LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - One way to handicap the most exciting two minutes in sports is to consider the Final Fractions theory.
The theory identifies which horses finish their final eighth-mile in that final prep in 13.0 seconds or less and the final three-eighths in 38.0 seconds or less. The premise is that horses who meet those parameters are more likely to be able to handle the extra eighth-mile they’ll face in the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby. It also suggests that those horses are in good form and not regressing.
In recent years, I’ve relied on @DerbyContenders for its calculations in order to provide consistency and more accuracy than my manually-calculated times. While @DerbyContenders wants to see horses who went under 13.0 and 38.0, I "count" it as qualifying if a horse is right on the number, which was the case in 2008 with Big Brown.
You can make exceptions, and I have over the years, kicking myself afterward for making an excuse for a horse who didn’t qualify. Of course, it cost me in 2011 when people I really respected raved over Animal Kingdom’s final pre-Derby workout. They all bet, but I went in a different direction because I felt committed to my theory. FFT has been pooh-pahed as not taking into account how fast a horse is running early and track condition and being overly simplistic. Fair enough. You don’t like it, make up your own theory. To me, only three in 27 years -- last year's Derby winner Nyquist came in at 37.7 and 12.7 en route to a Florida Derby triumph -- not meeting one or the other parameters is definitely a pattern.
So here’s how this year's Kentucky Derby horses fared in their final 1 1/8-mile preps:
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