Stevie Wonderboy Tops Experimental

Eclipse Award winner Stevie Wonderboy, winner of the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), received the high weight assignment of 126 pounds on the 2005 Experimental Free Handicap. The filly division is headed by Eclipse Award winner Folklore, who won the Alberto VO5 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) and was weighted at 123 pounds.

Stevie Wonderboy (Stephen Got Even--Heat Lightning, by Summer Squall) won three of his five starts and earned $1,028,940 for The Merv Griffin Ranch. In addition to his victory in the Juvenile, he was a five-length winner of the Del Mar Futurity (gr. II). Stevie Wonderboy was bred in Kentucky by John Gunther, Tony Holmes, and Dr. Walter Zent.

The 126 pounds assigned to Stevie Wonderboy is the standard top weight for Experimental colts and is equal to the assignment shared by last year's co-highweights, Declan's Moon and Wilko.

Stevie Wonderboy is weighted two pounds higher than Bruce Lunsford and Lansdon Robbins III's First Samurai (Giant's Causeway --Freddie Frisson, by Dixieland Band), winner of four of his five starts last year, including the Champagne (gr. I) and Hopeful (gr. I) Stakes. First Samurai finished third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and earned $682,575.

At 123 pounds is Darley Stable's Henny Hughes (Hennessy--Meadow Flyer, by Meadowlake), winner of the Saratoga Special (gr. II) and Tremont Stakes and runner-up in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Champagne and Hopeful Stakes. Henny Hughes won three of his six starts and $644,820.

Henny Hughes is weighted two pounds higher than Brother Derek (Benchmark--Miss Soft Sell, by Siyah Kalem), winner of the Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) and Norfolk Stakes (gr. II) for owner Cecil Peacock. Brother Derek won three of his five starts and banked $502,080.

In the filly division, the 123 pounds assigned to Folklore (Tiznow --Contrive, by Storm Cat) is the standard impost for top Experimental fillies and is one pound less than assigned last year's highweight, Sweet Catomine.

Bred by her owners, Robert and Beverly Lewis, Folklore won four of her seven starts and earned $927,500. In addition to her victory in the Juvenile Fillies, she won the Matron (gr. I) and Adirondack (gr. II) Stakes and was runner-up in the Spinaway (gr. II) and Astoria Stakes.

Folklore is weighted one pound higher than Adieu (El Corredor--Irene's Talkin, by At the Threshold). Owned by Michael Tabor, Susan Magnier, and Derrick Smith, Adieu won four of her six starts, including the Frizette (gr. I), Spinaway, and Astoria Stakes. She earned $554,470.

At 120 pounds is Brewer Racing Stable and Murray Smith's Wild Fit (Wild Wonder--Grannies Feather, by At Full Feather), winner of the Del Mar Debutante Stakes (gr. I) and runner-up in both the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. II). Wild Fit won two of her four starts last year and earned $432,600.

The Experimental Free Handicap, published annually by The Jockey Club since 1933, is compiled for a hypothetical race at 1 1/16 miles in the spring for 3-year-olds on dirt. This year's committee of racing secretaries comprised Ben Huffman of Keeneland and Fair Grounds, P.J. Campo of the New York Racing Association, and Thomas S. Robbins of Del Mar.

The committee weighted a total of 85 males and 84 fillies. Eligible for weighting were all 2-year-olds of 2005 that finished among the top four in graded or other unrestricted races with an added-value of at least $75,000 or higher run in the continental United States.
The rankings also come into play when assessing a horse's chances in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), and are used in conjunction with the dosage theory in determining which horses are "dual qualifiers."

Dual qualifiers are those horses ranked within 10 pounds of the male topweight that also have proper dosage figures to win the Churchill classic. Under the dosage system, each horse is assigned a Dosage Index (DI) and Center of Distribution (CD). Horses with a DI higher than 4.00 and a CD above 1.25 are considered genetically unlikely to win the Run for the Roses.

Stevie Wonderboy has a DI of 1.86 and a CD of 0.5. Figures for the following are First Samurai (2.64 DI and 0.75 CD), Henny Hughes (7.00 DI and 1.25 CD), and Brother Derek (2.33 DI and 0.73 CD).

Among sires of Experimental horses, Dixie Union, Favorite Trick, and Songandaprayer top the colts' list, with three representatives each, while Thunder Gulch heads the fillies' list with four representatives. Combining the two lists, Songandaprayer, Thunder Gulch, and Trippi are the leading sires, with five representatives each. Of the 169 juveniles weighted, 94 were bred in Kentucky, 45 in Florida, and 10 in California.