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Distance Questions Begin for Kentucky Derby Contenders

With the final round of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) preps underway, so begins the usual analysis of top contenders—Are they good enough?—Will they get the distance? TrueNicks Enhanced Reports include the average winning distance (AWD) for the starters on given sire line/broodmare sire line cross. A table of the top 10 contenders (by Derby points) and their cross AWD appeared in the April 6 issue of The Blood-Horse. Below is a larger table of all horses with 20 or more points.

Keep in mind that AWD looks at the distances at which horses on the cross have won, not necessarily their full distance capabilities. Last year, I'll Have Another had a distance-oriented pedigree—by Travers (gr. I) winner Flower Alley (TrueNicks,SRO) out of an Arch (TrueNicks,SRO) mare—but his cross AWD was only 6.93 furlongs before the Derby. Collectively, these horses were capable of winning at shorter distances, but that didn't mean I'll Have Another couldn't also stretch out.

Also consider the important question of class. Theoretically, which horse has a better chance in the 10-furlong Kentucky Derby, an allowance winner at 12 furlongs or a grade I winner at a mile?

HorseSireBroodmare SirePointsAWD (furlongs)
1. Black OnyxRock Hard TenCape Town
50
8.71
2. Code WestLemon Drop KidSaint Ballado
20
8.51
3. Will Take ChargeUnbridled's SongDehere
60
7.93
4. Den's LegacyMedaglia d'OroWar Chant
20
7.91
5. Falling SkyLion HeartSea Hero
20
7.75
6. RevolutionaryWar PassA.P. Indy
110
7.70
7. OrbMalibu MoonUnbridled
150
7.66
8. Hear the GhostGhostzapperCoronado's Quest
50
7.57
9. MyluteMidnight LuteValid Expectations
42
7.47
10. ItsmyluckydayLawyer RonDoneraile Court
50
7.42
11. FlashbackTapitMr. Greeley
30
7.27
12. Govenor CharlieMidnight LuteStorm Cat
50
7.14
13. OxbowAwesome AgainCee's Tizzy
36
7.12
14. VyjackInto MischiefStravinsky
50
7.09
15. GoldencentsInto MischiefBanker's Gold
29
7.00
16. DepartingWar FrontPulpit
20
7.00
17. West Hills GiantFrost GiantTake Me Out
20
6.92
18. Lines of BattleWar FrontArch
100
6.69
19. UncapturedLion HeartArch
30
6.58
20. VerrazanoMore Than ReadyGiant's Causeway
50
6.36
21. Merit ManWith DistinctionPrecise End
20
6.36
22. Java's WarWar PassRainbow Quest
22
6.01

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