Kentucky bred Bruce Lunsford, owner of Art Collector, will look forward to adding to his collection after his horse destroyed the competition and landed the $3m Pegasus World Cup on Saturday.
I was lucky enough to be at Gulfstream where our Equibase E-GPS system has been tracking every horse with Tags and beams for just over a year. With the lavish hospitality of the 10 Palms restaurant and after-party affects receding, it’s time to look deep under the bonnet to see how Art Collector won in such convincing style. With a starting price of 16/1, his performance confounded the experts!
Speed Chart representing the runs of Art Collector (turquoise), Defunded (red) and Stilleto Boy (Blue dots)
Jockey Junior Alvarado pushed Art Collector (turquoise line) to sit in 3rd or 4th most of the way behind Stilleto Boy (blue dots). The opening quarter mile was ‘lively’ at 23.61 and faster than the 23.73 posted in the 1m Fred W Hooper Stakes earlier on the same surface. The pace remained strong and this meant all runners, other than, Art Collector, suffered in the last furlong as you can see with the leader and 2nd placed Defunded (red) slowing down way more than the winner.
These stats tell a clear story of a near perfect performance. Art Collector started fast, stayed up with the pace and was running stronger through the line than any other horse and by quite some distance.
UK punters were able to bet in running with SkyBet so how did TPD’s In-Play algorithm rate his chances of winning? The engine takes the starting price (16/1) and updates the odds every second based on pace, velocity, position, distance to leader and distance to Post. The dispassionate neural network started to quickly ramp up his chances of winning from 3F out as the probability graph shows. We rarely see such a smooth line. Nothing could hold a candle to his remorseless swoosh to the line. As he entered the final furlong (the orange bar) the algo gave him a 99% chance of winning. As ever, there were no free gifts for In-Play punters if they waited too long.
JUST HOW GOOD WAS ART COLLECTOR’S PERFORMANCE?
The finishing time of 1:49.44 is a half a second slower than Life Is Good’s win of this race in 2022. But, the speed of Dirt surfaces can change and run ups change so how does that 3 length inferiority stack up against a different measure? We can use the TPD data to assess the average speed during the race and look at some other big name winners last year. We use Stride Length (SL) as a proxy for distance and Strides per second (SF) as a proxy for time to create average speed. On this measure, we see Art Collector superior the Preakness Winner, Early Voting, but behind Life Is Good and, of course, nothing gets close to Flightline!