Beyer Speed Figures

The Beyer Speed Figure is a rating assigned to every race by every horse in the United States and is incorporated in the Daily Racing Form past performances. It takes into account the time of a horse's performance and the inherent speed of the racing surface. The average winning Beyer Speed Figure in the Kentucky Derby is 109. The only entrant in this year's field with a Derby-worthy figure is Uncle Mo, who earned a 108 as a 2-year, when he captured the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Since horses typically improve their figures as they mature, he had the potential to be a great Derby winner. But Uncle Mo has delivered two unimpressive performances as a 3-year-old, and none of the other Derby entrants has won a stakes race this season with a figure higher than 98. (Soldat did win an allowance race, aided by a favorable trip, with a figure of 103.) From the speed-figure standpoint, this is one of the poorest Derby lineups ever. Winning Derby figures since 1987:

Year Horse BSF
1987 Alysheba 104
1988 Winning Colors 113
1989 Sunday Silence 101
1990 Unbridled 116
1991 Strike the Gold 107
1992 Lil E. Tee 107
1993 Sea Hero 105
1994 Go for Gin 112
1995 Thunder Gulch 108
1996 Grindstone 112
1997 Silver Charm 115
1998 Real Quiet 107
1999 Charismatic 108
2000 Fusaichi Pegasus 108
2001 Monarchos 116
2002 War Emblem 114
2003 Funny Cide 109
2004 Smarty Jones 107
2005 Giacomo 100
2006 Barbaro 111
2007 Street Sense 110
2008 Big Brown 109
2009 Mine That Bird 105
2010 Super Saver 104

By Andrew Beyer - The Washington Post. Published May 4, 2011.