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2009 Experimental Free Handicap

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Vale of York (IRE) and Lookin at Lucky

Vale of York (IRE) and Lookin at Lucky, here finishing first and second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, are the co-high weights on the 2009 Experimental Free Handicap.

© Cindy Pierson Dulay

The top two finishers of the Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Vale of York and Lookin at Lucky, share the high weight assignment of 126 pounds on the 2009 Experimental Free Handicap released Thursday January 28 by The Jockey Club. The 126 pounds assigned is the same as last year's high weight, Midshipman and is the standard impost for top Experimental colts.

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. This year’s 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 in 2008.

Vale of York (IRE) (Invincible Spirit (IRE) – Red Vale (IRE), by Halling) scored a head decision over Lookin at Lucky in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in his only North American start. Bred in Ireland by Stock Vale Ltd., Vale of York (IRE) won 3 of his 6 races in 2009, earning $1,151,186 for owner Godolphin Racing. Lookin at Lucky (Smart Strike – Private Feeling, by Belong to Me) won 5 of his 6 starts last year for earnings of $1,243,000. Owned by Karl Watson, Michael Pegram and Paul Weitman, Lookin at Lucky won the CashCall Futurity, Norfolk Stakes, Del Mar Futurity and Best Pal Stakes. He was bred in Kentucky by Gulf Coast Farms LLC. He won the Eclipse Award as Champion 2-Year-Old Male.

The filly division is headed by Hollywood Starlet winner Blind Luck and Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner She Be Wild at 123 pounds. Blind Luck won the Hollywood Starlet and Oak Leaf while She Be Wild won the Arlington Washington Lassie in addition to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

The committee weighted a total of 93 males and 82 fillies. Eligible for weighting were all 2-year-olds of 2009 that finished among the top four in graded or other unrestricted races with an added value of at least $75,000, run in the continental United States. The full lists for both colts and fillies are accessible here on the Jockey Club website. Among sires of Experimental horses, Bernstein tops the list of colts and geldings with five representatives, while Tiznow heads the fillies’ list with four representatives. Combining the two lists, Roman Ruler is the leading sire with six representatives. Of the 175 juveniles weighted, 108 were bred in Kentucky, 34 in Florida and five each in California and Pennsylvania.

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. Dual qualifiers are highlighted below with an asterisk by their name.

Colts and Geldings Fillies
126 - Lookin At Lucky *
126 - Vale of York (IRE) *
124 - Noble's Promise *
123 - Buddy's Saint *
122 - Pounced *
122 - Super Saver *
120 - Piscitelli
119 - Aikenite *
119 - D' Funnybone *
118 - Bridgetown *
118 - Make Music for Me *
117 - Awesome Act *
117 - Dublin *
117 - Homeboykris *
117 - Interactif *
116 - Discreetly Mine *
116 - Jackson Bend
116 - The Program *
115 - Aspire
115 - Backtalk
115 - John Scott
115 - Jung Man Scott
115 - Pulsion
115 - Rule

full list of colts and geldings

  123 - Blind Luck
123 - She Be Wild
121 - Hot Dixie Chick
120 - Beautician
120 - Negligee
119 - Tapitsfly
118 - Biofuel
118 - Mi Sueno
118 - Sassy Image
116 - Always a Princess
116 - Awesome Maria
116 - Devil May Care
116 - Rose Catherine
114 - Tizahit
113 - Ailalea
113 - Quiet Temper
112 - Amen Hallelujah
112 - House of Grace
112 - Protesting
112 - The Mailet
112 - Worstcasescenario

full list of fillies

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