Post Position and ground loss in the Derby (1254 Views)
Posted by: derby1592
Date: April 30, 2002 05:20AM
This data is only from recent Derbies so the sample sizes are small and I was forced to group the data into three categories rather than by individual post position. The following shows how horses starting from the indicated posts fared with regards to ground loss.
Posts 1-6: average ground loss was 2 lengths
Posts 7-12: avg loss was 3.7 lengths
Posts 13-20: avg loss was 4.9 lengths
On average front runners save about 1.5 lengths compared to other running types breaking from a similar post.
So post position certainly does appear to matter with regards to ground loss even with the long run to the first turn.
Of course, this does not factor in the potential for running into traffic on the first turn from the inside posts in a 20 horse field. That may counter some of the advantage with regards to ground loss.
I personally would rather see my horse save ground and take its chances in just about any race, particularly turf races which also tend to have large, bunched-up fields and tight turns. A ground saving trip on the turf is usually the difference between winning and losing. I see no reason to change that thinking for the Derby. In fact, if you dig up the statistics (I did not but I recall seeing them not long ago) you will find that more winners have come from post 1 than any other. I don't think that is just a coincidence.
However, in the PP draw on Wed morning you will see most of the trainers avoiding the inside posts. Not a very wise move based on this data.
P.S. In response to another thread:
If I owned an off-the-pace Derby horse, Jerry Bailey would be my top choice to ride it. He is the best. No comparison. Check out his rides on Tejano Run, Blumin Affair, Grindstone and Sea Hero.
If I were betting on an off-the-pace Derby horse, Eddie D. would be my top choice to ride it. He is almost as good as Bailey and he does not hurt your odds. He is great at saving ground and waiting for a hole and then hitting that hole without hesitation when that is what it takes to win a big race. He is a Perfect fit for his mount in this year's Derby (pun intended).