New Year's Day
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New Year's Day
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Rick Samuels

New Year's Day Tops 2013 Experimental 'Cap

Now-retired Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner heads list at 126 pounds.

New Year's Day , the winner of last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), received the high weight of 126 pounds on The Jockey Club's 2013 Experimental Free Handicap released Jan. 29.

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) winner Ria Antonia and 2013 champion 2-year-old female She's a Tiger shared the high weight for fillies with 123.

All Experimental Free Handicap weight assignments, as well as past performances for those horses, are available within the Resources section of

The Jockey Club Experimental Free Handicap, published annually 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.

A total of 107 males and 92 fillies were assigned weights. Eligible for weighting were all 2-year-olds of 2012 that finished among the top four in graded or listed stakes races run in the continental United States. Listed stakes in 2013 were those with a value of $75,000 or more available to all starters, and no restrictions other than age or sex.

New Year's Day, a son of Street CryJustwhistledixie (by Dixie Union) who was retired at the end of 2013, won two out of his three starts during the year for earnings of $1,154,000. He was bred in Kentucky by Clearsky Farms and is owned by Gary and Mary West. His 126 was also given to last year's high-weight male, Shanghai Bobby .

Ria Antonia (by Rockport HarborBeer Baroness, by Mr. Greeley) won two of her five starts in 2013, for earnings of $1,156,140. She was bred in Kentucky by Lynn B. Schiff and is owned Christopher T. Dunn and Loooch Racing Stable.

She's a Tiger (by Tale of the Cat Shandra Smiles, by Cahill Road) won three of her six starts, including the Del Mar Debutante Stakes (gr. I), and placed in her three other starts for total earnings of $725,650. She was bred in Kentucky by Dr. Rodney Orr and is owned by Mark Dedomenico, Allen Aldrich, Lisa Hernandez, Stuart Downey, and Philip Lebherz.

The 2013 champion 3-year-old male Will Take Charge  earned a weight of 103 on the 2012 experimental free handicap and 2013 champion 3-year-old filly Beholder was the high weight filly with 123 in 2012.

The sires with the greatest number of weighted males for 2013 were Harlan's Holiday and War Front , with four each. Smart Strike and Street Sense  sired the most fillies, also with four each.

Overall, the sire of the most horses on the 2013 Experimental Free Handicap was Harlan's Holiday with six. Colonel John and Kitten's Joy  were second with five each.

Kentucky was the top foaling state for 2013 weighted horses with 127. Florida had the second highest number with 19.

The weighting committee of racing secretaries consisted of P.J. Campo of The Stronach Group, Ben Huffman of Churchill Downs and Keeneland, and Thomas S. Robbins of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

Following are trends and statistics gathered from the Experimental Free Handicap over the past 10 years:

The largest difference from high weight to second was in 2007 with War Pass at 127 pounds, seven more than Dixie Chatter , Into Mischief , and Pyro at 120.

Of the five Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winners assigned a weight, the average weight assignment was 119.2 pounds.

Of the 15 horses high weighted or co-high weighted, three went on to win a Triple Crown race (Union Rags , Lookin At Lucky , Street Sense ), three others won graded stakes (Hansen, Uncle Mo , Declan's Moon), and three others were grade I-placed (Midshipman , War Pass, Wilko).

High weights and horses giving five pounds or less to the high weights for the male division account for 49 horses.

Of those 49 males, 27 won graded stakes as 3-year-olds. Only 10 of the 49 did not at least place in a graded race at 3.

That group of 49 has produced seven winners of Triple Crown racesUnion Rags, Lookin At Lucky, Super Saver , Street Sense, Afleet Alex , Giacomo, and Birdstone .

Fifteen horses that went on to win a Triple Crown race the following year were not rated on the Experimental Free Handicap.

Two fillies have won Triple Crown races in the course of the past 10 years: Rags to Riches, the 2007 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner, was not rated among females in 2006; and Rachel Alexandra, the 2009 Preakness (gr. I) winner, who was rated at 116 pounds in 2008.