Victor shocked a field of Kentucky Derby contenders by 4 ½ lengths to win the
Blue Grass Stakes (G-1). Previously, he
was on the board in only two of seven starts, once over the lawn and once in
the slop, both attempts made as a juvenile.
Stately Victor was sixth, beaten 7 ½ lengths in his only start over the
Keeneland surface as a two year old. So, is this newcomer to the Derby trail a pretender
or legitimate contender?
Stately Victor (Ghostzapper –
Collect the Cash, by Dynaformer) is from the first crop of the 2004 dual
Eclipse Award winner Ghostzapper. Typical
of his sire Awesome
Again’s progeny, Ghostzapper didn’t fully develop until late in his three
year old season when he captured the Vosburgh Stakes (G-1). His sheer dominance
at age four earned him Horse of the Year honors and he continued his winning
ways in his initial start at age five, only to suffer a career ending
injury. This remarkable Horse of the Year was the top weanling and first crop
yearling sire in successive years and many people anticipated Ghostzapper to be
the leading first crop sire by the end of 2009. However Ghostzapper’s offspring show promise,
but are taking their time to mature. Stately Victor is Ghostzapper’s first
offspring to win a graded stakes race. Ghostzapper’s
progeny may emulate that of his sire, Awesome Again, who is known primarily as
a dirt and good “mud sire,” but his progeny are also above average over the
lawn and synthetic surfaces.
Victor’s distaff family is composed of turf runners. His damsire, the internationally sought-after
Dynaformer has been on the leading sire and broodmare sire lists for years. Turf
comes immediately to mine when thinking of Dynaformer, but he has produced a
handful of dirt winners. His only stakes
winners at the classic distance over dirt are Stephen
Foster (G-1) winner Perfect Drift and Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro.
the broodmare side, Dynaformer’s daughters have produced fifty-six stakes
winners. Of those stakes winners, four
have won at ten furlongs or beyond on turf, but only one has won at that
distance over dirt.
Ghostzapper, Stately Victor’s dam Collect the Cash was also slow to mature,
entering the starting gate once at two. Once
she got going, Collect the Cash was in the money in all three of her dirt
attempts going a mile or longer. She really found her calling on the turf,
where she won four starts and placed second in ten tries, including a win in
the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) at 1 1/8 miles. Carrying on the
family turf tradition, Stately Victor’s half sister Money My Honey (by Red
Bullet) placed in the Wonder Where Stakes going 1 ¼ miles over the lawn.
Victor’s second dam Worldly Possession won or placed in ten of 13 tries over
turf, including a win in the Las Cignegas Handicap (G-3). His fourth dam Clover Lane incidentally is the third dam
of Bluegrass Stakes contender Aikenite, and Stately Victor’s fifth dam is the
blue hen Grass Shack. Grass Shack’s
daughters and their offspring produced Grade 1 sprinting sire D’Wildcat, 1999
Kentucky Derby winner Charismatic, Bluegrass Stakes winner Millennium Wind,
Two-time champion and sire Deputy Minister, and the game old warrior Cloudy’s Knight.
to students of pedigree, Stately Victor’s third sire Deputy Minister is the
grandson of Shakney, a half sister to Stately Victor’s third dam Clover Lane.
paper, Stately Victor should have no difficulty with the Kentucky Derby
Distance and could even be a prospect for the Belmont Stakes. However, even if this colt is starting to put
it all together on the race track, I’m not convinced that he will show
additional improvement in the Derby,
and in fact, will likely regress off of his huge win. Stately Victor may best be suited to turf or
Polytrack route races in the long run. Since
Keeneland switched to Polytrack, the Blue Grass Stakes
winners have finished eleventh (Dominican) last, (Monba) and tenth (General
here for Line
of David’s Pedgree Analysis.
be sure to visit Horse Racing Nation’s 2010
Kentucky Derby contenders list.
To find more great Kentucky Derby and pedigree coverage, visit Iron Maidens Thoroughbreds.