Kentucky Derby Daily – Day 47
Pedigree Spotlight written by Scott Dick
The Factor keeps making me look silly. Every time I
think this horse can't hold his speed he proves me wrong time and again. The
Factor has now won three races in a row against only one career defeat, that
being in his first race over Hollywood Park's synthetic surface.
The Factor is coming off a DOMINATING performance in
the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park. He showed his customary speed and cruised to
the lead. He was able to settle and set reasonable fractions and by the time Caleb's
Posse and Archarcharch made their run at him, It was way too late. The Factor drew
off like a horse who can get 10 furlongs and won by an impressive 6 ¼ lengths.
The time of 1:42.19 for the 1 mile and 1/16th's was also eye popping. It was
less than a fifth of a second slower than Havre De Grace in the Azeri Stakes -
the race that immediately preceded the Rebel. When you consider that Havre De
Grace could very well be the best older female in the country right now, it
puts the Factor's superb time into perspective.
The Factor's sire is War Front - a very talented
sprinter who won the grade II Alfred G. Vanderbilt stakes at Saratoga. He also
boasts a very impressive 2nd place finish to the super quick Henny Hughes in
the 2006 Grade I Vosburgh Stakes.
War Front is quickly turning into a freak in the
breeding shed. In his first crop he's given us two of the top contenders for the
Derby, in The Factor and Soldat. War Front reminds me of Distorted Humor, in
that they both were better going around one turn, but the progeny of both of
these sires have been able to stretch out much further.War Front is also the sire of Grant Mills who has won 3
of 4 races, including the Grindstone Stakes at the Fair Grounds. He is also the
sire of Derby hopeful Data Link. Data Link has won his last 3 races, all of
them on turf.
The dam of War Front is Starry Dreamer. She was a hard
trying filly who won 6 races in 31 starts, hitting the board 21 times in the
process. She won the Regret Stakes on the turf at Churchill Downs at the
distance of 1 1/16 miles. As good as she was on the track, Starry Dreamer has
been even better as broodmare. She has produced 4 winners, including the colt
and turf sensation Ecclesiastic and the Grade II winning filly Teammate - who
won over $618,000 in her career.
The dam of The Factor is Greyciousness. She sports a
lifetime record of 2 wins from 14 starts. She was able to win at the 6 furlong
distance and the distance of 1 mile and 1/16th. Greyciousness has produced 5
Greyciousness is sired by Miswaki. Miswaki won 6 races
in 13 starts, most notably having captured the grade I Prix De La Salamandre in
France. Miswaki has been a very good sire. He produced the grade I winning colt
Urban Sea- who won the prestigious Arc De Triomphe. He captured over $1,700,000
in his career. He also sired millionaires in Sir Shackleton and the champion
and grade I Breeders' Cup Classic winner Black Tie Affair.
The dam of Greciousness is Skatingonthinice.
Skatingonthinice won 8 races in 46 starts. She won the Miss Kansas City
Handicap and the Minneapolis Handicap. She has produced 4 winners, including
Chief Seattle. Chief Seattle, in only one year on the race track, finished 2nd in
the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Chief Seattle is the sire of the California
millionaire and grade II winner Bold Chieftain.
The Factor reminds me a little bit of Foolish Pleasure.
The Factor, like Foolish Pleasure, has been told he can't stretch out. Yet
every time Baffert has asked him to run farther, The Factor has delivered- in
eye popping fashion. He could definitely find himself in the Churchill Downs
winner's circle for the Kentucky Derby just like Foolish Pleasure.
That said, I tend to go for a horse that has shown the
ability to rate. Although every time I say he won't be...well...a factor, he
shows that he might, ultimately, prove to be THE Factor.
Jaycito started his career in the barn of Mike
Mitchell. As a two year old, he showed signs of having serious talent. He broke
his maiden in the grade I Norfolk Stakes at Del Mar, defeating Derby hopefuls
JP's Gusto and Riveting Reason. Off of that impressive victory, Jaycito's
connections sent him to Louisville to take a shot at Uncle Mo in the Breeder's
Cup Juvenile. The son of Victory Gallop showed his immaturity, dropping far
back and nearly bolting in the first turn. It looked as if Mike Smith would
have to ease him out of the race, but he continued on and actually beat three
Jaycito's ownership decided to make a change, moving
him to the barn of Bob Baffert. He made his 3 year old debut in the grade II
San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita. That day, he settled far off the blazing pace
set by Albergatti and Run Flat Out. He made a nice move on the turn to finish
2nd , but he was far behind the impressive winner Premier Pegasus. The
connections of Jaycito are definitely expecting a much improved performance
with this 2nd start of the year.
The sire of Jaycito is Victory Gallop - a real fighter
on the race track. He captured several graded stakes wins, including the grade
II Arkansas Derby, grade III Rebel Stakes, and the grade I Whitney Stakes. He's
best known, however, for ending Real Quiet's Triple Crown run by defeating him
in the Belmont Stakes.
Victory Gallop was named Champion older male in 1999.
He hasn't quite equaled his racetrack success in the breeding shed, but he has
been productive. He is in the sire of the Japanese millionaires Eishin Dover
and Eishin Lombard. He is also the sire of millionaire and multiple grade II
winner Anak Nakal. Not to mention the filly Victory U.S.A. who won the 2004
grade II Beaumont Stakes. He is also the sire of Rendezvous who won the 2009
grade II Del Mar Derby.
The dam of Jaycito is Night Edition. Night Edition was
a consistant mare. She only won 3 races in 32 starts but she hit the board in
15 of those 32 races. She was able to win an allowance race at the distance of
1 mile and 1/16th.
Besides Jaycito, the only other horse Night Edition has
produced is the filly Meli. In her only start Meli dominated a maiden field.
Closing from far back, she relished the turf and cruised to win by 2 ¼ lengths.
Unfortunately Meli was pulled up after the race and hasn't been able to make it
back to the track.
Night Edition is sired by Ascot Knight - the son of
Danzig (and we all know how good those Danzig's are!). The dam of Night Edition
is Lydia's Star- who never raced. As a broodmare she has produced 3 winners,
including the gelding Gst Blues - a sprinter whose career highlight was a
victory in the Bull Page Stakes at Woodbine. Gst Blues won over $131,000 in his
Jaycito has the running style to relish the 10 furlong
distance. But I question if he has the talent and composure to be a major competitor
in the Kentucky Derby. He will definitely improve off his first start as a 3
year old, but he has a lot of catching up to do to run down the likes of
Premier Pegasus, let alone Uncle Mo.
I won't count him out just yet, I think he can improve.
He's certainly worthy of a place in the starting gate. And who knows what can
happen in Kentucky?
The Nation is speaking and I am listening.
Cal Nation, arguably, had one of the most impressive
maiden victories of 2011. Pressing a brisk first quarter mile of 22.1, and a
half mile of 45 flat, Cal Nation strode to the lead under the hand ride of John
Velazquez. The Todd Pletcher trainee scored the easiest of victories, cruising
to a 7 3/4 length win. He finished the 7 Furlongs in an eye popping time of 1:22.
Cal Nation stretched out to the mile distance in an allowance race on Sunday.
He bobbled a bit at the start, and under the hands of the overly confident John
Velazquez he took the lead passing Dance City. Johnny V waited until deep
stretch to get into Cal Nation, but by that time it was too late. Dance City
came back at him and put his nose down on the wire beating the Nation. While
the race was something of a setback, Cal Nation did show talent, and in my
opinion was the best horse in the race.
Cal Nation's sire is Distorted Humor. It seems like
every week in this space, we spotlight a Distorted Humor colt. Still, in case
you've missed our previous summaries, here's a quick refresher on Distorted
Distorted Humor is a multiple grade II winner. He was
best going the mile distance. He was a very talented and fast runner. And as
I've just mentioned, he really has been remarkable in the breeding shed.
Distorted Humor is the sire of grade I winners Drosselmeyer (last year's Belmont,)
Any Given Saturday, Flower Alley, Commentator, the “Gutsy Gelding” Funny Cide,
and Awesome Humor. Not to mention grade II winners Regal Ransom and Hysterical
The dam of Distorted humor is Danzig's Beauty. Danzig's
Beauty was a lightly raced filly, winning 3 times in 8 starts. Her career
highlight was capturing the Gardenia Stakes, she also had a credible 2nd place
finish in the grade I Acorn Stakes. Danzig's Beauty has been a very productive
broodmare. She has produced 6 winners, including the gelding Power of Humor.
Power of Humor won 6 times in 35 starts. He was best going around two turns.
The Dam of Cal Nation is She's a Winner. The unraced mare
She's a Winner has been an excellent broodmare. She has produced 5 winners,
including the grade I winner and Kentucky Derby runner up Bluegrass Cat. She's
a Winner is sired by the great A.P. Indy.
The dam of She's a Winner is Get Lucky - a very good
filly, who won 5 times in 11 starts. The highlight of her career was a win in
the Affectionately Handicap (G3).
Get lucky has been a sensational broodmare, having
produced 8 winners, including the grade I winner Girolamo. She also produced
the grade II winners in Daydreaming and Accelerator. She is also the dam of
Supercharger who, of course, is the dam of last year's Kentucky Derby winner
Cal Nation is very light on experience and has
questions to answer. We really don't know how good he is or can be. He's only
beaten a maiden field and his first attempt at a mile was unsuccessful. But his
blood lines are phenomenal, with distance on both sides of his pedigree. His
dam side has produced many distance winners and even a Kentucky Derby winner.
Cal Nation will have to run in stakes company in his next race if he wants to
find his way in the starting gate for the Derby. But if he can improve, this
will be another Todd Pletcher horse that we'll have to look out for.
[For more the pedigree of 2011 Kentucky Derby Contenders, please visit the HRN Pedigree Analysis page]