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Midshipman is the top weight but only by 2 pounds over runner-up Vineyard Haven.

2008 Experimental Free Handicap

Date: 01/29/2009

Midshipman, winner of the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile, received the high weight assignment of 126 pounds on the 2008 Experimental Free Handicap released today by The Jockey Club. The 126 pounds assigned to Midshipman is 1 pound less than the assignment on last year's high weight, War Pass, and is the standard impost for top Experimental colts. The filly division is headed by Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Stardom Bound at 124 pounds.

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 committee weighted a total of 104 males and 87 fillies. Eligible for weighting were all 2-year-olds of 2008 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.

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 - Midshipman *
124 - Vineyard Haven *
123 - Square Eddie *
122 - Street Hero *
121 - Old Fashioned
120 - Donativum *
120 - Pioneerof the Nile *
119 - Westphalia *
118 - Coronet of a Baron *
118 - I Want Revenge *
118 - Terrain *
117 - Big Drama *
117 - Charitable Man *
116 - Beethoven
116 - Believe in Hope *
116 - Chocolate Candy *
116 - Del Conte *
116 - Run Away and Hide
116 - Southern Exchange *
116 - West Side Bernie *
115 - Azul Leon
115 - Giant Oak

full list of colts and geldings

  124 - Stardom Bound *
120 - Dream Empress *
117 - Laragh *
117 - Sky Diva *
117 - Springside
116 - Doremifasollatido *
116 - Mani Bhavan *
116 - Maram *
116 - Rachel Alexandra *
115 - Heart Shaped
115 - Wynning Ride
114 - Dave's Revenge

full list of fillies

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