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2011 Experimental Free Handicap

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hansen union rags horse racing

Hansen (inside) and Union Rags, here finishing first and second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, are the co-high weights on the 2011 Experimental Free Handicap.

© Cindy Pierson Dulay
Updated February 03, 2012

Hansen, winner of the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile and the Champion Two-Year-Old Male, and Champagne winner Juvenile runner up Union Rags, were tied as the highweight assignment of 126 pounds on the 2011 Experimental Free Handicap, released today by The Jockey Club. This two pounds less than last year's high weight Uncle Mo and is the standard high weight used when compiling the list. The filly division is headed by Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner My Miss Aurelia at 124 pounds, one pound higher than the standard high weight for fillies.

Hansen was undefeated in 3 starts last year, breaking his maiden at first asking at Turfway Park, then winning the Kentucky Cup Juvenile also at Turfway before switching from synthetic to dirt to take the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1). However, on January 29 he tasted defeat for the first time, finishing second in the Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream. Union Rags broke his maiden at Delaware Park, then won the Saratoga Special (G2) and Champagne (G1) before losing by a head as the favorite in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1). My Miss Aurelia was undefeated in four starts, winning her Saratoga debut and then rattling off graded wins in the Adirondack (G2), Frizette (G1), and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1).

The Experimental Free Handicap, published annually by The Jockey Club since 1935, is a weight-based assessment of the previous year’s leading 2-year-olds, with the weights compiled for a hypothetical race at 1 1/16 miles on dirt. The weighting committee of racing secretaries was composed of Ben Huffman of Churchill Downs, P.J. Campo of the New York Racing Association and Thomas S. Robbins of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, the same team as last year.

The committee weighted a total of 130 males and 94 fillies. Eligible for weighting were all 2-year-olds of 2011 that finished among the top four in graded or listed stakes races run in the continental United States. Listed stakes in 2011 were those with a value of $75,000 or more available to all starters, and no restrictions other than age or sex. The full lists for both colts and fillies are accessible here on the Jockey Club website.

The other use of the Experimental rankings is in determining which horses are "dual qualifiers" for the Kentucky Derby. Horses ranked within 10 pounds of the male topweight or who are a champion in another country and have a Dosage Index of 4.0 or less and a Center of Distribution of 1.25 or less are considered the dual qualifiers. These horses have statistically shown that they have a better chance at winning the Derby.

Listed below are all the colts with an Experimental weight of 116lbs or higher and all the fillies with 114lbs or higher. Dual qualifiers are highlighted below with an asterisk and each colt's dosage index is show in parentheses by his name. This year only two of the top colts has a dosage too high to be a dual qualifier. Since the fillies are unlikely to go to the Derby, I only included the dosage index for the ones at 118lbs and higher.

Colts and Geldings Fillies
126 Hasen*     (3.50)
126 Union Rags*     (2.14 )
124 Creative Cause*     (1.43)
121 Wrote*     (1.08)
120 Currency Swap*     (3.00)
120 Liaison*     (3.00)
119 Dullahan     (4.20)
119 Majestic City     (11.00)
119 Rousing Sermon*     (2.60)
118 Gemologist*     (2.73)
118 Secret Circle*     (2.53)
116 Brother Francis*     (1.40)
116 Drill*     (2.27)
116 Sabercat*     (2.73)
116 Trinniberg*     (3.00)

full list of colts and geldings

  124 My Miss Aurelia*     (3.00)
120 Grace Hall*     (3.67)
120 Stephanie's Kitten*     (1.15)
119 Killer Graces*     (3.00)
119 Weemissfrankie*     (2.56)
118 Stopshoppingmaria*     (3.00)
117 Charm the Maker
117 On Fire Baby
116 Candrea
115 Millionreasonswhy
114 Judy the Beauty
114 Lady Pecan
114 Sweet Cat

full list of fillies

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