Tuesday, January 30, 2024
By The 2YO EdgeMan
I hate this time of year. I love this time of year. I guess that makes me a tad conflicted – oh well. As you may have guessed, my agitation stems from the reality that our beloved two-year-olds are still a bit over two months away from competition. But the good news is that this affords us 60+ days to do our homework so we are well prepared when the babies return to the racetrack in early April.
One of the most important factors in the study of two-year-old Maiden Special Weight racing, only shy of trainer statistics, is the performance of the sire. Today, we’ll do a breakdown of stallions and their success over the past three years with 2YO MSWs at the ‘Top 11 Tracks’ (as a reminder, those venues are Churchill Downs, Keeneland, Kentucky Downs, Saratoga, Belmont, Aqueduct, Santa Anita, Del Mar, Gulfstream Park, Oaklawn Park, and Woodbine).
There was a total of 1,778 Maiden Special Weight races from 2021 through 2023 at the ‘Top 11 Tracks’. Of those, the sire that saw the greatest number of his youngsters get their picture taken was Into Mischief. While this probably does not surprise you, I bet that the total number of champs that he had in this category does catch your attention – 51. To put that number in context, it was 16 more than the two sires that tied for second – Gun Runner and Practical Joke. The former probably does not cause you to fall out of your chair, but the latter might. The fourth highest count goes to Nyquist, checking in with 32 winners and fifth place is a tie between Bolt d’Oro and Uncle Mo, both accounting for 27 victors.
But you are probably saying, ‘2YO EdgeMan, that’s great, but how many starters did each of these dads have?’. That’s a fantastic question and I’m glad that you asked. Into Mischief had far and away more starts in this category than his peers, as he saw 339 babies step into the gate in a MSW race over the past three years at these high-level racing venues. So, his strike rate calculates out to 15.0%. Continuing on the topic of percentage win rate, the champ (of sires that had 18 or more winners) was Gun Runner. He had 185 starters; so with 35 winners, his score rate is an excellent 18.9%. Second place in this category goes to Speightstown (19 of 106, 17.9%), and the bronze prize is captured by Classic Empire – 23 of 130 for a strike rate of 17.7%.
Another statistic that we like to look at when analyzing sires is First-Time Starter performance. Looking at the same list of 22 stallions that accounted for 18 winners or more – no surprise that Into Mischief again comes out on top with 22 debut victors. He is closely followed, however, by the aforementioned Gun Runner who saw 19 of his firsters walk into the Winner’s Circle. Third place in this category was Practical Joke – 15 winners.
It is also interesting to note that seven of the top 22 sires had 50% more of their wins come from First-Time Starters. In addition to Gun Runner, the other six were Bolt d’Oro, Curlin, Justify, More Than Ready, Munnings, and Twirling Candy.
Although this information alone will not secure you more winners in ‘our races’, hopefully, it is a piece of the puzzle as we work together in our quest to become better players of 2YO Maiden Special Weight races.
Take care, my Edgie Besties. Only 66 more days til the spring meet at Keeneland starts (but who’s counting?).