Go figure! The Numbers It Takes To Win the Kentucky Derby

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TwinSpires Staff

May 1st, 2015

Our infographic, Kentucky Derby By the Numbers,  looks at the trend of the winner’s Prime Power, Class, and Speed Rating each race 2000-2015, and if the past 15 Kentucky Derbys have taught us anything, it’s that you need at least a 100 Speed Rating to win the race.

There are several in this year’s field who have yet to eclipse that figure: Danzig Moon, Far Right, Frammento, International Star, Keen Ice, Stanford, and War Story. That’s not to say they can’t win, however. One thing all those horses besides Stanford have in common is that they come from off the pace—the same style as 50-to-1 winner Mine That Bird in 2009. (2005 winner Giacomo, also at 50-to-1, registered his first 100 Speed Rating in the Santa Anita Derby before repeating that effort in his Derby upset).

Speaking of Giacomo, his 100 Speed Rating is the lowest in the past 15 years, and it usually takes around a 105 to win the roses.

The Speed and Class Ratings are earned after the race based on the performance of the horses in it while Prime Power compares each horse’s chances going into the race. Mine That Bird was a genuine surprise on that metric as well, but the typical floor to find the winner is 150 at a minimum.

For free Ultimate Past Performances of the Kentucky Derby, click here.