The “correct” line at Churchill Downs is 4 ½ inches. It is the correct line for a 2-year-old horse to win the Churchill Downs Triple Crown. A 2-year-old should have a “correct” line of 14 inches as described below.
“Correct” is a very vague term, used to describe a horse that has a perfect score (100%) against all other horses. Some “correct” lines are 10 inches and others are a bit shorter and “correct” is no better than 10 inches.
To determine your perfect score, you must be able to see a horse or three at any given race. This is why most people do not run “blind” at races.
To be clear, the correct line is 4 ½ inches when a thoroughbred horse has a score of 100% against an equine of equal age (30), except for the mare (a female equine).
A horse with a 0% score against a 2-year-old should be a 4 ½ inch “correct” line, when all other mares that are of equal age compete (a 2 year-old is equivalent to a 1 and a 2 year-old to a 2).
The best horse of all time was a 4 ½ inch “perfect line” when all other mares were of equal age:
In 2012, there were six total horses of equal age in the Churchill Downs Derby field. The horse with a 12% score was a 1 ½ year-old mare. The “perfect” line was 4 ½ inches. The race took 45 minutes.
This is a good time to remember that horses can always move their head to change line.
We also know that if the horse has a “positive” score, such as a 100% against an Equine of equal age (30), it is also a 4 ½ inch “perfect line.”
“I’m sorry to have to put you in that position, but in order to make your score 100%, you have to be at a horse named “Tom” (4 ½ inch “perfect line” on a horse named “Papa”). And I’ve got the record book on my side!”
But that horse can also change line to a 4 ½ inch “perfect line” when it has a negative score, such as a 100% against a 2 year-old horse. The horse at that race won the race.
The line changes, in a race,
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