Dosage and the 2014 Belmont Stakes

Post-race note: Check out Tonalist’s dosage profile.  Just sayin’.

Yeah, the video reflects dated attitudes, so engage your sense of humor:


As you can see, real handicappers laugh at Dosage Profiles. Outdated and outmoded, serious horseplayers proclaim on Twitter. Voodoo and witchcraft, as the famous trainer said in the above ESPN video. Less effective for predicting the Belmont? Two names – Birdstone and Drosselmeyer, winners of the Belmont Stakes who had the numbers to get it done.

If you can’t see the embedded version, here’s the link:

Still, if Dosage works all the time, then we won’t have a Triple Crown this year.

That said, despite my fascination with Dosage, I’d rather have a Triple Crown than be right. Still, let’s take a look at the numbers.

Quick & dirty definition of “Dosage”

Noted race-caller Tom Durkin, in the above video, went farther beyond what we’re going to talk about.

We’re talking about the five numbers, a bare-bones, numerical portrait – call it an old-school infograph — of traits in a horse’s pedigree.

  • Numbers to the left of center? Bred for speed.
  • Numbers at the center? The potential to go the distance of the Classic races, like the Derby and the Preakness.
  • Numbers to the right? Endurance and stamina.

All dosage profiles listed here were obtained from Pedigree Online.

Again, look at the numbers and imagine a balance scale superimposed over them with the fulcrum over that middle number. What’s to the left? Early speed. Numbers to the right? Stamina.

Now, take a look at …

The field for the 2014 Belmont Stakes in their post positions



2.  CALIFORNIA CHROME (the Belmont favorite, the winner of both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes)




4. COMMANDING CURVE (second in the Derby)


5. RIDE ON CURLIN (nineteenth in the Derby, second in the Preakness)




7.  SAMRAAT (sixth in the Derby)




9. WICKED STRONG (fourth in the Kentucky Derby)


10. GENERAL A ROD (eleventh in the Kentucky Derby, fourth in The Preakness. BTW, jockey Rosie Napravnik will be in the irons. )





California Chrome

The Derby and Preakness winner shouldn’t be able to close well, let alone hit those extra gears in the stretch, but he does. Maybe that’s why all those handicappers show his momma and poppa no love?

Anyway, see all that speed on the left? Makes him look like an early speed horse, not a closer. Yet, he’s got A.P. Indy as a great-grandsire on the top (paternal line) and Mr. Prospector as a grandsire on the bottom (maternal line.)

Most of these horses don’t have that kind of power on both sides of the pedigrees.

By the Numbers, Most Likely to Pass Chromie in the Stretch (heaven forbid)

(Hint:  Again, I’m looking for numbers on the right. FWIW, this kind of logic had me rooting for Master of Hounds several years ago, but made me look like a genius when Drosselmeyer won, even though he was my third choice.

Wicked Strong

Here’s another horse with speed emphasized in his pedigree with less stamina according to the numbers, yet he’s another closer. However, he’s got some power on both sides of his pedigree. He’s by Hard Spun by Danzig. His momma’s a Charismatic mare.


Maybe. He’s by that Tapit/Pulpit/A.P. Indy line on the top, but biggest name early on bottom is maternal grandsire Pleasant Colony, who lost his Triple Crown bid in 1981. Post-race note: Shows what I know. But I was close. IMO, those numbers to the right matter. See below.

Commanding Curve

A.P. Indy is his paternal grandsire and Storm Cat the maternal great-grandsire. Big names on the top and the bottom. However, this other horse with the initials “CC” has only won one race, but he’s placed in-the-money in five of seven starts. Still, three-year-olds are young horses, so if he’s just peaking and blooming now, he could be a fierce competitor.

Medal Count

He’s by Dynaformer out of a Unbridled’s Song mare, aka IMO, power on both sides of his family tree.He’s not going to lead the pack around the first turn, but he’s got the potential to finish strong. Plus, he’s won three of his eight starts. Post-race note: Medal Count came in third in the Belmont Stakes.

IMO, if you want to place an unsentimental “value bet,” this is the horse. On Wednesday, hours after the post position draw, he carried 20-1 odds.

However, if Medal Count wins, he’ll break millions of hearts.

Including mine.




  • Susie Blackmon (@SusieBlackmon)
    June 6, 2014

    Everything seems right for California Chrome to win, IMHO! My heart will be broken, too, if he doesn’t!!

  • Rhonda Lane
    June 6, 2014

    Oh, gosh, Susie! I don’t know about you, but I’m already on the edge of being a basket case.

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