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Kentucky Derby field foaling date and Dosage Index

By Dick Powell

Last year’s Kentucky Derby (G1) winner, JUSTIFY, who went on to sweep the Triple Crown, fell right in line with a Dosage Index of 3.00 and a foaling date of 3/28.

For years, most Derby winners had a Dosage Index below 4.00 as a ratio of speed to stamina in their first four generations of pedigree. This year’s Derby will be run on May 4, so having a foaling date before then means that he is a three-year-old chronologically and a following date after means that he is chronologically a two-year-old.

Here are the last 21 winners of the Kentucky Derby listed by year, foaling date and Dosage Index:

YEAR WINNER FOAL DATE DOSAGE INDEX

2018

JUSTIFY

3/28

3.00

2017

ALWAYS DREAMING

2/25

5.00

2016

NYQUIST

3/10

7.00

2015

AMERICAN PHAROAH

2/2

4.33

2014

CALIFORNIA CHROME

2/18

3.29

2013

ORB

2/24

3.21

2012

I’LL HAVE ANOTHER

4/1

2.11

2011

ANIMAL KINGDOM

3/20

1.67

2010

SUPER SAVER

3/18

3.00

2009

MINE THAT BIRD

5/10

4.33

2008

BIG BROWN

4/10

1.67

2007

STREET SENSE

2/23

2.14

2006

BARBARO

4/29

2.41

2005

GIACOMO

2/16

4.33

2004

SMARTY JONES

2/28

3.29

2003

FUNNY CIDE

4/20

1.53

2002

WAR EMBLEM

2/20

3.40

2001

MONARCHOS

2/9

1.40

2000

FUSAICHI PEGASUS

4/12

3.67

1999

CHARISMATIC

3/13

5.22

1998

REAL QUIET

3/7

5.33

As you can see, seven of the 21 winners had Dosage Indexes above 4.00, so that angle seems to be losing relevance. MINE THAT BIRD is the only winner who was foaled in May and he also had a Dosage Index of 4.33. The lesson to be learned here is that if you are going to be an outlier in both categories, make sure you get a big price.

This year’s field of 21 with the highest Kentucky Derby eligibility points, in alphabetical order, are as follows:

HORSE

FOAL DATE DOSAGE INDEX

TACITUS

2/21

3.31

OMAHA BEACH

4/24

2.69

VEKOMA

5/22

2.56

PLUS QUE PARFAIT

3/31

2.47

ROADSTER

4/23

2.60

BY MY STANDARDS

3/22

3.00

MAXIMUM SECURITY

5/14

3.00

GAME WINNER

3/6

2.33

CODE OF HONOR

5/23

0.76

HAIKAL

3/23

3.00

IMPROBABLE

2/11

4.23

WAR OF WILL

4/17

1.72

LONG RANGE TODDY

4/12

4.33

TAX

4/20

1.56

CUTTING HUMOR

4/7

2.11

WIN WIN WIN

3/20

4.50

COUNTRY HOUSE

5/8

2.69

GRAY MAGICIAN

2/16

5.00

SPINOFF

2/18

2.78

MASTER FENCER

2/21

2.50

SIGNALMAN

3/21

3.80

Here, we have three of the top nine horses, and four overall, based on points with foaling dates in May and VEKOMA will still be a two-year-old when the Preakness Stakes (G1) is run on May 18. Four of the 21 contenders have a Dosage Index above 4.00, which is in line with recent pedigree profiles.

The top 21 contenders sorted by foal date:

HORSE

FOAL DATE DOSAGE INDEX

IMPROBABLE

2/11

4.23

GRAY MAGICIAN

2/16

5.00

SPINOFF

2/18

2.78

TACITUS

2/21

3.31

MASTER FENCER

2/21

2.50

GAME WINNER

3/6

2.33

WIN WIN WIN

3/20

4.50

SIGNALMAN

3/21

3.80

BY MY STANDARDS

3/22

3.00

HAIKAL

3/23

3.00

PLUS QUE PARFAIT

3/31

2.47

CUTTING HUMOR

4/7

2.11

LONG RANGE TODDY

4/12

4.33

WAR OF WILL

4/17

1.72

TAX

4/20

1.56

ROADSTER

4/23

2.60

OMAHA BEACH

4/24

2.69

COUNTRY HOUSE

5/8

2.69

MAXIMUM SECURITY

5/14

3.00

VEKOMA

5/22

2.56

CODE OF HONOR

5/23

0.76

Only one winner in the past 21 runnings of the Derby had a May foaling date but this year, we have four with VEKOMA and CODE OF HONOR being highly rated. Of the four contenders who have a high Dosage Index, at least IMPROBABLE and GRAY MAGICIAN were February foals.

So if a contender does not have enough stamina in the first four generations of their pedigree, an early foaling date might help them physically develop earlier than normal.

PHOTO: Justify wins the 144th Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs (c) Coady Photography/Churchill Downs

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