Pimlico Saturday Picks, Does Dosage no longer matter in Derby?

April 29, 2011 | Gary Quill

It seems that up until the turn of the century (i.e 21st), before experienced handicappers labored over the Past Performances for the Kentucky Derby starters, they would first find out the Dosage Index for each. Why?! The Dosage Index (DI) was the measuring stick for horses that had the necessary bloodlines to be successful when running 1¼ miles, the distance of the Derby. The magic DI number was/is 4.00. It used to be that any Derby horse possessing a DI of 4.00 or above could be with confidence eliminated from consideration of winning the race.   


What is Dosage Index? It is a mathematical figure to quantify a horse’s ability to negotiate various distances based on an analysis of the horse’s pedigree. The series of calculations involved in arriving at that figure would make Einstein’s head spin. Luckily for handicappers, they don’t have to perform the calculation, DI’s would find there way into the Daily Racing Form and/or other horse racing publications for Derby contenders.


The origin of Dosage Index dates back to the early 20th century to a French researcher then later modified by an Italian breeding expert, but it wasn’t until 1981 when Daily Racing Form breeding columnist Leon Rasmussen published a new version of Dosage developed by an American scientist and horse owner, Steven A. Roman, Ph.D., in his analysis of the upcoming (1981) Kentucky Derby. 


In recent years though, the DI did not hold up, with a number of Derby winners having a DI of greater than 4.00. Mine That Bird had a DI of 5.40. In 2011, one needs to dig deep to find the Dosage Index for this group of Derby starters. I did mange to find an interesting link titled Dosage Inflation in the Derby.


If you are still a believer in the Dosage Index, then you’ll want to avoid this years Derby Wise Guy horse Nehro as he is the only starter whose DI (4.33) indicates he’s up against it to win on the first Saturday in May going 1¼ miles.


In Derby news, jockey Garrett Gomez is expected to be named the rider of European invader Master Of Hounds.


Derby workouts on Friday morning…

                Archarcharch       CD   5f   fst   breezing      :59.63

                Decisive Moment CD   5f   fst   breezing    1:01.46

                Soldat                    Pmm  4f  fst   breezing     :49.00



Answer to Friday’s Derby trivia question… likely Derby starters Dialed In, Animal Kingdom and Midnight Interlude each have only four (4) career races under their belt. Since 1933, the only Kentucky Derby winner that had less than five (5) career races going into the Derby was… in 2008, when Big Brown won in only his 4th career start.      


Today’s Derby trivia question… Uncle Mo was going to be the prohibitive Derby favorite, until his undefeated record ended when he finished 3rd in the Wood Memorial. Who was the last Kentucky Derby winner to have also run 3rd in the Wood? Hint: After the Derby he went onto win a few more big races.


 Pimlico facade


Recapping, Day 16 (Friday, April 29th) at the Pimlico Spring Meet…


Best Bet Forest King (#1 9th race; M/L 3-1; P/T 5-2) was bet down early to even money, but ran a carbon copy of his previous race against the eventually favorite (#6 – Boreal Forest; 7-5), basically void of speed and unable to gain any ground late, finishing 2 back for the SHOW paying $2.40.

Best Bet pick scorecard from 16 selections at the Pimlico Meet: 5 WIN – 2 PLACE – 4 SHOW.

Longshot  Lion Drawing (#7 3rd race on the turf; M/L 5-1; P/T 5-1) note: had to call an audible when original Longshot pick (Hidden Joy) was scratched from the 5th race. Lion Drawing never got anywhere close to the front but rather made a late charge in the final furlong, getting the short end of a 3-way photo for PLACE, finishing 4th by a nose.

Longshot pick scorecard from 16 selections at the Pimlico Meet: 3 WIN – 4 PLACE – 1 SHOW


Here’s how the WDYL (Who Do Ya Like?) Plays panned out…


1st race ($1 DD):  1, 3, 8 w/ 1, 4  ($6)… came 9-1 (Chalk!)

2nd race (.50 P3): 1, 4 w/ 1, 3, 7, 9 w/ 1, 4, 5 ($12)… WINNER 4-3-1 returned $8.05 on .50 wager (more Chalk)

5th race: #1 – Quiet Wave (6-1) ships from Tampa turf win… no excuse, weakened to 4th  

7th race: #7 – Live The Dash (6-1) fires for new barn on the grass… 3rd behind 2 Longshots, paid $5.60 SHOW

8th race: #1 – Winged Hero (7-2) is a gate-2-wire candidate… no easy lead, faded in stretch

9th race ($1 DD): 1, 3 w/ 8, 9, 10  ($6)… came 5-10


For the Pimlico Spring Meet, Day 17 (Saturday, April 30th) … 


Soup of the Day: Chicken Noodle  


              Bet with your head, not over it!


Best Bet: Lisette (#1 1st race; M/L 2-1) has run second in her past 3 races, all at this distance (1 1/16) and level ($15k Claiming) with one big difference. In those 3 races she ran against the boys. This race is restricted to fillies and mares. She has early speed which until yesterday (Friday) had not been kind to front runners, yet she bucked that bias in her last 2 races at Pimlico, holding on for 2nd. I believe we’ll start to see the old Pimlico speed bias today.        

Longshot: Lite Up The Nite (#8 3rd race on turf; M/L 10-1) makes first of the year, 2nd after a Claim for a high percentage barn. Switch to turf is a smart move as this 5 year old gelding has had past success on the Pimlico grass course, with a win, a thiird and fourth place finishes in 3 efforts. Having top rider Shedlon Russell in irons is a step up from previous jocks who have been the pilot.   


Other “Who Do Ya Like” (WDYL) Plays…  thinking Speed, Speed and more Speed

1st race ($1 DD):  1, 4 w/ 1, 4 ($4)

2nd race (.50 P3): 1, 4 w/ 2, 3, 5, 7, 8 w/ 2 ($10)

4th race: #2 – Dance Raven Dance (8-5) is lone speed

5th race ($1 Ex. Box): #1 – Big Brian T (5-1),  #10 – Prove Meguilty(4-1), #11 – Dukes Flying Tiger (6-1)

7th race: #12 – Ready To Party (3-1) is bred to succeed on the turf

8th race: #3 – Indian Rodeo (4-1) could steal it on the front end

9th race: #10 – Baletti (2-1) GP invader takes to cooler temps

10th race ($1 DD): 1, 4, 5 w/ 2, 5, 9 ($9)





Enjoy a great day of thoroughbred horse racing. Share the fun with a friend.