby spreadsheet and have posted it on the sidebar on the right under my profile for your viewing pleasure, it will be updated as the twists and turns continue and as information as to the final starters in the gate solidify.

So today's post deals with trying to separate the contenders with the pretenders and we'll give it a go, 11 days out from the big gig and put them in divisions the normal casual fan of pop culture can relate to:
The AMC Gremlin Division: My dad bought my mom an American Motors Corporation (AMC) Gremlin back in 1975 (or thereabouts) and it was a thing of beauty. Bright red, sleek gold stripes, the works. Problem was, it just wasn't fast. Surely it wasn't your average Ferrari or Corvette, for that matter. These are the horses that qualify for this division and are throw-outs:
- Mine That Bird: Slowest of the slow.
- Take the Points: If you're giving up points, you're definitely the underdog.
- Mr. Hot Stuff: West coaster for Eoin Harty, unsure how he'll take to the dirt.
- Flying Private: Maybe could make the AMC Pacer division.
- Advice: Pletcher's 2009 caboose, probably a turf horse down the road
The George Costanza Human Fund Divsion: These will be the horses that take in a lot of money and have a little hype, but will be unmasked in the Derby and will not hit the board.
- Win Willy: One big beyer will draw some money, not enough pace for this late closer.
- Desert Party: Garners Ramon for the ride, looking elsewhere.
- Hold Me Back: Again just not fast enough, but cut above the Gremlins.
- Square Eddie: Talented, but just not in shape yet...and will be running back in 2 weeks.
- Pioneerof the Nile: Taking a big stand against. If he beats me, he beats me.
Speaking of donating, we've got a fundraiser going at the TBA homepage (see widgets on right sidebar), please help us help the horses in need!
Ok, so we've cut the field in half and now it's time to figure out who can do some damage.
The Afleet Alex Division: Horses that won't win the Derby, but will have to be respected and could hit the board. Potential Classic winner down the road in Preakness or Belmont.
- Dunkirk: Lightly raced, huge talent, Prado on board, using him underneath in the exotics.
- Chocolate Candy: Liked his closing move in the SA Derby, only Cali horse I respect.
- Papa Clem: Versatile, dangerous. Bejarano hot jockey.
- Musket Man: His efforts looking better and better with time
- West Side Bernie: Probably one of the faster horses, but will peter out in the stretch.
The Rocky Balboa Division (post underdog status): These are the creme de le creme. Can you hear the theme song? The champs from Louisiana, New York, Florida, Dubai and Kentucky.
- Regal Ransom: This is just a gut feel, but watch his UAE Derby again, Garcia has a Classic under his belt and is ready to emerge.
- General Quarters: Hoping his feel-good story doesn't lower his odds as he could be a nice price. Watch the TB Derby over, his trip was horrendous and a throw out when analyzing.
- Friesan Fire: Only question is the 7 week layoff, but stranger things have happened in the last few runnings (BB from post 20, Barbaro off six weeks). If it's wet, look out.
- I Want Revenge: If the Pamplemousse was still in the mix, I would have had him in the Michael Vick Ankle Bracelet division with IWR. Talamo is still the wild card, racing in probably his first 20 horse field. He navigated the Wood to perfection, but this is different,
- Quality Road: If he overcomes the quarter crack issue, it's hard not to like his numbers.
That's how I'm seeing it 11 days out. We'll see where our guest blogger JB stands in the coming days for a special preview of the Run for the Roses.
Wanted to give a shoutout to Case the Race who left me a nice message on my last post and some kind words in the linked article. Next stop, Lexington. Stay tuned.


SaratogaSpa said...

Love the spreadsheet-but 2 important columns are missing which makes this game more sport than science.

We need a column for how fit horse looks once shipped into Churchill and if horse looks ready to run when viewed in the paddock on Derby Day. Those 2 should be combined with the all the various #'s.

Space Bro said...

Hey the Gremlin rocked! 8 track player included. Regretfully never got a chance to drive it though! Congrats on the #3 indep blog on the Derby ranking!

dana said...

My grandpa sold AMC cars in the 70s so we had all the "hot" models around... the Pacer was my fav but the Gremlin was a close second!

I'll have to wait until I get home to see your or Jessica's spreadsheet... no Google docs from work. Boo!

GP said...

Here is the latest on QR's quarter crack from Jerkens via C.Baker the farm manager for QR's owner Edward P. Evans - Jerkens is "very happy" with the foot as it is "cold and tight." Evidently you can "see visible growth down from the coronet band." Can't ask for much more at this point...except maybe a new Gremlin!

EquiSpace said...

Spa: Right on...

Bro: Thanks for checking in...if that Gremlin could talk...

Dana: Believe it or not, my dad had a matador also...

GP: Awesome info, thanks for the update!

Thanks all for reading.

Keith - Triple Dead Heat said...

Your idea of the QP and POW double at Woodbine and Fort Erie is making a lot of sense!

As for the Derby, I'm honing in on Friesan Fire. Very thorough breakdown and a good read. I'm taking the spreadsheet home with me!


paceman said...

Love the spreadsheets! Keep this good analysis coming. There are so many key criteria or "stress tests" that have been developed over the years that have helped separate contenders from pretenders. This is especially true for the Derby in which horses are being asked to do something they'll never do again in their careers. Thanks for demonstrating that this is a thinking person's sport driven by a passionate fan base.


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