Kentucky Derby 2013 will feature a group of 20 horses that seemingly
have great parity in terms of talent and ability. We haven’t seen a horse
run an extraordinary speed figure and every horse in the race can have a few
holes poked in his form. This means horse players will have to rely on other
criteria for determining the winner of the Run for the Roses.
One of the most highly valued criteria for picking one of the Kentucky Derby contenders
is pedigree, or the suitability of the bloodlines for a horse
to go the distance of one and one quarter miles. The final furlong of the
Kentucky Derby will separate the boys from the men. Countless horses have
looked strong in the stretch of the Derby, only to wither as the wire
Who can go the distance?
(Curlin x Palace Rumor by Royal Anthem
than any other horse in the race, this Todd Pletcher pupil has the bloodlines
to perform well at the 10 furlongs distance. He is from the first crop of Curlin,
who won the Preakness Stakes, Breeders’ Cup Classic and Dubai World Cup. The latter two races are
at the Derby Distance. The average winning distance of Curlin’s progeny is 7.1
furlongs. That will almost certainly rise past 8 furlongs as his sons and
daughters grow up and are afforded more opportunities to go long. The broodmare
sire, Royal Anthem, won prestigious turf route races such as the Juddmonte
International, Canadian International and Breeders’ Cup Turf. Talent may be a question
for Palace Malice, the Blue Grass Stakes runner-up, but ability to go the
distance is not.
(Kitten’s Joy x Iteration by Wild Again
Surface, more than ability to go the distance, is a question for this Ken
Ramsey owned horse. This homebred, by Ramsey’s dual Grade 1 winning stallion
Kitten’s Joy, will be finishing. Kitten’s Joy won at or beyond the Derby
distance, albeit on turf, three times. Broodmare sire Wild Again won the inaugural
Breeders’ Cup Classic at 10 furlongs. He has been a strong route influence at
stud, producing top horses like Wild Rush, Offlee Wild, Milwaukee Brew, and
most notably, Belmont Stakes winner Sarava. If Charming Kitten can handle the
surface, he will surprise many with his closing kick on Derby Day at Churchill
(War Pass x Java by Rainbow Quest
): This is
another horse that will nail the distance, but could have questions about his
ability to handle the track. Sire War Pass was a phenomenal dirt horse as he
won the Champagne Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile before tailing off as a three-year-old.
War Pass is by miler Cherokee Run who is by Travers winner and strong stamina
influence Blushing Groom. The bottom half of the pedigree is loaded with
stamina. Damsire Rainbow Quest won the world’s most prestigious turf race, the Prix
de l'Arc de Triomphe. Rainbow Quest is responsible for such horses as Santa
Anita Handicap winner Urgent Request. Look for Java’s War to finish with a
Who will struggle to get the distance?
(Midnight Lute x Stage Stop by Valid Expectations
More than any other horse in the race, this one has questions to answer about
his ability to go ten furlongs. He is by two-time Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner
Midnight Lute. We haven’t seen enough of the young stallion’s progeny to make an
informed decision on their ability to stay, but the information that we do have
says that they will be optimal at a mile or less. Broodmare sire, Valid
Expectations, did his best running in sprint races and has produced horses that
do their best work in, you guessed it, sprint races. The talent is there, and
he is improving, but can he travel through that final furlong? We will find out
on May 4.
(Into Mischief x Golden Works by Banker’s Gold
Sprinters are all over the pedigree of this Santa Anita Derby winner. Sire Into
Mischief was a Hollywood Futurity winner and finished second in the Malibu
Stakes. Broodmare sire Banker’s Gold won the Grade 1 Carter Handicap and is
best known for producing the sprinting stakes winner My List. Bold Ruckus is
present in the third generation of Goldencents pedigree; that horse was a world
record holder for five furlongs. Clearly, this is a very fast horse, but he
will have to prove he can walk through the fire of that last furlong in the Run
for the Roses.
Will Take Charge
(Unbridled’s Song x Take Charge Lady by
): This one appears to have what it takes in the blood, but not so fast;
let’s take a closer look. Sire Unbridled’s Song produces all types, including
those capable of the classic distance. However, he has also produced horses
that can’t stand up after a mile. Broodmare sire Dehere was a champion juvenile
and has a similar dynamic style in terms of the horses he has thrown, but the
average winning distance of his progeny is only 6.8 furlongs. Throw in the fact
that he hasn’t raced since March 16 and has never raced past 8 ½ furlongs and
he becomes a tough horse to back.
~Written by Ryan Patterson
Review the distance pedigrees of all 20 Kentucky Derby Starters in the 2013 Kentucky Derby Pedigree Report.