“10 words or less” on each horse in the Kentucky Derby Future Pool

“10 words or less” is a favorite feature. Here’s how I described it in a previous article:

“With marquee races, such as the Travers Stakes, a common mistake is overstudy, and I’m as guilty as anyone as spending too much time pouring over the form.  Yes, you certainly need to study the data to be effective. But when you overanalyze relevant information, you often start to draw too fine of distinctions and can put wrong emphasis on secondary – or even tertiary – information.”

10 words or less about the Belmont Stakes

10 words or less about the Travers Stakes

I like the method because it helps to clear out the noise surrounding big races. As mentioned, my main goal is to gauge an intuitive reaction to a horse’s past performance and to avoid the “analysis paralysis” that comes from overstudy.

Here’s my reaction to the Derby pool entrants:

American Pharoah: Legit at 2. Running lines impressive. Waiting on 1st start.

Carpe Diem: Consistently better than peers. Juvenile 2nd strong. Serious contender.

Competitive Edge: Hasn’t stretched out. 1st time for Super Savers. Possible, risky.

Daredevil: PP screams mudder, but outside post factored in Juvenile, too.

Dortmund: Generally against super-hyped horses without triple digit Beyers.

El Kabeir: WV Derby/Super Derby type horse. Up track in Derby.

Far Right: Not impressed with Oaklawn race so far. Needs move forward.

Frosted: Moved forward in Holy Bull. Another hype machine.

Gorgeous Bird: Visually impressive at Gulfstream, but slow Beyer. Pass for now.

Imperia: Relished dirt in 1st try. Stamina horse. Return key.

International Star: Great move forward in Lecomte, but no one in race.

Itsaknockout: Class tests coming. Not bad so far. Improvement needed.

JS Bach: Who knows? Nice maiden win, but speed not notable.

Khozan: Debut Beyer jumps off the page. Excited for next.

Lord Nelson: Love route-to-sprint. Significant notch below for Derby.

Mr. Z: Love experience, but don’t think there’s more improvement coming.

Ocean Knight: Gutty win in Tampa, but not sure how good field was.

Ocho Ocho Ocho: Liked win at Delta. If moves forward, a strong factor.

Prospect Park: Solid allowance win in last. Another to watch.

Texas Red: Not concerned with comeback sprint loss. Maybe too pace-dependent.

The Great War: Animal Kingdom style at Turfway. Pricing surface risk key.

Upstart: Continues to impress. Among the best in division.

Good luck with your future wagers!

Image: Joey Lax-Salinas, Copyright 2008