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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


For those unaware, HRI is proud to Introduce pedigree expert Lisa DeMichael, who expanded on Dr. Steven Roman’s Dosage Theory which also incorporates the work of legendary Italian breeder, Federico Tesio. Our approach combines the pedigree of prepotent sires, known as chefs-de-race, reflecting the influence of both sire and grandsire which yields a more comprehensive view of a horse’s aptitude to handle various distances, and the type of surface over which it would be most effective. Every horse has a unique style that indicates what his optimum distance is and its bias preference based on its two-sided breeding. Combining these ratings from both the top and the bottom of its chart ensures that no influential sire or mare is left out of the equation. It is the common sense approach to pedigree analysis and another tool for the a horseplayer’s handicapping toolbox. For more information on Dosage Theory, see Lisa’s work at

By Lisa DeMichael

Since the Inaugural Pegasus in 2017, this race has shown to be a bias/style race with stamina power in their breeding. Those who won races previously on the West Coast speedy biases coupled with a 3rd position to lead running style has dominated the Winner’s Circle every year. Prior to that, in the Donn Handicap days, 3rd position to lead running style also dominated that winner’s circle, but those winners all successfully won at Gulfstream prior. Since the West Coast runners started making the trip for the big purse in 2017, they have steadily held the advantage.

Listed in order of gate assignment. referencing ONLY performances on naturally speed-biased tracks, such as Gulfstream Park

Post 1 – PROXY
DP = 5-13-15-1-0 (34) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.65
Mare Profile = 12-3-1-7-9 Speed = 15 Stamina = 16 Index = 1.08 Triads = 16-11-17 (1st generation Tapit)
*3rd place at Churchill in July (speedy track) – rear to front at 9f with great pace figures
*2nd place at Churchill in June (speedy track) – ran mid-pack to 2nd at 9f with good pace figures:

Proxy doesn’t care about running styles. He will settle wherever he pleases, and he will still hit that board every single time. With the trend of Proxy’s last 3 races, he will be coming with a vengeance into that stretch. Based on his last performance in the Clark, pulling post one again gives him a much greater probability of shooting for the top tier early, a very advantageous spot to settle. Even though Proxy has run on a “semi-fast” bias in the summer at Churchill, he has never been given the opportunity to shine on a very fast slick bias. He is the only one where we don’t have conclusive evidence of how he would actually react with that surface.

Based on the incredible configurations of his chefs profile, along with that glaring 12 point in the mares brilliant speedy slot, and also that higher 1.08 speedy mare index that balances him perfectly for the 9f task, Proxy has a real shot at exploding on this track. Last race at Churchill, Proxy drew the one hole and Rosario gunned out of that gate, stalked in 2nd place for the win. Between Proxy and Defunded, there are pros and cons for both.

Defunded has the ultimate bias advantage coming from the West Coast with his style of running. He has a disadvantage if he breaks bad and doesn’t secure his preferred spot. Proxy does favor a speed bias, but it is not at the heightened level of Defunded. He also has the stamina power of Tapit in his back pocket with a killer late kick. I can see Proxy taking advantage as he normally does for his board hit or even better. You can’t go wrong with a 34 point Tapit boy on a speed favoring bias. This horse has the advantaged breeding (staying power) over Defunded, but the latter has the advantage bias. This may in fact actually be the surface that Proxy has been waiting for.


DP = 1-0-9-0-0 (10) DI = 1.22 CD = 0.20
Mare Profile = 2-11-4-11-3 Speed = 13 Stamina = 14 Index = 0.90 Triads = 17-26-18
*3rd at Gulfstream, 8.5f, sat midpack, even pace
*4th at Parx, 9f, stalked in 2nd, high beyers, kept even pace
*6th at Pimlico, 9.5f, was faded out due to bleeding – toss race
*3rd at Gulfstream, stalked in 2nd, held his spot evenly while still losing late energy (1st’s and 2nds at Gulfstream with even pace throughout and high Beyers):

Simplification is probably the easiest read on this field. He savors a fast track, with the ability to keep an even fast pace throughout each call. Noticeable speedy track preference with “off” performance on the tougher bias Keeneland over Breeders’ weekend. Deceiving 1.22 index, highly influenced by the mares and his sire Not This Time. Nine furlongs is his ultimate sweet spot. The most telling aspect of Simplification is that while he is usually inferior to the hotshots in most every race he enters, they pale in comparison to his will and determination. Never wavering, always pressing forward to be a part of the mix in the end. There is something to be said about that type of horse and amongst this entire crowd, not one compares to his conviction race after race. His defeats do not affect him. He runs basically the same every time, good enough to take home his piece. With a preference to this bias, his home field, the optimum 9f distance, and his determination, Simplification is a deserving low board hit guy in the super once again.

DP = 3-6-4-1-0 (14) DI = 3.67 CD = 0.79
Mare Profile = 7-7-3-3-6 Speed = 14 Stamina = 9 Index = 1.33 Triads = 17-13-12 (2nd gen. Tapit)
*Won at Parx from mid-pack, 75k, on a sloppy track at 1mi 70. Last call figure, he crumbled.
*Won at Parx stalking in 3rd, 75k, at 1mi 70. Last call figure better – held his energy.
*Won at Parx gate to wire, G3, traveling 12f. That was all Constitution/Tapit. Favorable spot:

Plenty of experience on the proper bias, along with a very favorable style of running. While he scores against inferior horses to this group – from 1mi70 all the way up to 12f, his energy distribution did a complete 180 from his first 5 races to his last 5 races. His connections have flipped his distribution while keeping his style. No easy feat to do but it has affected his late speed. While a gate to wire win at 12f on the proper bias appears impressive, consider that same performance against Grade 1 winner Mo Donegal in the Belmont Stakes.

Based on final times, ‘Ridin’ would have ended up approximately 19.5 lengths behind Mo Donegal at Belmont. He has the staying power but his late energy for 9f is iffy depending on the pace. While he certainly is not the worst of the field, his endurance and his surprising class is worthy of a chance. While his breeding is certainly up to par and based on his PP’s, I can’t help but wonder if this guy would actually be better suited on tougher tracks. With the undeniable evidence in his ability to keep steady pace at 12f coupled with fairly simple speed Beyers, and his chart, it would appear that a speedy bias might not be the best suited for his set-up. None-the-less, he has competed well against allowance and Grade 3 runners and his class actually outweighs 7 other horses on this list. Because of the high amount of speed found in the better contenders here, this horse’s breeding and high capability from his stamina side holds a deserving shot at the tote board above a good portion of the contenders here. He is the type that could hit a piece by default based on the Parx bias experience and his endurance capability.

DP = 2-5-5-0-0 (12) DI = 3.80 CD = 0.75
Mare Profile = 9-5-2-7-8 Speed = 14 Stamina = 15 Index = 1.00 Triads = 16-14-17 (2nd gen Tapit)
*5th at Parx, 9f, on the lead and disintegrated.
*1st at Gulfstream, 9f, settled mid-pack, winning while severely losing late energy.
*1st at Gulfstream 3 times at 6.5f, 8f, and 8.5f, lead or stalk 2nd, held energy:

Being dubbed as the “horse for the course” this guy has only kept his energy on a very fast bias one time, a year ago in the Holy Bull. Since then, he has shown his need for a very moderate early pace and if he doesn’t get it, he loses his intensity after the second call. Most notable and telling here, is the only other time since the Holy Bull, where he kept his energy steady, was at Thistledown against Tawny Port where he hit 2nd. Completely different bias and plays straight into his second generation Tapit influence. He posted high figures in his last race – a sloppy track and prior to that he did have impressive figures but he ended up 8 lengths behind Epicenter in the 9f PA Derby. These stats are not good against this crew in the least. The only hope that this guy could have is if the pace is very moderate early on. Doubtful to happen. Trainers know exactly who wins this race, one who settles in the top tier 3. Prior to his horrendous performance in the Haskell, he was a reliable, better than average, type of horse. After the Haskell, he gained in Beyer figures – all under 9f – and failed. He will have a fast pace in this race. He will be going
longer. He will have a group of other “horses for the course” contenders who thrive at 9f.

DP = 2-2-6-0-0 (10) DI = 2.33 CD = 0.60
Mare Profile = 10-4-3-5-10 Speed = 14 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.96 Triads = 17-12-18
*Won at Delmar 9f, stalking in 2nd in 1:50.12
*Won at Santa Anita 9f, gate to wire in 1:49.38:
Last 8 works at Santa Anita all produced exceptional times, including 6 bullets. Running style and bias preference is unmatched on the field. Baffert walks into this race with a horse who has the highest advantage on the field. The trick with Defunded is that he must break well and secure his preferred lead or stalking style. Just like We the People in the Pennsylvania Derby, both lead speedy horses are one-trick ponies. If they miss the break and do not secure that singular running style, they are doomed. Based on Defunded’s last two performances and his post position, he should roll right out of that gate with ease. If he does, he is going to excel even faster than his last two wins out West. Built perfectly for the 9f test on this track. But he must be on target the second those gates open. He lucked out with his post. He has
the heightened bias advantage. He settles in the advantaged top tier and 9f is his game.


DP = 4-9-11-0-0 (24) DI = 3.36 CD = 0.71
Mare Profile = 8-4-3-4-9 Speed = 12 Stamina = 13 Index = 0.92 Triads = 15-11-16
*6th place at Delmar at 10f. Started disintegrating at the one-mile mark:
Art Collector does his best running on deeper, harder track and has failed on every speed-favoring bias. The last race that he won was at Charles Town, on the lead, with the first two calls posting only 80/91. The previous win was at Saratoga on August 4th, a time when that track was dismissing true speedy types. He excelled there, which is opposite of what thrives for this race. His first two calls on the lead that day were only 87/93. This horse will be nowhere near that lead with the likes of Defunded and Cyberknife’s early quickness and even if he does attempt it, his energy distribution will shut him down way before the stretch.


DP = 3-5-8-0-0 (16) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.69
Mare Profile = 8-2-3-11-5 Speed = 10 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.88 Triads = 13-16-19
*1st at Gulfstream, 8.5f, stalked in 2nd then lead with high beyers – even pace.
*9th at Parx at 9f, ran mid-pack and uncharacteristically faded
*1st at Mountaineer, 9f sloppy track, stalked in 2nd, high Beyers – even pace:

So many things here. First, the horse is bred perfectly for this race. Being the son of Exaggerator coupled with all of that mare stamina, it is easy to see his perfect balance and the steady and unwavering even pace of his style. This horse does not perform the same if he isn’t stalking up front. He doesn’t like it, as clearly demonstrated in his PA Derby and Preakness performances. Since he is an even paced horse, he does not have one bias preference but he does perform better on faster tracks, including sloppy tracks, just like his sire. He is not pace dependent; however, he is absolutely dependent on the spot that he settles in if he wants to win. Otherwise, he grabs his board hit and goes home. This guy is 101% better suited, better matched, better equipped, than White Abarrio and even Cyberknife for this race. He is right at home with this bias and has proven that he can perform at the same pace, regardless of how fast or how slow it is early on – BUT HE MUST SETTLE forwardly placed in the early stages. If he does, he easily competes for the win here with the best of them.

DP = 3-2-5-0-0 (10) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.80
Mare Profile = 9-4-7-5-8 Speed = 13 Stamina = 13 Index = 1.04 Triads = 20-16-20
*2nd place at Aqueduct, 8f, sloppy fast track, high pace figures – even pace.
*1st place at Del Mar, 6f OC, fast Beyers, even pace – useless race
*7th place at Del Mar, 7f, bombed
*2nd place at Del Mar, 7f OC – useless race:
Short and to the point. Get Her Number excels on a speedy track when he is either up against optional claimers or going a full furlong shorter on a sloppy track. That says it all.

DP = 7-6-13-0-0 (26) DI = 3.00 CD = 0.77
Mare Profile = 10-1-3-5-10 Speed = 11 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.86 Triads = 14-9-18
*3rd place at Ellis Park, 8f 70k, fast early Beyers, held for second place:
Not so sure what he thinks he’s going to do at 9f on this bias.

DP = 0-2-6-0-0 (8) DI = 1.67 CD = 0.25
Mare Profile = 3-2-5-12-6 Speed = 5 Stamina = 18 Index = 0.45 Triads = 10-19-23
*3rd place, Parx at 9f, behind Epicenter by 6-3/4 – came from off the pace trying to duplicate Haskell:
He has the class in his back pocket. He has his record breaking final time in the Haskell. He does not have the bias experience and when he does, he fails. He is pace dependent, whether that is capitalizing off of inferior leads or his high desire for moderate pace above one mile. His last race at Keeneland was very flashy even in defeat. But that was a completely different bias and a full furlong shorter. Cyberknife is a very talented horse, very classy, but he is not advantaged in this race for a win. The favorite is very vulnerable for the trophy but his class cannot be overlooked.

There is a strong possibility that Cyberknife could have had much better success on the fast track at Parx if his connections didn’t try to replicate his extraordinary performance from the Haskell, which was a completely different bias. He did well none-the-less to get himself up to that stretch at Parx against the grain. That effort puts him high in contention here and the favorite still plays a big part on that superfecta. Going for the odds elsewhere for the win slot is worth it in this case though. You can spread him and spend, that is the gambler’s choice. Class does still have meaning even if the ideal bias isn’t there for him.

DP = 3-5-4-0-0 (12) DI = 5.00 CD = 0.92
Mare Profile = 7-4-3-3-12 Speed = 11 Stamina = 15 Index = 0.70 Triads = 14-10-18
*2nd place at Santa Anita, 8.5f, stalked in 2nd, took lead then lost lead.
*6th place at DelMar, 10f, no match with Flightline and he is not bred for 10f. – toss race
*3rd place at DelMar, 8.5f, stalked in 2nd, held for the board.
*4th place at Santa Anita, 10f, stalked in 2nd – again, incorrect distance for his breeding but still hit board.
*1st place at Santa Anita, 9f, wired the field, posted best figures of his career. Proper distance, Proper bias.
*3rd place at Gulftream (Pegasus), 9f, stalked 4th and 3rd, held his own, Proper distance, proper bias:

This horse has the highest amount of inbred speed on the field. He is not bred for 10f at all, so the two 10f races are both insignificant. This horse hits that board in Grade 1 and Grade 2 races at 9f and under, with 9f being his best distance. His pace figures are off at the 8.5f mark (although he still manages to grab his purse) but he excels with his pace at 9f. I truly think this horse sits much higher among many on this field, regardless of odds. His configurations are stellar for this bias at this distance. Unfortunately, the horse pulled post 11. This post defeats his style within this particular group. He would have to excel like a freight train out of that gate for position which will overpower his late pace way too much. If Mike Smith
does in fact go for it, it will backfire. This will play right into Defunded’s hooves and Irad will sit and stalk in second just waiting for Stilleto to give in. Since November, Stilleto Boy has posted 10 workouts on the AWS at Golden Gate. This should have an effect on his staying power. Being the son of Shackleford, he certainly has it within himself (and the evidence too) that he wants a fast track at exactly 9f. With the possible positive effects of his training for 3 months on that adverse bias could actually result in an explosion on his preferred speedy bias. An intriguing 30-1 longshot for a minor board hit shot.

Post 12 – O’CONNOR

DP = 7-0-13-4-0 (24) DI = 1.29 CD = 0.42
Mare Profile = 9-3-1-6-10 Speed = 12 Stamina = 16 Index = 0.81 Triads = 13-10-17
*4th place at Gulfstream, 8.5f G3, did not move from midpack – even pace
*1st place at Gulfstream, 8.5f OC, Midpack to 1st – even pace

Stamina horse top to bottom. Did his best to secure a win in an Optional Claiming race, 1/2f shorter than this one against Grade One winners – Post 12 is an issue. at this distance.

Our approach to big event races is trying to optimize profits in the Superfecta pool. As such:

Top Tier Superfecta: Highest Advantage: Defunded and Skippylongstocking (are the main win contenders)
Superfecta Upset: Proxy (spread top to bottom)
Most Likely Money Finisher: Cyberknife
Wildcard Low-Money Finishers: Stilleto Boy, Simplification, Ridin with Biden

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3 Responses

  1. So pleased to know that Lisa and John are both on the same page together, and we’ll 4aligned on their two sided respect in their analysis of breeding. And now we are also availed to the equal importance of a runner’s track bias. It sure opens the window of analysis quite a bit. Please know that at least one two dollar player seated in the bleacher seats appreciates your due diligence ever so. At the “Riders Up” call, I know that I will be well prepared in advance and I thank you both. A runner of old who’s name would best capture your combined efforts at educating this purist view of the tradition of thoroughbred racing surely could be captivated by the name of the very late “High Echelon”.

    Any readers with a moment spare should also visit and view a short video of recently recovered and retired Epicenter as he walks the grounds of his new surroundings. A Twitter video can be viewed on Lisa’s DirtyHorse website . I am saddened that I will not see Epicenter compete going forward, but in consolation, I have the anticipation of witnessing the greatness of his offspring for years to come. Highly recommend viewing “Epicenter Is Home”. Safe at Home indeed. Riders Up! The Game will go forward now as it should.

    And we’re in the gate once more come Saturday, “Two Dollar Tickets” in hand thanks to the likes of Lisa and John. Ain’t life grand Alice? Ain’t the simplification of life just grand when you’ve a two dollar ticket in hand and a dream in hand to chase as well. Not a question mind you. More a statement on what is the enjoyment of what is thoroughbred racing.

    Peace out my friends!

  2. Love your enthusiasm for the game and zest for learning new things. For some of us, the research is enjoyable. Lisa’s pedigree profile look at the Pegasus gives us a unique perspective.

    I will drill down on some of her points at a later date. Still playing computer catchup but will be ready for Saturday. I’ll be looking at the three “Pegasus” races; 11-12-13. At first glance, very challenging indeed. Thanks for checking in McD.

  3. Lisa, agree that a good forward trip is in ‘Skippy’s’ best interests, as it was when he won the prep for this. Yes, it was a perfect trip, which the ‘wise guys’ dislike, but his turn of foot was explosive and cannot be dismissed. Personally, would ignore the straight pool if he’s lower than his early line 5-1 quote.
    At first glance, I didn’t know what to do with Proxy, he appears to be moving forward at 5, but this company is IMO far tougher than the crew he met in the Lukas. Still fresh, fit and improving is dangerous; add the rail and Joel just might be the winning formula. But I think you have it right; it does seem to be a “use him” and “lose him” scenario in the top tier.
    Because of the way he’s training, I’m higher on White Abarrio than you and I get your thinking. But he will get his pace setup, goes so well for Tyler and the 10 early line was eye-popping for a Florida Derby winner, especially one getting faster in recent starts.
    Then, of course, there’s Bullet Bob’s legendary record with shippers–and he may be working even better than WA. And given your pedigree and bias analysis, he will be hell to pay. Great betting race, can’t wait to see that first flash…

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