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Homeracing

Recent trends in the Gotham Stakes

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

March 2nd, 2022

The $300,000 Gotham S. (G3) will be the first of four Kentucky Derby (G1) point-scoring races on March 5.

Here are three trends worth noting about the Aqueduct fixture since 2010.

The Gotham has been very formful

Bettors have generally been correct in their assessments of the past 12 runnings of the Gotham, and thus haven't been getting super rich on it. At least from the win pool.

Since 2010, the Gotham has been won by the post-time favorite seven times. The second betting choice has won three times, and the third betting choice one time. The outlier occurred a year ago, when Weyburn sprung an upset and paid $95.50.

On the plus side for bettors, favorites have lost four of the past five editions of the Gotham. This coincided with the Gotham reverting back to a one-turn mile from a two-turn, 1 1/16-mile event on the now-defunct inner track.

It has not been a useful indicator for the Kentucky Derby

Given it is a one-turn event and run at a time of the year when a three-year-old's stamina is typically being tested at longer distances, the Gotham generally comes up woefully short as a key indicator for success at Churchill Downs, or in the 1 1/8-mile Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct in April for that matter (for which it is an ostensible prep).

This has generally been the case going back even further from 2010. The last Gotham winner (in its one-turn incarnation) to place in the Derby was Easy Goer back in 1989. Indeed, the only Gotham winner ever to wear the roses was the immortal Secretariat.

Watch for the Gotham also-rans down the road

Since 2010, some of the more interesting Gotham participants have been those that either settled for minor awards or finished well up the track.

Cloud Computing, the 2017 runner-up, went on to win the Preakness (G1) for trainer Chad Brown. The crack sprinters Firenze Fire and Mind Control didn't win either, and future Horse of the Year Knicks Go lost the 2019 edition by a whopping 51 lengths while in the midst of a bad cold streak.

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