May 232019
 

We’re getting close to the halfway point of 2019!  This week, rather than looking at an upcoming race where some future stars might be running, it’s time for the Future Stars Series to take a look back.  If you recall, back when the Future Stars Series began, there was a specific goal: to get in on the ground floor of some of the future stars of the sim.  It’s still a little early to see if we’ve achieved ultimate success…after all, most Future Stars Series runners have run anywhere between 0 and 3 times since their Future Stars Series race.  But that doesn’t mean we haven’t had success yet.  So it’s worth checking in to see how we’ve done at finding some future stars over the past 6 months.

First, the stats.  Here are the total numbers for the Future Stars Series horse for races following their Future Stars Series race (all statistics through Sunday, May 19).

Number of Races: 258
Number of Wins: 60 (23.26%)
Number of ITM Finishes: 129 (50%)
Number of Non-Graded Stakes Races 19
Number of Non-Graded Stakes Wins 4 (21.05%)
Number of Non-Graded Stakes ITMs 6 (31.58%)
Number of Graded Stakes Races 9
Number of Graded Stakes Wins 2 (22.22%)
Number of Graded Stakes ITMs 4 (44.44%)
Average Finish 4.11
Average Odds 6.84
Average SP 89.61
SP Standard Deviation 9.05
Minimum SP 61.05
Maximum SP 109.69

 

Overall, we had solid results in the first half of the year.  Our Future Stars Series horses would go on to win over 20% of their future races.  There were 19 stakes efforts and 9 Graded Stakes runs, and we even had a 20%+ winning percentage in each of those categories!  We found some very fast horses among the group, and we’ll get into some of the specific horses down below.

One thing that was added to the Future Stars Series previews was a “Watch Level”.  This was largely a representation of how high I personally felt the horse’s prospects were for the future.  The idea was that the horses with a “high” watch level were the ones that I thought really made the race a key race, and they had a lot of potential for the future; whereas “low” watch level horses weren’t as interesting going forward (though some were good horses and well suited for the races they were running).  So, how did I do at predicting how good the horses would become?  Well…not great.

Watch Level High Medium Low
Number of Races: 99 82 77
Number of Wins: 27 (27.27%) 15 (18.29%) 18 (23.38%)
Number of ITM Finishes: 47 (47.47%) 42 (51.22%) 40 (51.95%)
Number of Non-Graded Stakes Races: 13 3 3
Number of Non-Graded Stakes Wins: 2 (15.38%) 1 (33.33%) 1 (33.33%)
Number of Non-Graded Stakes ITMs: 3 (23.08%) 1 (33.33%) 2 (66.67%)
Number of Graded Stakes Races: 8 1 0
Number of Graded Stakes Wins: 2 (25%) 0 (0%) 0 (N/A)
Number of Graded Stakes ITMs: 3 (37.50%) 1 (100%) 0 (N/A)
Average Finish: 3.87 4.26 4.26
Average Odds: 5.54 6.7 8.67
Average SP: 93.4 89.24 85.14
SP Standard Deviation: 8.28 8.80 8.18
Minimum SP: 67.02 61.05 64.31
Maximum SP: 109.69 105.14 103.20

 

So it looks like the “High” watch horses did fair the best (though the stakes percentages were lower than the others, largely due to a higher number of runners).  But there were plenty of misses.  There were “high” watch level horses that have looked more like clunkers.  And you’ll notice that the “Low” watch level horses include 3 stakes efforts, with 1 win and 1 second.  So it’s clear that my wild guess as to a watch level is pretty meaningless.

So let’s take a quick look at the Top 10 Future Stars Series graduates from the first 6 months of 2019 and see how they’re doing.  But again, keep in mind that this list benefits those who were earlier horses in the series, as they’ve had more post-FSS races to run.

#1 – Serve In Honor (Nyquist x Lincecums Hair [To Honor And Serve x Medaglia D’Oro]) – Owned by revnhusker

Future Stars Series Race: February 3, 2019 – NW2L @ 8f

Finish: 1st

SP (Watch Level): 98.18 (High)

Current Race Record: 6:3-1-0; $176,365

It wasn’t too much of a shock to me to find this 3yo colt at the top of the heap thus far.  Why is that?  Because he has been dominating since his Future Stars Series race back in February.  Following that NW2L victory, Serve In Honor tried to make a late run at the Derby trail.  He followed up his FSS race with a run in the Felipe Alou Stakes-G2 at 8.5f, where he ran a solid 4th. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to get him into a Derby Lock Prep race, so he instead regrouped and ran in the Chief Snow Handicap-G3 at 9f on April 21.  There, he caught a good dirt track and put together a dominant performance, earning a G3 victory with a 105.31 SP.

If you’ve thought that the name Serve In Honor sounded familiar, that’s probably because he followed up that G3 run by taking a shot at the Middle Jewel-G1 at 9.5f.  Picked by abcde in the BTB Middle Jewel preview as the 4th place finisher at a price, he unfortunately didn’t take to the slop and finished 8th.  But Serve In Honor is a very promising colt who already has a G3 victory under his belt.  Keep your eyes out for him in the future.

#2 – Forty Niner Cause (Giant’s Causeway x Forty Niner x Street Cry) – Owned by ddkstables22

Future Stars Series Race: January 13, 2019 – NW2L @ 9f

Finish: 1st

SP (Watch Level): 101.48 (High)

Current Race Record: 8:4-2-1; $239,160

The first clue that the Future Stars Series might actually work as a spotlight on future stars came right off the bat, with Forty Niner Cause, the winner of the very first Future Stars Series race.  Like Serve In Honor, Forty Niner Cause parlayed his FSS win into a run in the Felipe Alou Stakes-G2 at 8.5f.  In that race, he ran evenly throughout, finishing a solid 5th with a 99.99 SP.  He dropped back to allowance company next time out and walloped the field at 9f, earning a 106.55 SP.  That was enough to warrant another graded stakes try, and he didn’t disappoint.  Entered in The Grunt-G3 at 8.5f on May 12, Forty Niner Cause dueled for the lead early and grabbed it late, hanging on to win by ½ length and earning the fastest speed figure of any Future Stars Series horse to date, a 109.69 SP.  Watch out for this guy going forward; his next race will hopefully be in the Swamps Stakes-G2.

#3 – Kymarc Cap (Red Rocks x Alycap [Marscay x Alydar]) – Owned by kymar26

Future Stars Series Race: January 26, 2019 – NW2L @ 8f-T

Finish: 1st

SP (Watch Level): 96.86 (Medium)

Current Race Record: 8:3-2-2; $158,560

This 3yo gelding has really shown talent following his FSS win.  He found a perfect spot for his next race, as he caught a 4 horse field in the Pleasant Neck Turf Mile at 8f-T.  He didn’t go off as the favorite, but that’s the betting public’s fault, as Kymarc Cap was dominant in the race.  Sitting 3rd of 4 early, he came moving late and drew off to win by 2-3/4 lengths, earning a 94.13 SP.  That run was enough to warrant a jump to graded stakes level, and he came back in late April for The Premium Pairing-G3 at 8f-T.  In the field of 11, he sat midpack early and came charging late.  It wasn’t quite good enough to win, but it was enough to get up for 3rd, earning Kymarc Cap a Graded Placing and a 100.05 SP.  Kymarc Cap was indicating that he might like longer distances, so we hope to see him next time out in the Derby de Czech-G3 at 12f-T.

#4 – Subjecttothefates (Street Sense x Humaliwo [Malibu Moon x Danehill]) – Owned by Sarasota

Future Stars Series Race: January 13, 2019 – NW2L @ 9f

Finish: 2nd

SP (Watch Level): 99.32 (Low)

Current Race Record: 8:3-2-0; $162,700

“The one that got away”, if you will, Subjecttothefates is the horse that proves that just because I put labeled a horse as a “low” watch level doesn’t mean they don’t have talent.  After running 2nd in the FSS race (with a ridiculous 20 point SP jump after finally stretching out), Subjecttothefates came back to win a 9.5f NW3L allowance next time out.  From there, it was a jump to stakes company.  His first try was on March 15 in the 9.5f Tom E Nearctic Dirt Route, where he sat towards the back early and came flying late, finishing 2nd (to eventual Corkscrew Derby-G1 winner and Bluegrass Derby 6th place finisher The Glaive) and earning a 103.20 SP.  Following that strong effort, Subjecttothefates stretched out to 10f for the Virtuoso Dirt Route and easily cruised to his first stakes win with a 96.89 SP.  In his most recent race, he stretched out again to 10.5f and kept closing late, but came up short and finished 7th.  Subjecttothefates was originally considering a run in The New Yorker-G1, but at the moment it’s unknown where his next run is going to come.

#5 – Simply Golden (Tapit x Golden Element [Medaglia D’Oro x Forty Niner]) – Owned by 1styearflag

Future Stars Series Race: February 9, 2019 – NW3L @ 8f

Finish: 1st

SP (Watch Level): 99.21 (High)

Current Race Record: 10:5-0-1; $177,567

Simply Golden was already a stakes winner when he took on the Future Stars Series allowance race, though that one stakes race was a Vermont residency-restricted race.  But after showing that he could rate and still win a route race while on the good dirt in the FSS allowance, Simply Golden took the easy route and found a very easy tune up in a 4 horse allowance at 8.25f.  He easily won that effort, and the win earned him enough points to draw into the Corkscrew Stakes-G1 at 9f as Simply Golden made a last ditch effort to reach the Derby.  It wasn’t a bad effort either.  He couldn’t quite set the pace, sitting 2nd early, but after the pacesetter started to tire he very briefly grabbed the lead.  Unfortunately, he couldn’t quite hold off the latecomers, and had to settle for 6th, earning a career high 102.07 SP.  Most recently, he dropped back into 8f allowance company, showing local competitors that he’s a horse you don’t want to mess with, easily defeating the competitors at 3/2 odds and earning a 99.47 SP.  It’s not clear where his next race will come just yet, but competitors beware.

#6 – Seize The Knight (Arrogate x Vilholin [Arch x A.P. Indy]) – Owned by knightmare

Future Stars Series Race: March 9, 2019 – NW3L @ 9f

Finish: 1st

SP (Watch Level): 99.70 (High)

Current Race Record: 9:3-3-1; $174,735

After destroying the FSS competition in March, Seize The Knight took the obvious next step; she headed into stakes company.  A deep closer, Seize The Knight tried the 9f Spoken For Dirt Route stakes in April, impressively taking on the boys for the first time at a particularly high level. And while she didn’t win, she proved that she belonged against those competitors, finishing a fast-closing 4th and earning a 104.93 SP.  So with that run behind her, Seize The Knight came back on May 18 in the Leopard Stakes-G3 at 8f, this time against only fillies.  There, she fell dead last early but came with a monster charge late.  Another 0.5 furlongs and she probably could have won, but she came up just short, finishing 2nd with a 104.38 SP.  That was good enough for her first graded stakes placing, and she seems to only be getting better, so expect even greater achievements in the future as we wait to see where she’ll run next.

#7 – Mean No Harm (Into Mischief x Dark Interval [Unbridled’s Song x Seattle Slew]) – Owned by plano8

Future Stars Series Race: January 26, 2019 – NW2L @ 8f-T

Finish: 2nd

SP (Watch Level): 94.54 (High)

Current Race Record: 7:3-3-0; $125,910

After running 2nd in the Future Stars Series race in late January, Mean No Harm played things pretty slow.  He repeated at the NW2L level next time out, where he won at 9f-T by 1 length.  From there, he tried NW3L company, against at 9f-T, again earning a victory and picking up a career high 102.04 SP.  With those 2 wins under his belt, Mean No Harm’s most recent race saw him trying stakes company for the first time.  Finding a field of 6 in the 8.5f-T Obliging Zgreat Turf Route, Mean No Harm broke last early but made a bit of a move late.  He was no match for the top 2 in that race, but finished a solid 4th with a 98.85 SP.  We don’t know where his next race will come yet, but it’s only a matter of time before he picks up a stakes win.

#8 – Forrester’s Dancer (American Dance x Forrester Flyer [Deputy Minister x Gulch]) – Owned by splitenzex

Future Stars Series Race: January 13, 2019 – NW2L @ 9f

Finish: 3rd

SP (Watch Level): 99.18 (High)

Current Race Record: 7:2-2-1; $87,880

Forrester’s Dancer took a little time off after his 3rd place finish in the Future Stars Series, but he came back in mid-March in the 9.5f Tom E Nearctic Dirt Route.  There, he stalked the pace early and showed some potential mid-race, but got passed by closers late (including Subjecttothefates) and finished 4th with a 99.08 SP.  A drop into a NW1x race earned Forrester’s Dancer an easy win, and most recently he took on the ASR Preakness at 9.5f.  Not loving the slop, Forrester’s Dancer sat midpack all the way around the oval, picking up ground slightly at the end and finishing 5th. His next start is not yet decided.

#9 – FSS Arrogation (Arrogate x West Coast Humor [Distorted Humor x Seattle Slew]) – Owned by mightyforego8

Future Stars Series Race: January 13, 2019 – NW2L @ 9f

Finish: 6th

SP (Watch Level): 86.60 (Low)

Current Race Record: 12:4-3-1; $143,120

Sometimes it’s not about the ultimate prize, it’s just about consistency.  FSS Arrogation is the best example of that.  He cracks this top ten without even having attempted stakes races yet.  How did he do it?  With a strong, consistent allowance record.  After struggling in a 6th place finish in the Future Stars Series race, FSS Arrogation tried out the polytrack for the first time, where he was victorious in a field of 5.  From there, he headed back to the turf, where he’s turned things up a notch.  He opened with a ½ length loss in a 7f NW3L, but since then he’s rattled off 2 straight victories, both in open allowance company, at 6f-T and 6.5f-T.  His next race is expected to come in a NW5L turf allowance at 8f, where he’ll be taking on, among others, a former G1-winning turf sprinter.

#10 – Monk Brew (Redoute’s Choice x Dynaformer x Kingmambo) – Owned by deyoto10

Future Stars Series Race: January 26, 2019 – NW2L @ 8f-T

Finish: 4th

SP (Watch Level): 88.44 (High)

Current Race Record: 6:2-0-0; $56,114

The last of the Future Stars Series top 10, Monk Brew hasn’t been quite as successful as the others on this list.  He scored in his first race after the Future Stars Series, stretching out to 9.5f-T and taking the race by 1 length with a 99.13 SP.  From there, he stretched out to 10f-T and tried his hand at The Force Stakes-G3.  He battled for the pace early, but faded late, finishing 5th and earning a 95.16 SP.  His most recent race was a class drop down to a NW3L at 10f-T, but he faded to 7th after setting the pace.  Those distances might be a bit too long for Monk Brew, but don’t be surprised to find him a stakes winner at some point.

—-

That’s the top 10 in the Future Stars Series so far.  But there’s one last thing to bring up.  As we enter June, a couple of things are going to change.  The biggest change?  We’re going to shift to 2yos!  The 3yos are nice, but at this point a lot of the best 3yos are already at a higher level, and in looking for the strongest 3yo races every week, I am starting to see some duplicate runners.  So instead, we’re gonna switch it up!  The good news is that by moving to the 2yo crop, there’s a better chance that we’ll find a Breeders Bowl or Bluegrass Derby competitor.  I’m also hoping that, with 2yos having less of a racing history, I might actually start writing shorter articles!  No promises though…

The other change is on the back-end; I am going to change how the Watch Level is done.  From the reader’s standpoint, it’ll all look the same.  But going forward, rather than deciding on the watch level’s myself, I am going to let the computer do it.  It will be a simple process; it will be determined based on the number of points that the horse contributes to the race points (for an explanation of how the points system works, check out the Future Stars Series Intro).  Hopefully that will give a more accurate picture of which horses have a high likelihood of future success.

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  2 Responses to “Future Stars Series – Midyear Recap”

  1. Thanks for the nice comment Shag. I cant wait to see the 2yo races!

  2. Great recap of an excellent series to date. Good call on the switch to 2yo, I expect my enjoyment level to remain high