Note from Matt G: During my time running this site I'm fortunate to come into contact with people strving to develop new and innovative ways to analyze the races. Predicteform (formerly Equiform.com) produces a series of pace figures analyzing the likelihood of improvement or decline from a horse in their next race. Below is a guest post from Predicteform's co-founder Dan Zucker looking at each starter in today's Wood Memorial at Aqueduct.
Welcome to Predicteform's Feature Race of the Week. Most weekends, the research staff at Predicteform will select a graded stakes race and provide an overview with Pace Figure and Form Cycle Pattern analysis for each starter. Please refer to the Legend or Pattern Guide for back-up definitions and patterns.
You can find the full pace figures for today's Wood through the pdf file below:
1. Kid Cruz - SCRATCH.
2. Wicked Strong - Most recent final pace figure was a 75.4, 5.8 points higher than his lifetime best, called a Predicteform Top. Not surprising to see regression following. Pass.
3. Noble Moon - Lightly raced colt coming off a 3 month layoff, 55 days more than his closest competitor. Most recent race in January showed a 70.4/74 (final/4f pace figure). His best effort doesn't get him close.
4. Harpoon - Inconsistent runner who ran a lifetime top of 74 last start while finishing 5th, well behind Samraat and Uncle Sigh. The Todd Pletcher runner (the #1 trainer in the country) looks outmatched both in the Pace Figures and on the track.
5. Los Borrachos - The lone runner thus far out of an unproven broodmare (mom), has showed slight improvement every start (74, 73.2, 70.6, 66.8) but is still a big step below the competition. Possible juggernaut to round out the very bottom of superfectas.
6. Kristo - California shipper comes to NY after running all 5 of his starts at Santa Anita and Del Mar while racing decently against the best the West Coast has to offer. His last three final pace figures are 70.9, 72.3, 73 (most recent 70.9) indicates a 3 year old runner heading the wrong direction. Pass.
7. Schivarelli - Lightly raced (ran two races against 5 and 6 horses respectively) colt ran a Double Top Pattern (DTOP) last out. DTOP typically indicates regression in the next start but with only two starts it is forgivable. Has the highest 4f figure of the group at 78 while switching to the leading jockey in country, Javier Castellano. Shows 3 nice bullet workouts with 7 days spacing leading up to this race. Will have a difficult time carrying his speed 9 furlongs against this company.
8. Samraat - Undefeated in 5 lifetime starts with two Graded stakes wins and $583K in lifetime earnings puts Samraat as the class of the race. The final Pace Figure in all five of his starts has increased each race, from 71.4, 71.6, 72.1, 72.9 to 78.3 his last out. The most recent 5.9 point improvement in his final pace figure represents a top, but his 4f figures are leveled out which means he could do a better job of distributing speed. Notice the tight pairing of his first two sets of two races- 71.4 and 71.6, 72.1 and 72.9. If he pairs up his most recent 78.3, he will be competitive just off pace figure alone. Only negative (and this is a big one), is he has stalked or gone to the lead in all starts, which means he hasn't taken dirt in his face. The eight post with speed horses both inside and outside will likely put him in a different spot then he is used to.
9. Effinex - Huge step up racing in a Grade I after his first lifetime victory against much cheaper horses. Top final figure of 71.1 is not competitive against these. Pass.
10. Uncle Sigh - Gutsy front runner who has ran a close second to Samraat last two starts. First three races of his career were all positive patterns: Compression (COMP), Reversal (REV) and New Pace Top (NPT). Ran a 77.1/72.8 last start and while the 77.1 is a top, the 72.8 4f figure is down .6 from his prior start. This leveling of his 4f pace figure means he is a doing a better job of saving something left in the tank.
11. Social Inclusion - Owner paid $60,000, the least expensive of the eight runners bought at auction. Ships in from Gulfstream Park after crushing Honor Code, the early Kentucky Derby favorite (in mid-January), based on the Wynn Hotel Kentucky Derby 140 Future Book Odds, by 10 lengths. He ran a 77.4/83.5 first start with a Negative Pattern (NEG) followed by an improved 82.0/73.5 Reversal (REV) at speed favoring Gulfstream Park. Owner keeps octogenarian trainer and journeyman rider while passing on seven figure purchase offers. Stylistically he offers a very similar Form Cycle to Constitution, the Florida Derby winner, who also had a Negative Pattern (NEG) followed by a Reversal Pattern (REV) before winning the highly respected Grade I affair. He could be the real deal and a victory here makes him one of the likely Derby favorites.