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Homeracing

2017 Kentucky Derby BRIS Speed Rating Final Report

Profile Picture: James Scully

April 26th, 2017

After producing a weekly report highlighting BRIS Speed ratings from Kentucky Derby prep races, it’s time to dive in a little deeper. Most of the contenders are already on the grounds at Churchill Downs, with conditioners putting in the final preparations for the main event on May 6.

Below is a ranking of the year’s leading performances (qualifying races only), the last two races for every 2017 contender (any classification) and the BRIS Speed numbers for the past 25 winners of the Kentucky Derby. I will give some thoughts below each chart.

Here are the top BRIS Speed ratings from Kentucky Derby contenders in qualifying races this year (90 or better, top four finish required):

Horse

 

Race (finish position)

 

BRIS Speed

J BOYS ECHO:

 

Gotham (1st)

 

104

HENCE:

 

Sunland Derby (1st)

 

103

ALWAYS DREAMING:

 

Florida Derby (1st)

 

102

GORMLEY:

 

Sham (1st)

 

102

GUNNEVERA:

 

Fountain of Youth (1st)

 

102

IRISH WAR CRY:

 

Wood Memorial (1st)

 

102

IRISH WAR CRY:

 

Holy Bull (1st)

 

102

TAPWRIT:

 

Tampa Bay Derby (1st)

 

101

IRAP:

 

Blue Grass (1st)

 

100

GIRVIN:

 

Louisiana Derby (1st)

 

99

GORMLEY:

 

Santa Anita Derby (1st)

 

99

MCCRAKEN:

 

Sam Davis (1st)

 

99

PRACTICAL JOKE:

 

Blue Grass (2nd)

 

99

GIRVIN:

 

Risen Star (1st)

 

98

BATTALION RUNNER:

 

Wood Memorial (2nd)

 

98

BATTLE OF MIDWAY:

 

Santa Anita Derby (2nd)

 

98

PATCH:

 

Louisiana Derby (2nd)

 

98

ROYAL MO:

 

Santa Anita Derby (3rd)

 

98

GUNNEVERA:

 

Holy Bull (2nd)

 

97

STATE OF HONOR:

 

Florida Derby (2nd)

 

97

TAPWRIT:

 

Sam Davis (2nd)

 

97

CLASSIC EMPIRE:

 

Arkansas Derby (1st)

 

96

STATE OF HONOR:

 

Tampa Bay Derby (2nd)

 

96

UNTRAPPED:

 

Risen Star (2nd)

 

96

MCCRAKEN:

 

Blue Grass (3rd)

 

96

STATE OF HONOR:

 

Sam Davis (3rd)

 

96

MALAGACY:

 

Rebel (1st)

 

95

ROYAL MO:

 

Robert Lewis (1st)

 

95

PRACTICAL JOKE:

 

Fountain of Youth (2nd)

 

95

GUNNEVERA:

 

Florida Derby (3rd)

 

95

LOOKIN AT LEE:

 

Arkansas Derby (3rd)

 

94

SONNETEER:

 

Arkansas Derby (4th)

 

94

SONNETEER:

 

Rebel (2nd)

 

93

J BOYS ECHO:

 

Withers (3rd)

 

93

UNTRAPPED:

 

Rebel (3rd)

 

93

IRAP:

 

Sunland Derby (4th)

 

93

J BOYS ECHO:

 

Blue Grass (4th)

 

93

CLASSIC EMPIRE:

 

Holy Bull (3rd)

 

92

IRAP:

 

Robert Lewis (2nd)

 

91

UNTRAPPED:

 

Lecomte (2nd)

 

91

GORMLEY:

 

San Felipe (4th)

 

91

 

 

 

 

 

Analysis

J Boys Echo leads the way with a 104 BRIS Speed rating from the Gotham (G3) two starts previously but I can’t place too much stock in the number. Everything came together that day as he received a perfect set-up over the inner track at Aqueduct, but the Gotham has failed to produce any other Kentucky Derby starters and J Boys Echo sandwiched that effort with a pair of 93s in which he wasn’t a serious factor.

Hence possesses the top last-out figure, 103 for a convincing Sunland Derby win. But it came out of nowhere (previous-best of 86 from five starts) and the possibility exists for a regression off such a big performance. I was hoping trainer Steve Asmussen would safeguard against the possibility, as well as adding a little more seasoning to the equation that could prove beneficial, by bringing Hence back for the Arkansas Derby in the six-week interim, but connections decided to play it safe since he was already in the field.

The colt remains eligible to make a late impact but I keep coming back to Creator, who was under the radar for a long time for Asmussen before employing the same deep-closing style to record a breakthrough stakes victory in the final prep. He was no factor the next time in the Kentucky Derby but came back to win the Belmont Stakes (G1) two starts later.

No surprise to see serious win contenders like Always Dreaming, Gunnevera and Irish War Cry come next on the list with 102 Speed ratings this year.

Previous 2 BRIS Speed Ratings by Horse (listed alphabetically):

HORSE

 

RACE

 

BRIS SPEED

ALWAYS DREAMING:

 

Florida Derby (1st)

 

102

 

 

Allowance (1st)

 

84

 

 

 

 

 

BATTALION RUNNER:

 

Wood Memorial (2nd)

 

98

 

 

Allowance (1st)

 

96

 

 

 

 

 

BATTLE OF MIDWAY:

 

Santa Anita Derby (2nd)

 

98

 

 

Allowance (1st)

 

92

 

 

 

 

 

CLASSIC EMPIRE:

 

Arkansas Derby (1st)

 

96

 

 

Holy Bull (3rd)

 

92

 

 

 

 

 

FAST AND ACCURATE:

 

Spiral (1st)

 

86

 

 

Starter Turf Stakes

 

85

 

 

 

 

 

GIRVIN:

 

Louisiana Derby (1st)

 

99

 

 

Risen Star (1st)

 

98

 

 

 

 

 

GORMLEY:

 

Santa Anita Derby (1st)

 

99

 

 

San Felipe (4th)

 

91

 

 

 

 

 

GUNNEVERA:

 

Florida Derby (3rd)

 

95

 

 

Fountain of Youth (1st)

 

102

 

 

 

 

 

HENCE:

 

Sunland Derby (1st)

 

103

 

 

Southwest (7th)

 

86

 

 

 

 

 

IRAP:

 

Blue Grass (1st)

 

100

 

 

Sunland Derby (4th)

 

93

 

 

 

 

 

IRISH WAR CRY:

 

Wood Memorial (1st)

 

102

 

 

Fountain of Youth (7th)

 

76

 

 

 

 

 

J BOYS ECHO:

 

Blue Grass (4th)

 

93

 

 

Gotham (1st)

 

104

 

 

 

 

 

LOOKIN AT LEE:

 

Arkansas Derby (3rd)

 

94

 

 

Rebel (6th)

 

91

 

 

 

 

 

MALAGACY:

 

Arkansas Derby (5th)

 

93

 

 

Rebel (1st)

 

95

 

 

 

 

 

MCCRAKEN:

 

Blue Grass (3rd)

 

96

 

 

Sam F. Davis (1st)

 

99

 

 

 

 

 

PATCH:

 

Louisiana Derby (2nd)

 

98

 

 

Maiden (1st)

 

101

 

 

 

 

 

PRACTICAL JOKE:

 

Blue Grass (2nd)

 

99

 

 

Fountain of Youth (2nd)

 

95

 

 

 

 

 

ROYAL MO:

 

Santa Anita Derby (3rd)

 

98

 

 

Rebel (9th)

 

81

 

 

 

 

 

STATE OF HONOR:

 

Florida Derby (2nd)

 

97

 

 

Tampa Bay Derby (2nd)

 

96

 

 

 

 

 

SONNETEER:

 

Arkansas Derby (4th)

 

94

 

 

Rebel (2nd)

 

93

 

 

 

 

 

TAPWRIT:

 

Blue Grass (5th)

 

87

 

 

Tampa Bay Derby (1st)

 

101

 

 

 

 

 

THUNDER SNOW:

 

UAE Derby (1st)

 

n/a

 

 

UAE 2000 Guineas (1st)

 

n/a

 

 

 

 

 

UNTRAPPED:

 

Arkansas Derby (6th)

 

90

 

 

Rebel (3rd)

 

93

 

 

 

 

 

Analysis

When it comes to BRIS Speed ratings in the final prep, a huge improvement or significant drop-off is always a concern for horseplayers. The potential exists for a regression in the former or a negative form cycle in the latter.

The following show double-digit increases or decreases from the last two preps:

Irish War Cry: +26 points
Always Dreaming: +18
Hence: +17
Royal Mo: +17
Tapwrit: -14
J Boys Echo: -11

Previous 2 BRIS Speed Ratings for the past 25 Kentucky Derby Winners:

HORSE

 

RACE

 

BRIS SPEED

NYQUIST (2016):

 

Florida Derby (1st)

 

97

 

 

San Vicente (1st)

 

103

 

 

 

 

 

AMERICAN PHAROAH (2015):

 

Arkansas Derby (1st)

 

102

 

 

Rebel (1st)

 

99

 

 

 

 

 

CALIFORNIA CHROME (2014):

 

Santa Anita Derby (1st)

 

106

 

 

San Felipe (1st)

 

102

 

 

 

 

 

ORB (2013):

 

Florida Derby (1st)

 

97

 

 

Fountain of Youth (1st)

 

102

 

 

 

 

 

I’LL HAVE ANOTHER (2012):

 

Santa Anita Derby (1st)

 

98

 

 

Robert B. Lewis (1st)

 

102

 

 

 

 

 

ANIMAL KINGDOM (2011):

 

Spiral (1st)

 

97

 

 

Turf Allowance (2nd)

 

96

 

 

 

 

 

SUPER SAVER (2010):

 

Arkansas Derby (2nd)

 

99

 

 

Tampa Bay Derby (3rd)

 

99

 

 

 

 

 

MINE THAT BIRD (2009):

 

Sunland Derby (4th)

 

88

 

 

Borderland Derby (2nd)

 

87

 

 

 

 

 

BIG BROWN (2008):

 

Florida Derby (1st)

 

110

 

 

Allowance (1st)

 

102

 

 

 

 

 

STREET SENSE (2007):

 

Blue Grass (2nd)

 

98

 

 

Tampa Bay Derby (1st)

 

105

 

 

 

 

 

BARBARO (2006):

 

Florida Derby (1st)

 

104

 

 

Holy Bull (1st)

 

104

 

 

 

 

 

GIACOMO (2005):

 

Santa Anita Derby (4th)

 

100

 

 

San Felipe (2nd)

 

96

 

 

 

 

 

SMARTY JONES (2004):

 

Arkansas Derby (1st)

 

105

 

 

Rebel (1st)

 

109

 

 

 

 

 

FUNNY CIDE (2003):

 

Wood Memorial (2nd)

 

111

 

 

Louisiana Derby (3rd)

 

103

 

 

 

 

 

WAR EMBLEM (2002):

 

Illinois Derby (1st)

 

109

 

 

Allowance (1st)

 

105

 

 

 

 

 

MONARCHOS (2001):

 

Wood Memorial (2nd)

 

108

 

 

Florida Derby (1st)

 

108

 

 

 

 

 

FUSAICHI PEGASUS (2000):

 

Wood Memorial (1st)

 

110

 

 

San Felipe (1st)

 

103

 

 

 

 

 

CHARISMATIC (1999):

 

Lexington (1st)

 

104

 

 

Santa Anita Derby (4th)

 

94

 

 

 

 

 

REAL QUIET (1998):

 

Santa Anita Derby (2nd)

 

107

 

 

San Felipe (2nd)

 

103

 

 

 

 

 

SILVER CHARM (1997):

 

Santa Anita Derby (2nd)

 

102

 

 

San Felipe (2nd)

 

98

 

 

 

 

 

GRINDSTONE (1996):

 

Arkansas Derby (2nd)

 

101

 

 

Louisiana Derby (1st)

 

102

 

 

 

 

 

THUNDER GULCH (1995):

 

Blue Grass (4th)

 

98

 

 

Florida Derby (1st)

 

103

 

 

 

 

 

GO FOR GIN (1994):

 

Wood Memorial (2nd)

 

104

 

 

Florida Derby (4th)

 

105

 

 

 

 

 

SEA HERO (1993):

 

Blue Grass (4th)

 

96

 

 

Turf Allowance (3rd)

 

85

 

 

 

 

 

LIL E TEE (1992):

 

Arkansas Derby (2nd)

 

102

 

 

Jim Beam (1st)

 

96

 

 

 

 

 

Analysis

Posting a triple-digit BRIS Speed rating in the final prep isn’t necessary but it’s worth noting Mine That Bird (50-1 odds in 2009) is the only Kentucky Derby winner who failed to earn at least a 96 figure in the last 25 runnings.

And eight horses under consideration (Lookin at Lee and Sonneteer still need help making the field) don’t meet the last-out BRIS Speed threshold of 96:

Gunnevera (95)
J Boys Echo (93)
Tapwrit (87)
Malagacy (93)
Fast and Accurate (86)
Untrapped (90)
Lookin at Lee (94)
Sonneteer (94)

TwinSpires has a special page devoted to 2017 Kentucky Derby workouts. And check out the TwinSpires YouTube site to view training sessions for Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders at Churchill Downs

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