Despite the highest Beyer figure so far from a 3YO (110 in the Florida Derby), Materiality will likely be double-digit odds on Kentucky Derby day. It’s a combination of figure skepticism, due to the Gulfstream surface, and also the operation of two well-known “curses.” First, he was unraced at two. No horse since Apollo in 1882 has won the Derby without racing at 2. Second, he has only made 3 lifetime starts. Historically, it’s very difficult to win the Derby with only 3 lifetime starts — only Big Brown (2008) and Regret (1915) have done it since 1900.
Still, a 110 Beyer is very fast. Let’s look at his two Derby preps.
Materiality’s first 9f prep, the Islamorada Handicap, yielded two Kentucky Derby runners. Stanford came back to run second in the Louisiana Derby.
Despite his lack of experience, Materiality beats a talented field in the Florida Derby, including Upstart, Ami’s Flatter, and Itsaknockout. As mentioned, his speed figure from this race is highest of the season.
On the whole, Materiality is a fascinating horse. At first glance, he would seem to lack the seasoning to get 10 furlongs in Kentucky, with only 3 lifetime starts and being unraced at 2. However, Pletcher has trained an alternative method to foundation building, running Materiality twice at 9 furlongs at Gulfstream in March. For those willing to buck history, he should offer double-digit value to win on Derby Day.