2019 Preakness Stakes Form Cycle Analysis

A couple notes on each runner purely from a Pace Figures POV. Enjoy.

War of Will

His last effort in the Derby was a lifetime top (by four points) for both 4f and his final figure (77.2/78.7). The form cycle pattern DTOP (double top) is considered a top effort and often followed by regression. And while some horses, especially younger, can break through DTOP's, his morning-line odds of 4-1 don't offer enough value for the risk.

Bourbon War

His 16 point dirt spread (final figure minus 4f figure) is the highest in the field (75.3-59.6=15.9). This indicates a runner who starts off slower and comes running at the end. The issue with him is his most recent 4f figure is just 59 which points him towards the back of the field through the first half of the race. Yes, he will be coming at the end and passing tire horses, but not the top few who sat closer to the pace. A potential to use underneath in TRI and SFX.

Warrior's Charge

An improving runner, who at first glance, has two final figures that could put him in the mix (77.6 and 76.6). His last three races have positive dirt spreads, while his final figures are improving. His average lifetime 4f figure is 72.6, which is sixth best in the field. His PP's look like a front runner, but the figures say he's coming from the middle of the pack. Moving forward off two consecutive lifetime tops will be his challenge, and for that reason we expect regression more than improvement.


The most consistent performer in the field whose run over 77.4 his last five starts. This also means we are still waiting for his breakout performance. And sans the lack of a Form Cycle Pattern, it's not expected he breaks out of his pattern of running 77's which is not quite enough to win the Preakness. A logical use for second and third but not in the top spot.


His last race final figure of 75.2 was a career top and only the second time he's broken 73 in eight starts. No patterns indicated a big forward move would be surprising. Not fast enough to compete.

Market King

Aside his last race of a 57.4 final figure, this runner was on an improving pace figure line. Three NPT (New Pace Tops) in Q1 2019, followed by a near REV (Reversal Pattern) of 73.5/73.8 (3/16/19) put Market King in a position to fire his last race. That 75.5 4f figure indicates he did but the final figure was just so poor that it reeks of a horse that bled. We will give him another shot here and expect significant improvement. And while not expected to win, he will out run his longshot odds.

Always Mining

He's significantly improved since his DTOP race on 12/8/18, which was followed by three improving races cumulating with a 78.4 on 3/16/19. His last out effort was a 76 (SOFT Form Cycle Pattern), but consider that regression of 2.4 points. Based solely on that fact, where his final figures are getting worse, after a series of top improving efforts, will not be surprised to see this one regress.


His lifetime top of 76 is slower than most of these and his last two final pace figures of 72.9 and 71.1 are slower than it's going to take to win.


His Derby effort was a four point regression of his previous lifetime top of 77.1. And while he did get knocked around and taken back, his Derby Final Figure of 72.9 is not competitive in this race.


Off a last race NPT (New Pace Top) form cycle pattern, improvement would not be surprising, though notice regressing efforts following the three previous NPT's. A bit more likely to regress than move forward though his morning-line odds have some appeal to use deep underneath.

Laughing Fox

And another runner whose last race effort was a lifetime top, this one by 2.4 points (as compared to the 75.1 on 2/18). All five races in 2019 show a final figure faster than a 4f figure which indicates a runner who will be coming later in the race. His 4f figures are faster than Bourbon War's which means he will be closer and closing. A potential use underneath but not more.


And another runner whose last race effort showed regression, this time significantly. A 7.3 point regression to be exact off a lifetime DTOP of 82.1 on 3/24. Even with slight improvement, he'll run 75-76 which is not a fast enough final figure to hit the board.

Win Win Win

First notice the improving dirt spreads as this one stretches out. Second, he's never run slower than a 72 final figure (first start lifetime), only Improbable can say the same. Third, his lifetime average 4f figure is 75.1, tied with Bodexpress for the fastest in the race. These notes indicate an improving run with deceiving tactical speed. Notwithstanding his outside post, if Win Win Win breaks well and finds a spot towards the front, he will have the edge as the turn for home. The lukewarm top pick in a wide open Preakness Stakes.


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