The Beyer Speed Figure is a rating assigned to every race by every horse in the U.S. and 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 over which he ran.
The average winning figure in the Kentucky Derby is 108, though the last six runnings have been slower than the historical norm — possibly because most contemporary U.S. horses aren’t bred to go 1¼ miles. California Chrome won an extraordinarily slow race last year with a figure of 97. However, this year’s field is the strongest in years from the speed-figure standpoint. Materiality earned a 110 in the Florida Derby, winning by a length over Upstart (108). Dortmund has reeled off figures of 106, 104 and 104. American Pharoah won the Arkansas Derby with a 105.
The winning Beyer Speed Figures in the Derby since 1990:
|2012||I’ll Have Another||101|
|2009||Mine That Bird||105|
|1994||Go for Gin||112|
|1992||Lil E. Tee||107|
|1991||Strike the Gold||107|
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