Let’s take a look at the Brisnet.com (BRIS) Speed ratings earned by the 2016 Kentucky Derby runners in the final two preps. By a matter of comparison, the Speed figures for the last 12 Kentucky Derby winners are listed as well.

Horses are listed in alphabetical order except for the bottom three, who are outside the bubble and ranked 21-23rd in points (Lani not included since he’s raced overseas):

Horse

 

Two Starts Previous

 

Last Derby Prep

Brody’s Cause

 

83

 

94

Creator

 

95

 

100

Danzing Candy

 

104

 

87

Destin

 

100

 

97

Exaggerator

 

101

 

102

Gun Runner

 

97

 

100

Majesto

 

97

 

93

Mo Tom

 

95

 

94

Mohaymen

 

102

 

87

Mor Spirit

 

102

 

94

My Man Sam

 

100

 

92

Nyquist

 

103

 

97

Oscar Nominated

 

87

 

91

Outwork

 

96

 

96

Shagaf

 

94

 

92

Suddenbreakingnews

 

93

 

97

Tom’s Ready

 

81

 

95

Trojan Nation

 

87

 

96

Whitmore

 

97

 

97

Fellowship

 

95

 

92

Adventist

 

91

 

94

Laoban

 

92

 

88

 

 

 

 

 

The last 12 Kentucky Derby winners:

Horse

 

Two Starts Previous

 

Last Derby Prep

American Pharoah

 

99

 

102

California Chrome

 

102

 

106

Orb

 

102

 

97

I’ll Have Another

 

102

 

98

Animal Kingdom

 

96

 

97

Super Saver

 

99

 

99

Mine That Bird

 

87

 

88

Big Brown

 

102

 

110

Street Sense

 

105

 

98

Barbaro

 

104

 

104

Giacomo

 

96

 

100

Smarty Jones

 

109

 

105

Funny Cide

 

103

 

111

War Emblem

 

105

 

109

Monarchos

 

108

 

108

Fusaichi Pegasus

 

103

 

110

 

 

 

 

 

Observations:

·         Only three contenders (Creator, Exaggerator and Gun Runner) posted a triple-digit BRIS Speed rating in the most recent start, compared to 10 horses in the 2015 field.

·         Six other horses (Danzing Candy, Destin, Mohaymen, Mor Spirit, My Man Sam & Nyquist) reached the triple-digit threshold two starts back.

·         Little separation exists among this year’s Derby horses – the top seven recorded Speed ratings within five points of each other last time out.

·         Exaggerator’s numbers stand out – he’s the only horse to earn triple-digit BRIS Speed ratings in the last two starts and has notched four consecutive century-topping numbers (103-101-101-102).

·         The 103 earned by Nyquist two starts previously came in a 7-furlong sprint; the Florida Derby number (97) is on par with the 96-97 registered in a pair of two-turn starts last year

·         A moderate decrease in the final prep isn’t a negative: four of the last 12 Kentucky Derby winners, including two in the past four years, have posted a lower BRIS Speed rating in the final prep race than two starts back.

·         Leaving the improbable Mine That Bird out of the equation, 97 or better has been a minimum for Derby winners in the final two preps. That eliminates seven horses in the main body of the 2016 field (Brody’s Cause, Mo Tom, Oscar Nominated, Outwork, Shagaf, Tom’s Ready & Trojan Nation) and all three also-eligibles listed.

·         Tom’s Ready produced the largest increase between the penultimate and final prep (14-point). Brody’s Cause’s BRIS Speed ratings jumped 11 points and Creator rounds out the top three with a 5-point advancement.

·         Danzing Candy shows the biggest decline between the last two prep races (17 points). Mohaymen is a close second with a 15-point dip. My Man Sam (8-point) and Nyquist (6-point) come next.