Homeracing

The 2018 Kentucky Derby field by foal date and dosage index

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TwinSpires Staff

April 19th, 2018

by Dick Powell

Since the last time I looked at prospective Kentucky Derby (G1) starters, 11 of them have defected for one reason or another. So, with the Derby fast approaching and the field of 20 starting to solidify, it’s time to take another look at the field.

For historical purposes, here are the last 20 runnings of the Kentucky Derby listed by year, winner, foaling date and dosage index:

FOALING DOSAGE

YEAR

WINNER

DATE

INDEX

2017

ALWAYS DREAMING

2/25

5.00

2016

NYQUIST

3/10

7.00

2015

AMERICAN PHAROAH

2/2

4.33

2014

CALIFORNIA CHROME

2/18

3.29

2013

ORB

2/24

3.21

2012

I'LL HAVE ANOTHER

4/1

2.11

2011

ANIMAL KINGDOM

3/20

1.67

2010

SUPER SAVER

3/18

3.00

2009

MINE THAT BIRD

5/10

4.33

2008

BIG BROWN

4/10

1.67

2007

STREET SENSE

2/23

2.14

2006

BARBARO

4/29

2.41

2005

GIACOMO

2/16

4.33

2004

SMARTY JONES

2/28

3.29

2003

FUNNY CIDE

4/20

1.53

2002

WAR EMBLEM

2/20

3.40

2001

MONARCHOS

2/9

1.40

2000

FUSAICHI PEGASUS

4/12

3.67

1999

CHARISMATIC

3/13

5.22

1998

REAL QUIET

3/7

5.33

       

Clearly, MINE THAT BIRD is the outlier with a May foaling date and high dosage index. The other winners that had Dosage Indexes above 4.00 all had relatively early foal dates.

This year’s field of 21 most logical qualifiers, in alphabetical order, are as follows:

FOALING DOSAGE

HORSE

DATE

INDEX

AUDIBLE

2/19

5.00

BOLT D'ORO

3/17

3.00

BRAVAZO

1/29

2.75

COMBATANT

5/2

2.60

ENTICED

3/23

3.00

FIRENZE FIRE

3/17

4.14

FLAMEAWAY

2/28

3.00

FREE DROP BILLY

5/3

1.74

GOOD MAGIC

3/1

3.40

GRONKOWSKI

2/1

3.00

HOFBURG

2/11

2.78

JUSTIFY

3/28

3.00

LONE SAILOR

3/30

2.71

MAGNUM MOON

5/9

3.27

MENDELSSOHN

5/17

1.80

MY BOY JACK

1/26

1.77

NOBLE INDY

3/31

3.00

PROMISES FULFILLED

5/11

9.00

QUIP

2/19

3.00

SOLOMINI

4/29

3.00

VINO ROSSO

3/29

3.57

     

When I sort them by foaling date, a different picture appears:

FOALING DOSAGE

HORSE

DATE

INDEX

MY BOY JACK

1/26

1.77

BRAVAZO

1/29

2.75

GRONKOWSKI

2/1

3.00

HOFBURG

2/11

2.78

AUDIBLE

2/19

5.00

QUIP

2/19

3.00

FLAMEAWAY

2/28

3.00

GOOD MAGIC

3/1

3.40

BOLT D'ORO

3/17

3.00

FIRENZE FIRE

3/17

4.14

ENTICED

3/23

3.00

JUSTIFY

3/28

3.00

VINO ROSSO

3/29

3.57

LONE SAILOR

3/30

2.71

NOBLE INDY

3/31

3.00

SOLOMINI

4/29

3.00

COMBATANT

5/2

2.60

FREE DROP BILLY

5/3

1.74

MAGNUM MOON

5/9

3.27

PROMISES FULFILLED

5/11

9.00

MENDELSSOHN

5/17

1.80

     

So, five of the 21 leading contenders for the Kentucky Derby were born in May while history shows only one winner in the last 20 years was born in May. Another way of looking at foaling dates is that four of the past five Derby winners were foaled in February and the other one was March 10.

PROMISES FULFILLED, with a May 11 foaling date and a Dosage Index of 9.00, looks like this year’s version of MINE THAT BIRD. And like MINE THAT BIRD, you better get 50-1 odds if you bet PROMISES FULFILLED.

MAGNUM MOON has a May 9 foaling date and did not begin his career until four months ago.

MENDELSSOHN has a May 17 foaling date and will not even become a three until Preakness Stakes (G1) Day, but he started five times last year and his seven career starts are at least more than 15 other prospective starters.

AUDIBLE has a high dosage index of 5.00 but, like the last three Derby winners that also did, he has a relatively early foaling date.

I didn’t bother sorting by Dosage Index since only AUDIBLE, PROMISES FULFILLED and FIRENZE FIRE are above 4.00. Since five of the last 20 Kentucky Derby winners had dosage indexes above 4.00, it’s not the definitive cut-off that it used to be and the last three winners were over 4.00. It is still a good barometer of speed versus stamina in a horse’s pedigree but not as reliable as it once was for this specific race.

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