Derby Strike System: Meaning, History and Categories Explained Derby Strike System: Meaning, History and Categories Explained

Derby Strike System: Meaning, History and Categories Explained


The Derby Strike System has eight categories that describe the horse’s chances of failing or losing the game. They can gain a hit or miss in each category. If it fails a category, the horse gets a strike. It was introduced by Jon White, a renowned Derby player. Pretty useful in understanding when you are into sports betting or horse race betting.

Let’s understand what White’s categories meant 

Graded stakes: It means the horse participated in the graded stakes race before 31st March.

Winning a graded stakes: The horse displayed grit and strength to win the game. 

The eighth pole category: This qualifies as a significant category. Horses who win this round show high chances of stamina and style to run 1.025 miles. But famous horses like Grindstone, Giacomo, etc. have been getting disqualified from this round.

The gameness category: It describes the horse’s form and tenacity. Many horses do take this round despite their failure to qualify this category.

The distance foundation category: Another round of testing the horse’s stamina. The horse has to run 1.125 miles before qualifying for Derby.

The no adding or removing blinkers category: It means the horses did not integrate or delete the blinkers in the previous pre-Derby match. 

The raced as a 2-year-old category: The horse started out its career in Derby as a juvenile

The not a gelding category: Fewer strikes = greater chances for victory. If the horses made fewer strikes, there are higher chances of winning.

It’s better to make fewer strikes. Either you get one strike or no strikes and then you are deemed to be a player for the Derby competition. Many Derby winners since 1973, obtained zero strikes or at least one strike.

Even if the horses get two strikes, there are some chances of making it through the Derby. Given below are a list of horses who won the Derby matches with two strikes on the record.

  1. Cannonade (1974), Categories 3 and 4
  2. Sea Hero (1993), Categories 3 and 5
  3. Funny Cide (2003), Categories 2 and 8
  4. Giacomo (2005), Categories 2 and 5
  5. Country House (2019), Categories 2 and 3

For example, Country House, a Derby horse, won zero strikes but ultimately was let go of the competition due to interference. Acts like this can get them thrown out of the match.

Here is what Mr White quoted in one of theXpressbet interviews

“Once you go past two strikes, you’re really playing with fire. The vast majority of winners have zero or one strike. Two isn’t impossible, but the odds are against you. Once you get past two, you’re in Mine That Bird territory.

Derby enthusiasts are aware of the 2009 Derby match. Mine That Bird won the match at just 50/1. He became the Derby winner with just two strikes. Though he did not compete for categories like 1,4,5 and 8.

List of some of this year’s horses. Go check them out

Essential Quality, another horse, won the Derby match with zero strikes. Another horse by the name of Hot Rod Charlie, only has one strike on his record. He only missed Category 4.

Another horse called Rock Your World won the Derby with two strikes. He did not qualify for the 1 and 7 categories. Then there is Mine That Bird’s counterparts: Dynamic One and King Fury. Each of these two has three strikes to their names. Dynamic One missed Category 1,2 and 4. King Fury missed categories 4,5 and 6. 


There are some strikes that have more power than others.

For example, Rock Your World. He had two strikes because he failed to participate in a graded stakes race. And was not allowed to race as a juvenile. When you compare this with the one-strike winner Super Stock, you will soon realise the difference in perspectives.

Some people believe that Super Stock is a better horse than Rock Your World. The latter is the owner of the triple-digit Beyer. Whereas the former’s best Beyer stands at 92. But remember, Beyers are not the only thing in the world.

Here is another thing about strikes and Category 3 that Mr White said in an interview of Xpressbeat

That eighth pole (category) is something that not a lot of people pay attention to,” White said about Category 3. “I come out of the Kentucky Derby every year and that’s one of the most interesting aspects to me. Where was the winner at the eighth pole? Year after year, it’s first or second. Even horses you wouldn’t think were first or second because they came from way back. … Beyond the strikes, I’ve learned to focus on No. 3.”

It’s better to focus on category 3 in the Derby Strike System or while you are betting online. Read about Derby’s history. And follow what Jon White said. Follow his strategies to win the next bet on the future Derby matches.

Here is a list of the 10 best horses in the world of Derby Mr White quoted in the interview in the XBTV blog. They are ranked according to their strikes.

  1. Nyquist (0 strikes)
  2. Exaggerator (1 strike)
  3. Mor Spirit (0 strikes)
  4. Mohaymen (1 strike)
  5. Brody’s Cause (0 strikes)
  6. Creator (1 strike)
  7. Gun Runner (1 strike)
  8. Outwork (1 strike)
  9. Suddenbreakingnews (2 strikes)
  10. Lani (1 strike)

Hopefully, this blog will guide you into understanding the Derby Strike System. It’s always better to go through previous matches and listen to other strategies adopted by other famous Derby players and what their take is on the Derby Strike System. So, when you bet on the next Derby match, you are familiar with what you are betting upon. And win the money you deserve. 

Here’s to happy betting.

Derby Strike System: Meaning, History and Categories Explained
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Post Name : Derby Strike System: Meaning, History and Categories Explained

Posted On : 14/05/2021

Author : Cameron Riddell