Overanalyze gallops out after winning the Arkansas Derby. (Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire)
While noteworthy Trakus data is often discussed in this blog, only one minor data point will be referenced in this week’s offering. Data is collected from all races tracked by Trakus, but not all data carries meaningful value at the micro level. On a macro level, all sorts of long-term trends can be identified, dissected, and analyzed (and those have been offered in this blog from time-to-time over the last year) – but individual points, while plentiful, can occasionally be more challenging to discern as meaningful.
In the aftermath of this year’s Kentucky Derby, this blog opined that Overanalyze ran one of the better races from a horse to not place in the money. The chart writers have limited space and 19 horses to consider, but none of the comments available on the horse seem to do his race justice:
“OVERANALYZE angled in early when outsprinted, moved to the rail late on the second turn when making a mild gain, altered course outside CHARMING KITTEN with a sixteenth to go then was no threat.”
In his past performance running line, the comment reads: “altered course 1/16pl.”
Given the space to offer a greater detail, here is a more complete description of Overanalyze from the Derby.
Overanalyze broke slower than most of his rivals and was carefully guided to the inside while seemingly not appreciating the mud in his face. Jockey Rafael Bejerano asked his mount to pick up with six furlongs to run when on the rail behind Charming Kitten, and was angled off the rail at the 5 ½-furlong pole, where he raced in the three path, following Will Take Charge. A backpedaling Falling Sky may have forced him to slow, but no published video makes it entirely clear why he faded, falling well back to 18th passing the three-eighths pole. He then moves back inside and is on the rail for the next two furlongs, advancing past horses, angling around Charming Kitten, and running on to finish 11th in a scrum that included that rival, plus Lines of Battle, Will Take Charge, Giant Finish, and Palace Malice. Eventual Preakness winner Oxbow finished just 3 ¾ lengths in front of Overanalyze. Add to all of this that Overanalyze ran the fifth-fastest final furlong of the Kentucky Derby (there’s that one meaningful element of data, and attempting to show that Overanalyze wasn’t just passing tiring horses, he was still lively at the end of an eventful run).
Numerically, the positions shown on Overanalyze’s running line are as follows: 14 – 13 – 16 – 15 – 11. On the surface, it seems the son of Dixie Union ran an uninteresting race, but in the context of the detailed trip notes above, and the knowledge (via that final furlong sectional time) that he wasn’t completely dulled by the end of it, gives one the impression it was a credible effort.
Trainer Todd Pletcher has said little since the Derby about Overanalyze, other than confirming that he was a 100% chance to run in the Belmont Stakes. With much of the focus on his Derby third Revolutionary, and the chances of running filly Unlimited Budget in the race, it’s possible that Overanalyze comes into next week’s race under the radar. Pattern hunters might take note of Overanalyze winning every other race of his career - which would put this next effort to the fore - but the biggest positive in his pre-Derby ledger is a last-to-first move at Belmont in the Futurity Stakes as a juvenile. Success at “Big Sandy” has never been a detriment in the Belmont Stakes, and Overanalyze most likely will be the only starter in the race with a fast-track win on the Belmont main track.
Perhaps the best remaining question regarding Overanalyze is his race-day price. With Orb and Oxbow looking very likely to take their spots in the gate, along with late Derby closers Revolutionary and Golden Soul, plus massive Peter Pan winner Freedom Child, it seems the Mike Repole-owned colt could go no better than sixth choice in the betting.
Maybe this blog has overanalyzed Overanalyze (you knew that was coming, right?). Yet, in the never-ending pursuit of value, he is a top prospect to get
OVERANALYZE WINNING ARKANSAS DERBY
Photo courtesy of Coady Photography