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Homeracing

Brisnet Speed Rating report for 2022 Kentucky Derby

Profile Picture: James Scully

April 26th, 2022

I use Brisnet Speed ratings when handicapping the Kentucky Derby, as they provide a measure of how fast horses have run in their preceding races.

Triple-digit Speed ratings have been a common trait for Kentucky Derby winners. There are exceptions, but since the qualifying points system was implemented in 2013, eight of the nine Kentucky Derby winners have earned at least a 102 Speed rating in their final two starts leading up to the first Saturday in May.

Let’s take a look at the 2022 contenders (excluding a pair of international shippers), ranked by highest last-out number.

MO DONEGAL

111

 

92

TAIBA

111

 

100

MESSIER

108

 

104

ZANDON

103

 

94

EPICENTER

101

 

98

TIZ THE BOMB

101

 

90

SMILE HAPPY

101

 

95

ZOZOS

98

 

94

HAPPY JACK

97

 

90

WHITE ABARRIO

96

 

97

PIONEER OF MEDINA

96

 

94

CYBERKNIFE

94

 

94

CHARGE IT

94

 

98

SIMPLIFICATION

93

 

95

BARBER ROAD

91

 

91

TAWNY PORT

90

 

99

*IN DUE TIME

87

 

91

*ETHEREAL ROAD

86

 

91

UN OJO

78

 

92

CLASSIC CAUSEWAY

72

 

90

*Outside the top 20

 

 

 

Takeaways

Brisnet numbers are strong this year. In 2021, three horses were tied with a field-best 102 Speed rating. Four contenders exceed that threshold in 2022 — Mo Donegal (111), Taiba (111), Messier (108), and Zandon (103). And three others — Epicenter, Smile Happy, and Tiz the Bomb — earned a 101 figure in their last prep race.

In the last decade, Justify (2018) is the only Kentucky Derby winner to earn a bigger number in their final prep than Mo Donegal, Taiba, and Messier, receiving a 114 Speed rating for his Santa Anita Derby (G1) victory.

While just missing triple digits, Charge It (98) and Zozos (98) remain promising types based on Speed numbers. The lightly-raced horses performed admirably when making their stakes debut in difficult spots, and they will look to keep showing more on Derby Day.

Contestants from the Arkansas Derby (G1) and Florida Derby (G1) rank outside the top nine in terms of last-out Speed ratings.

By comparison, the Santa Anita Derby produced two of the three fastest performances among Kentucky Derby contenders.

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