Does Class Matter In Graded Stakes? The Results May Shock You
By Derek Simon
A long time ago, I read a handicapping book — for the life of me, I can’t remember the title — that made the point that previous stakes winners had a huge advantage in added-money races. And while I’ve never been dogmatic about it, I do think it makes sense, especially in graded events for older horses, to give extra credit to horses that have won or performed well in similar races in the past.
I thought about this as I cracked open the past performances for this year’s Pegasus World Cup Invitational, which features a whopping six previous Grade I champions, along with four Grade II victors, a Grade III winner and three horses (two of which are also-eligibles) that have failed to capture a stakes race of any kind.
And it got me to thinking: Statistically speaking, what are the chances of an older horse winning a graded race for the first time, particularly if there are other graded winners in the field? So…(more)