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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


By Keith Pettyjohn — The following races are the most highly graded American stakes races run this year.

If the races are live, it follows that the horses that exit these events are as well.

You may prefer another horse from these races, depending on whether your interests are vertical or horizontal.


#9  Bell’s The One  101  /  Derby City Distaff (Grade 1  / A)

#7  Serengeti Empress   101  /  Derby City Distaff (Grade 1 / A)

#1  Speech  99  /  Ashland Stakes (Grade 1 / A-)

#6  Venetian Harbor  99  /  Raven Run (Grade 2 / A-)


#3  Imprimis  104  /  Turf Sprint (Grade 3 / A+)

#7  Leinster  104  /  Shakertown (Grade 2 / A+)

#1  Big Runner  103  /  Eddie D (Grade 2 / A)

#10  Bombard  103  /  Turf Sprint (Grade 3 / A+)

#4  Front End Fed  103  /  Turf Sprint (Grade 3 / A+)


#10  Complexity  105  /  Kelso Handicap (Grade 2 / A)

#4  War Of Will  104  /  Makers Mark Mile  (Grade 1 / A+)

#8  Pirate’s Punch  102  /  Salvatore Mile  (Grade 3 / A)

#1  Art Collector  101  /  Blue Grass Stakes (Grade 2 / A)

#2  Sharp Samurai  101  /  City Of Hope Mile (Grade 2 / A)


#4  Mean Mary  105  /  Diana Stakes (Grade 1 / A+)

#6  Rushing Fall  105  /  Diana Stakes (Grade 1 / A+)

#1  Starship Jubilee  104  /  Woodbine Mile (Grade 1 / A)


#14  Vekoma  107  /  Metropolitan Mile (Grade 1 / A+) SCRATCHED

#7  Whitmore  103  /  Count Fleet Sprint (Grade 3 / A)

#11  Diamond Oops  102  /  Turf Sprint (Grade 2 / A)

#3  Collusion Illusion 101  /  Bing Crosby (Grade 1 / A)

#10  Yaupon  100  /  Amsterdam Stakes (Grade 2 / A-)


#13  Factor This  108  /  Dinner Party (Grade 2 / A)

#5  Digital Age  107  /  Turf Classic (Grade 1 / A+)

#10  Halladay  106  /  Fourstardave (Grade 1 / A+)

#11  Ivar  106  /  Shadwell Turf Mile (Grade 1 / A+)

#14  Raging Bull  104  Shadwell Turf Mile (Grade 1 / A+)

#8  March To The Arch  103  /  King Edward Stakes (Grade 2 / A)

#12  Uni  102  /  First Lady (Grade 1 / A)


#5  Swiss Skydiver  107  /  Preakness Stakes (Grade 1 / A+)

#10  Monomoy Girl  106  /  Distaff (Grade 1 / A+)

#9  Ollie’s Candy  104  /  Clement L. Hirsch (Grade 1 / A)

#1  Ce Ce  103  /  Apple Blossom Stakes (Grade 1 / A)


#9  Channel Maker  109  /  Turf Classic (Grade 1 / A++)

#1  Arklow  104  /  KY Turf Cup (Grade 3 / A+)

#7  United  104  /  John Henry Turf Cup (Grade 2 / A+)

#8  Red King  103  /  Del Mar Handicap (Grade 2 / A+)


#9  Authentic  108  /  Kentucky Derby (Grade 1 / A+)

#7  Improbable  107  /  Whitney Stakes (Grade 1 / A+)

#4  Tom’s d’Etat  107  /  Stephen Foster (Grade 2 / A+)

#3  By My Standards 106  /  Oaklawn Handicap (Grade 2 / A+)

#10  Maximum Security  106  /  Pacific Classic (Grade 1 / A)

#2  Tiz The Law  106  /  Kentucky Derby (Grade 1 / A+)

#7  Global Campaign  105  /  Woodward Handicap (Grade 1 / A+)

The European horses match up very favorably with our runners. Check Timeform figures where available and most European races are available on video unless restricted by contractual obligations

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13 Responses

  1. Wonder how long it will take before Ms Ferrin Peterson will ride some of these high caliber horses to victory! It is an unconventional success story from her high school days as a pole vaulter to being a bug to successfully ride at Monmouth, placing right behind Paco Lopez while having a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in her pocket and the one and only Julie Krone as mentor and agent. At 28, in her prime of life, she can win big and retire anytime she wants. Smart, nice looking, knows about the animal-athletes and can kick butts during the brief Aqueduct meet before she will be one of the top jockeys wherever she will ride in Florida or California. Trainers have paid notice. Looking forward to her success under the watchful eyes, mind of Ms Krone. Happy success ladies! Great story.

    1. Bits,

      Haven’t seen her ride and looking forward. Big A late season is a good spot to break into big time, and she couldn’t be in better hands.

  2. KP,
    How do you suggest this information be used?

    I’ve only taken a hard look at the Classic where you mention 7 of 10 contenders, but I’m left with the following questions:
    1) Why is Tiz The Law referenced for his 2nd place finish in the Derby rather than for his victory in the Travers?
    2) Why isn’t the G1 Awesome Again included?
    3) How does the G1 Woodward justify an A+ rating?
    a. What would Global Campaign’s ratings be if the race were rated an A, A-, or B+,respectively?
    4) Why isn’t the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup included?

    1. Hey IND…..thanks for reading and posting your questions.
      Let me jump into them one by one

      I posted this information to help the handicappers in their decision making process. Basically saying here’s some information that could help them to INCLUDE some horses and to EXCLUDE others. And if there is a horse that the public is leaning towards at a short price, yet there is another horse that’s almost just as good at a much higher mutuel, then its ok to go price shopping.

      (1) In the Derby Tiz earned a 106. In the Travers he earned a 104. So I wanted everyone to see what each horse’s best performance was.. And just how tight this Classic really is according to the numbers.

      The Derby field was an A+ field of 15 horses. The Travers was an A field of only 7 horses.

      (2) GOOD CATCH!!!
      this was actually an ERROR on my part. Improbable earned his 107 in the Awesome Again which was an A field of 5. In the Whitney he earned a 106 against an A+ field of 5. So the Awesome Again should have gotten a call for Improbable but definitely not for “MAX”. That race was truly not his finest hour.

      those are the “key” components that drive the Grades for the races. In creating the algorithm , the goal was to remove all subjectivity and allow the numbers to speak for themselves. (3a) As you can see all of the parts are inter-related. But watch this, if Global Campaign had run just 1/5 of a second slower in the Woodward and the rest of the information remained the same, the figures would have shifted from 105/A+ to 103/A.

      (4) No one ran their best in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. As a matter of fact, only one horse in the Classic is from that race and that’s Tacitus. He earned a 100 in his third place finish that day but he earned a 102 in his second place finish in the Woodward. So if he had ran fast enough to be included on that list it would have been for his Woodward effort and not the Gold Cup effort.

      Hopefully this helps.


      1. Thanks for responding, KP.

        Your rankings in the BC Sprint and BC Classic were very useful, indeed, as were the BC Turf rankings of the North American based contenders.

        The unsurprising sweep of Saturday’s turf stakes by Euros doesn’t invalidate a system that should prove useful for other domestic graded grass races.

        Knicks Go’s victory in the BC Dirt Mile even without a Graded Stakes prep was accurately anticipated by the public as was Gamine’s in the F&M Sprint.

        I assume the latter’s absence from your rankings was also an oversight rather than an omission based on your previous interpretation of her performance in the Test as weaker than that of Serengeti Empress in the Ballerina. LOL

        I think your concept of rankings based on highest performance rating assigned is definitely worth pursuing. Have you ever considered including an offset representing speed only (e.g., similar to the hyphenated DRF figures with their daily variant).

        1. Thank you very much for your vote of confidence. And it’s funny that you asked about the Speed Figure – Performance Figure style. That is EXACTLY how I was asked to give it to my small group of handicapping buddies on Friday. One of the guys who’s been paying very close attention to my numbers has noticed that when the raw speed figure AND the performance are the best in the race, that horse normally dominates by an overwhelming margin (win percentage). The interesting thing has been the mutuels that we have gotten in return. You would think that it would NORMALLY point to the favorite in the race. But that’s not always the case AT ALL.

          So as you have noticed and pointed out…here’s how the numbers would have looked for
          Gamine in the Test Stakes….. 102 – 96
          102 is her speed figure and the 96 being her performance figure

          Serengeti Empress in the Ballerina Stakes….. 100 – 101

          Neither horse was the best in both numbers. Yet in the BC Sprint the numbers looked like this

          Whitmore 100 – 103
          Diamond Oops 99 – 102
          Collusion Illusion 96 – 101
          Yaupon 99 – 100

          Whitmore WAS the best in both numbers and yet he went off at 18-1

          I’m doing a DEEP DIVE pot mortem into the BC races. So it’ll be interesting just what the data does continue to turn up.

          1. KP,
            Is the first figure in the pair a “raw speed” figure not adjusted for track condition and/or pace?

            Will you be sharing the paired ratings for the BC races?


  3. Thanks for those figs – greatly appreciated!

    Didn’t Vekoma also miss the Forego for some sort of issue? I might be wrong about that, but I remember something was up and he was supposed to race but got sick or hurt that time too.

  4. Doc, Vekoma has sure been unlucky. Spiking a temp no big thing but timing could not be worse. Too bad, very nice horse. He could have turned an excellent season into a memorable win. Tough game…

  5. Yeah the way that horse has run in terms of luck, I have absolutely no problem with the immediate retirement announcement that came with the news.

    1. A 4-yr old colt by Candy Ride.
      Winner of 6 of 8 and $1.2 Million dollars.
      Winner of 2 Grade 1’s including the Met Mile……..stand him in NY (not KY). He should earn a pretty penny there as a stud.

  6. Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same outcome.

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