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Blog - GAMBLING

Java's War gallops out after winning the Toyota Bluegrass Stakes (G1). Photo courtesy Eclipse Sportswire.

Everything about Java’s War winning the Toyota Blue Grass at Keeneland was impressive, relative to the Trakus data accumulated from the race. At least we have about three weeks to figure out how it all factors into a start in the Kentucky Derby.

First, let’s review the ground traveled data from the race. Java’s War settled last after a slow start and raced just off the rail through the backstretch before Julien Leparoux commenced a run from the tail. Ensuring the son of the late War Pass would not get trapped, Leparoux plotted a wide course around the field, and covered plenty of extra ground as a result. Overall, he traveled 6,043 feet. The differences in his trip and the rest of the field are listed below.

Finish

HORSE

Feet/Delta

1st

Java's War

6043

2nd

Palace Malice

-52

3rd

Charming Kitten

12

4th

Rydilluc

-31

5th

Fear the Kitten

-16

6th

Balance the Books

-31

7th

My Name is Michael

-29

8th

Channel Isle

-57

9th

Dynamic Sky

-6

10th

Uncaptured

-20

11th

Tesseron

-34

12th

West Hills Giant

27

13th

Undrafted

-31

14th

Footbridge

20

Java’s War covered 52 feet more than Palace Malice, which equates to roughly six lengths of additional distance. Given their margin at the finish was just a neck, the data suggests Java’s War was significantly better than Palace Malice considering the wide trip. Third place finisher Charming Kitten, a victim of wide trips in several of his Gulfstream Park turf tries this winter, covered 12 feet more than Java’s War, worth about 1 ½ lengths. Beaten just a half-length, Charming Kitten’s performance was a bright spot, as the son of Kitten’s Joy recorded the second-fastest final quarter-mile, and was 0.36 seconds faster than the third-fastest.

On the traditional Beyer Speed Figure scale, Java’s War’s win in the Blue Grass was slow. Take note of the sectional times recorded by Trakus from the first five finishers in the race.

Finish

HORSE

1/4

½

3/4

1M

FINISH

Fin 1/4

1st

Java's War

:26.06

:23.67

:24.55

:24.04

:12.15

:24.01

2nd

Palace Malice

:24.71

:24.06

:24.59

:24.30

:12.93

:25.14

3rd

Charming Kitten

:24.90

:24.10

:24.82

:24.38

:12.47

:24.42

4th

Rydilluc

:24.08

:24.24

:24.68

:24.50

:13.39

:25.80

5th

Fear the Kitten

:25.24

:24.07

:24.50

:24.93

:12.52

:24.78

Java’s War entered the Blue Grass having recorded the second-fastest final quarter-mile of any Derby prep tracked by Trakus when finishing second in the Tampa Bay Derby. In that run, the Kenny McPeek trainee came home in :25.02, behind only now-injured Flashback’s :24.73 in the Robert Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita. After settling behind the past on Saturday, Java’s War catapulted home in :24.01 seconds, clearly the fastest time of any Derby prep Trakus has recorded this season (includes races at Gulfstream, Tampa Bay, Santa Anita, Keeneland). In other words, he confirmed his late move from Tampa with an even faster move on the Polytrack. While we clearly recognize that comparing final quarter times across wildly different surfaces is far from a legitimate enterprise, the greater question is whether or not Java’s War did anything otherwise spectacular in the landscape of the Blue Grass.  On the surface, it seems the answer is no.

Below, find the final quarters from each of the previous six winners of the Blue Grass, on Polytrack, as recorded by Trakus.

2012

Dullahan

:23.61

2011

Brilliant Speed

:23.26

2010

Stately Victor

:23.69

2009

General Quarters

:23.55

2008

Monba

:24.21

2007

Dominican

:22.28

Java’s War, home in :24.01, qualifies as the second-slowest winner’s final quarter in the history of the race over Polytrack. Still, this colt has covered extra ground routinely, and ran a better race at Churchill Downs (granted, as a 2-year-old) than his finishing position indicates. How it all translates in a big field on the first Saturday in May will provide the final element to the equation.  As we get closer to the big race, this blog will provide more data-related discussion in hopes of dissecting the crazy Kentucky Derby puzzle.

Image Description

Pat Cummings

Pat Cummings is the Director of Racing Information for Trakus. Based in Boston, Mass., Trakus provides full-field in-race tracking, instantaneous motion graphics, and real-time information to racetrack operators worldwide. Trakus is currently installed at racetracks in the USA, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Data analysis from Trakus appears on Twitter regularly @TrakusRacing.

Cummings also serves as the editor of DubaiRaceNight.com, a comprehensive website covering racing in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. He has covered the Dubai World Cup on site each year since 2007 and provides selections for the entire season of racing in the United Arab Emirates and full-card analysis for all racing at Meydan. He also is the North American correspondent for Al Adiyat, a Dubai-based weekly racing publication.

Prior to joining Trakus, he worked for seven years in the financial services industry, and has served the racing industry in various capacities since 1999.  Pat was the backup announcer at Philadelphia Park (now Parx Racing) from 1999 to 2009, and also has called cards at Atlantic City Race Course, Louisiana Downs, Lone Star Park, Manor Downs, and Monmouth Park.

A member of the Turf Publicists of America, Pat earned his MBA from Baylor University in Texas and a BA from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.

 

Image Description

Pat Cummings

Pat Cummings is the Director of Racing Information for Trakus. Based in Boston, Mass., Trakus provides full-field in-race tracking, instantaneous motion graphics, and real-time information to racetrack operators worldwide. Trakus is currently installed at racetracks in the USA, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Data analysis from Trakus appears on Twitter regularly @TrakusRacing.

Cummings also serves as the editor of DubaiRaceNight.com, a comprehensive website covering racing in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. He has covered the Dubai World Cup on site each year since 2007 and provides selections for the entire season of racing in the United Arab Emirates and full-card analysis for all racing at Meydan. He also is the North American correspondent for Al Adiyat, a Dubai-based weekly racing publication.

Prior to joining Trakus, he worked for seven years in the financial services industry, and has served the racing industry in various capacities since 1999.  Pat was the backup announcer at Philadelphia Park (now Parx Racing) from 1999 to 2009, and also has called cards at Atlantic City Race Course, Louisiana Downs, Lone Star Park, Manor Downs, and Monmouth Park.

A member of the Turf Publicists of America, Pat earned his MBA from Baylor University in Texas and a BA from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.

 

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