Taking a Look at the Kentucky Derby 2016 Pedigrees

May 08, 2016 02:24pm


In a 20-horse race like the 2016 Kentucky Derby, many handicapping strategies are utilized in hopes of selecting the one horse that will emerge the winner. Past performances, track conditions, pedigrees, training – you name it and someone has used that method to handicap. While I believe that, given enough talent and heart, a horse is capable of outrunning its pedigree – both in terms of the quality and stamina within its lineage – pedigrees always seem to be a talking point as these three-year-olds make their first attempt at a mile and one-quarter. Listed below are brief analyses of each Derby entrant’s pedigree, primarily from a distance-focused standpoint.


1. TROJAN NATION: Street Cry – Storm Song, by Summer Squall


Street Cry already has a Derby winner in 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, but that runner was more similar to Derby favorite Nyquist than Trojan Nation. Like Nyquist, Street Sense was the previous year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I, 8.5F) winner and Champion Two-Year-Old Male; meanwhile, Trojan Nation, does not have a single win to his credit in six career starts. Street Cry’s runners, however, have been top-class distance runners – among them Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I, 10F) winner Zenyatta; Melbourne Cup (AUS-I, 16F), Cox Plate (AUS-I, 10F) and Queensland Oaks (AUS-GI, 11F) winner Winx; and Caulfield Stakes (AUS-I, 12F) winner Whobegotyou.


Trojan Nation may be the most unaccomplished horse in the field, but his dam – Storm Song – is certainly the opposite. Winner of the 1996 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I, 8.5F) and that year’s Champion Two-Year-Old Filly, Storm Song would go on to finish second in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I, 9F). She is also the dam of Balladry, who finished second in the San Fernando Stakes (gr. II, 8.5F) and third in both the Cougar II Handicap (gr. III, 12F) and 11-furlong Prove It Stakes. Storm Song is a daughter of Summer Squall – a Derby runner-up and Preakness Stakes (gr. I, 9.5F) winner who sired Derby and Preakness winner Charismatic.


2. SUDDENBREAKINGNEWS: Mineshaft – Uchitel, by Afleet Alex


Suddenbreakingnews is a son of Mineshaft, a Horse of the Year and Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I, 10F) winner. Mineshaft, a son of Belmont Stakes (gr. I, 12F) and Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I, 10F) champion and legendary sire A.P. Indy, has succeeded in siring grade/group one winners that have won at a mile and one-quarter or beyond – including Centurion Maximus, Effinex and Palech – as well as talented marathoner A. U. Miner.


Uchitel, the dam of Suddenbreakingnews, is a daughter of Afleet Alex – who finished third in the 2005 Kentucky Derby before going on to destroy the fields in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I, 9.5F) and Belmont Stakes (gr. I, 10F). Although a large portion of Afleet Alex’s offspring have been middle distance runners, he is the sire of Travers Stakes (gr. I, 10F) winner Afleet Express, Breeders’ Cup Marathon (gr. II, 14F) winner Afleet Again, and Aniline Stakes (RUS-II, 10F) winner Gladiator Maximus.


3. CREATOR: Tapit – Morena, by Privately Held


Creator is one of three sons of Tapit, the nation’s top sire, in the field. While Tapit was once believed to be incapable of siring routers, the grandson of stamina influence A.P. Indy has sired Belmont Stakes (gr. I, 12F) winner Tonalist, Japan Dirt Derby (JPN-I, 12F) winner Testa Matta, and Alabama Stakes (gr. I, 10F) winner Careless Jewel.


Creator’s dam, Morena, was a Peruvian champion at ages two and three, winning at a mile and one-quarter. She is sired by Privately Held, a half-brother to multiple grade one-winning turf router Denon. Privately Held is a son of Private Account, the broodmare sire of the likes of the grade/group one-winning routers Menhoubah, Panty Raid and Smuggler.


4. MO TOM: Uncle Mo – Caroni, by Rubiano


One of three sons of Uncle Mo in the Derby, Mo Tom receives most of his stamina from the bottom side of his pedigree. Uncle Mo’s only start at ten furlongs resulted in a tenth place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I, 10f), and his sire – Indian Charlie – was undefeated until he finished third in the Kentucky Derby.


Mo Tom is certainly not the only talented runner his dam, Caroni, has produced. She is also the dam of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I, 8.5F) runner-up and stakes-winning sprinter Beautician and stakes-winning turf miler Bella Castani. Mo Tom’s broodmare sire, Rubiano, was a champion sprinter and succeeded in siring horses with the same skill, but Mo Tom’s granddam is a daughter of stamina influence Caro – the sire of 1988 Derby winner Winning Colors.


5.
GUN RUNNER: Candy Ride – Quiet Giant, by Giant’s Causeway


Gun Runner’s sire, Candy Ride, won the Pacific Classic Stakes (gr. I, 10F) in track record-setting fashion, defeating Medaglia d’Oro. At stud, the undefeated son of Ride the Rails has sired a multitude of graded or group stakes winners that have won at ten furlongs or beyond – including grade/group one winners Candivo, Misremembered and Shared Belief.

Gun Runner’s dam, Quiet Giant, was a talented runner herself. In twelve starts, she visited the winner’s circle seven times – five of those occasions in a stakes race, including the Molly Pitcher (gr. II, 8.5F). Although she never won beyond a mile and one-sixteenth, Quiet Giant is a half-sister to 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam – winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I, 10F). In addition, she is a daughter of Giant’s Causeway – a top sire and European champion who won at the distance of ten furlongs on three occasions and has proven to be a tremendous sire of routers, among them Heatseeker, Imagining, Irish Mission, Red Giant, Shamardal and Swift Temper.


6. MY MAN SAM: Trappe Shot – Lauren Byrd, by Arch


Although My Man Sam is not a son of Tapit like three of his adversaries, he is a grandson of him. His sire, brilliant sprinter Trappe Shot, is a son of the nation’s leading sire. Tapit has sired the likes of distance runners Careless Jewel, Testa Matta and Tonalist. Trappe Shot is also out of the fantastic broodmare Shopping, a daughter of Private Account – the broodmare sire of routers Menhoubah, Panty Raid and Smuggler.


My Man Sam’s stakes-placed dam, Lauren Byrd, is a daughter of Arch. The sire of Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I, 10F) winner Blame, E.P. Taylor Stakes (CAN-I, 10F) champion Arravale, and Breeders’ Cup Marathon (gr. II, 14F) winner London Bridge, Arch certainly has had no problem passing on stamina to his offspring. The same can be said for his reputation as a broodmare sire; after all, he is the dam sire of 2011 Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another.


7. OSCAR NOMINATED: Kitten’s Joy – Devine Actress, by Theatrical


Son of 2004 Champion Turf Male Kitten’s Joy, who won at ten furlongs or beyond on three occasions, Oscar Nominated has never won on conventional dirt. Kitten’s Joy certainly has not had a problem with siring distance runners – as made evident by his grade one-winning turf runners Admiral Kitten, Big Blue Kitten, Real Solution and Stephanie’s Kitten. However, Kitten’s Joy has also sired dirt routers like Russian Derby (RUS-I, 12F) winner Yubiley and Fayette Stakes (gr. II, 9F) winner Pick of the Litter.


Oscar Nominated’s dam, Devine Actress, won the mile and one-sixteenth Santa Lucia Handicap on a synthetic track. She herself is a daughter of a Champion Turf Male in Theatrical, the broodmare sire of grade one-winning routers like English Channel, Rail Link and Wigmore Hall. Devine Actress is out of iconic sire Mr. Prospector, who has appeared in the pedigree of 14 of the last 20 Derby winners, including his son Fusaichi Pegasus.


8. LANI: Tapit – Heavenly Romance, by Sunday Silence


The Japanese-based Lani will be among three horses in this field seeking to become Tapit’s first Derby winner. Tapit is a grandson of stamina influence A.P. Indy – winner of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I, 12F) and Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I, 10F) – and to this point has sired Belmont winner Tonalist, Japan Dirt Derby (JPN-I, 12F) winner Testa Matta, and Alabama Stakes (gr. I, 10F) winner Careless Jewel.


Lani’s dam, Heavenly Romance, was a group one winner on the turf in Japan going ten furlongs and has also produced Japanese stakes winners at that distance or beyond in her offspring Amour Briller and Awardee. Heavenly Romance is a daughter of Derby and Preakness winner Sunday Silence. Lani’s direct female line is incredibly impressive, as he is a direct descendant of ten-furlong Alabama Stakes winner and Broodmare of the Year Natashka.


9. DESTIN: Giant’s Causeway – Dream of Summer, by Siberian Summer


Destin is a full brother to Creative Cause, the co-fourth choice in the 2012 Kentucky Derby who finished fifth in the Run for the Roses before running third in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I, 9.5F). His sire, Giant’s Causeway, has topped the general sires list three times and is the sire of routers like Heatseeker, Imagining, Irish Mission, Red Giant, Shamardal and Swift Temper.


Destin’s dam, Dream of Summer, was a successful runner in her own right, winning the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I, 8.5F) and numerous other graded stakes. Dream of Summer is a daughter of Siberian Summer, who won the Charles H. Strub Stakes (gr. I, 10F).


10. WHITMORE: Pleasantly Perfect – Melody’s Spirit, by Scat Daddy


Whitmore’s sire, Pleasantly Perfect, won two of the world’s biggest mile and one-quarter races, the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I, 10F) and Dubai World Cup (UAE-I, 10F). He has passed on his stamina to the likes of his grade/group one-winning offspring Persey Bars, Rafael Sky Child and Shared Account.


The dam of Whitmore, Melody’s Spirit, is a daughter of Florida Derby (gr. I, 9F) winner Scat Daddy – who finished 18th in the 2007 Kentucky Derby. However, Scat Daddy is the sire of grade one winners at ten furlongs – among them Il Campione, Lady of Shamrock and Princess Daddy.


11. EXAGGERATOR: Curlin – Dawn Raid, Vindication


Exaggerator’s two-time Horse of the Year sire Curlin won at ten furlongs on five occasions and has passed on his stamina to many of his offspring, as made evident by Belmont Stakes (gr. I, 12F) winner Palace Malice, Travers Stakes (gr. I) winner Keen Ice, and Super Oaks (RUS-I, 12F) winner Slava Cassiopeya.


As opposed to Exaggerator’s stamina-filled top side, the bottom side of his pedigree is full of speed. His stakes-placed dam, Dawn Raid, set a track record at Woodbine for 5 ½ furlongs and is a half-sister to Canadian champion Embur’s Song, who set a track record at Keeneland for a mile and one-sixteenth. Her sire, Vindication, was the Champion Two-Year-Old Male of 2002 and never raced again after winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile when it was contested at nine furlongs at Arlington Park. However, Vindication is a son of 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew.


12. TOM’S READY: More Than Ready – Goodbye Stranger, by Broad Brush


The sire of Tom’s Ready, More Than Ready, was fourth in the 2000 Kentucky Derby after fading in the final stages. A son of Southern Halo, More Than Ready excelled as a sprinter, with all of his victories – four of which were at the graded stakes level – being contested at seven furlongs or less. The stallion has primarily succeeded with sprinters like himself, but has produced a good number of distance horses, including group one winners at a mile and one-half or longer in Benicio and Dreamaway.


Tom’s Ready’s dam is a daughter of Broad Brush, who himself was successful at the classic distance and passed his stamina on to his offspring including Concern, Farda Amiga and French Beret. Broad Brush is also the broodmare sire of the likes of Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I, 10F) winner Fort Larned and two-time Pacific Classic (gr. I, 10F) winner Richard’s Kid.


13. NYQUIST: Uncle Mo – Seeking Gabrielle, by Forestry


Like Nyquist, Uncle Mo was the previous year’s Champion Two-Year-Old Male going into the Kentucky Derby, but was scratched as the morning-line second choice due to a gastrointestinal track issue. Uncle Mo eventually got his chance at a mile and one-quarter in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I, 10F) but finished tenth of twelve. Uncle Mo’s sire, Indian Charlie, was a Kentucky Derby favorite himself in 1998 but finished third and never raced again. Although he has primarily succeeded in siring sprinters and middle distance runners, Indian Charlie did sire Fleet Indian, who took the Delaware Handicap (gr. II, 10F).


Nyquist’s dam, Seeking Gabrielle, won only once – taking a six-furlong race. Her sire, Forestry, never won beyond a mile and one-sixteenth and has excelled at siring sprinters and milers. His most successful son, Shackleford, set the pace in the 2011 Kentucky Derby before faltering to finish fourth. He would, however, go on to win the Preakness Stakes (gr. I, 9.5F) over Derby winner Animal Kingdom. Although Nyquist’s granddam, Seeking Regina, won the Adirondack Stakes (gr. II, 6.5F), her sire is Seeking the Gold – the sire of the likes of Belmont Stakes (gr. I, 12F) winner Jazil, Dubai World Cup (UAE-I, 10F) winner Dubai Millennium, and Alabama Stakes (gr. I, 10F) champion Heavenly Prize.


14. MOHAYMEN: Tapit – Justwhistledixie, by Dixie Union


A Derby winner would be icing on the cake made of Tapit’s incredible accomplishments as a sire, and Mohaymen – once a $2,200,000 yearling – will be among three in here who will seek to give his sire that honor. Among Tapit’s offspring who have won at a mile and one-quarter and beyond are Belmont Stakes (gr. I, 12F) winner Tonalist, Japan Dirt Derby (JPN-I, 12F) winner Testa Matta, and Alabama Stakes (gr. I, 10F) winner Careless Jewel.


Mohaymen’s dam, Justwhistledixie, was a talented runner in her own right, winning several graded stakes. She is also the dam of 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I, 8.5F) winner New Year’s Day. Although Justwhistledixie never won beyond a mile and one eighth, she is a daughter of Dixie Union – the sire of Belmont Stakes (gr. I, 12F) winner Union Rags and son of Dixieland Band, the broodmare sire of Derby winners Monarchos and Street Sense.


15. OUTWORK: Uncle Mo – Nonna Mia, by Empire Maker


Outwork’s sire, Uncle Mo, was the second choice on the morning line for the 2011 Kentucky Derby before being scratched. In his only ten-furlong try, Uncle Mo finished tenth of twelve Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I). Outwork’s grandsire, Indian Charlie, never raced beyond his third-place effort in the Kentucky Derby and though most of his offspring have succeeded as sprinters and middle distance runners, Indian Charlie did sire Fleet Indian, winner of the Delaware Handicap (gr. II, 10F).


Although on the maternal side of his pedigree rather than the paternal side, Outwork is a grandson of 2003 Kentucky Derby favorite and runner-up Empire Maker – the grandsire of 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. Outwork’s graded stakes-placed dam, Nonna Mia, is out of the same mare – Holy Bubbette – as the graded stakes-winning Cairo Prince – who won the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. II, 8.5F) before finishing fourth in the Florida Derby (gr. I, 9F) and missing the Kentucky Derby. Holy Bubbette herself is a daughter of Holy Bull, sire of 2005 Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo.


16. SHAGAF: Bernardini – Muhaawara, by Unbridled’s Song


Shagaf is a son of Bernardini – winner of the Preakness Stakes (gr. I, 9.5F), Travers Stakes (gr. I, 10F) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I, 10F). Son of the terrific sire and stamina influence A.P. Indy, Bernardini has sired a number of successful routers such as Travers winners Alpha and Stay Thirsty.


Shagaf’s dam, Muhaawara, was a stakes winner at a mile and seventy yards but, being out of the grade one-winning Habibti, she is a half-sister to Breeders’ Cup Marathon (gr. III, 16F) winner Eldaafer. Muhaawara’s sire, Unbridled’s Song, sired horses that won at ten furlongs or farther – among them Grey Song, Octave, Political Force and Will Take Charge.


17. MOR SPIRIT: Eskenedereya – Im a Dixie Girl, by Dixie Union


Mor Spirit’s sire, Eskendereya, approached the 2010 Kentucky Derby as the heavy favorite off of dominant wins in the Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I, 9F) and Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II, 9F) but was withdrawn due to injury. Eskendereya’s sire, Giant’s Causeway, was a European champion who won at the mile and one-quarter distance and has sired numerous horses who have done the same.


Mor Spirit’s stakes-winning dam, Im a Dixie Girl, is a daughter of Dixie Union. Although a middle distance horse himself, Dixie Union is the sire of Belmont Stakes (gr. I, 12F) winner Union Rags and son of Dixieland Band, the broodmare sire of Derby winners Monarchos and Street Sense.


18. MAJESTO: Tiznow – Unacloud, by Unaccounted For


Son of two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I, 10F) winner Tiznow, Majesto shares his sire with the likes of grade/group one-winning routers Colonel John, Da’ Tara and Well Armed.


Majesto’s dam, Unacloud, is also the dam of Arkansas Derby (gr. I, 9F) winner Overanalyze, who finished 11th in the 2013 Kentucky Derby, as well as Matron Stakes (gr. I, 7F) winner Meadow Breeze. Unacloud is a daughter of grade one winner Unaccounted For, a son of outstanding sire Private Account – the broodmare sire of the likes of the grade/group one-winning routers Menhoubah, Panty Raid and Smuggler.


19. BRODY’S CAUSE:
Giant’s Causeway – Sweet Breanna, by Sahm


Sired by perennial leading sire Giant’s Causeway, Brody’s Cause should receive plenty of stamina from the top side of his pedigree. Giant’s Causeway himself won three times at the distance of ten furlongs on three occasions and has proven to be a tremendous sire of routers, among them Heatseeker, Imagining, Irish Mission, Red Giant, Shamardal and Swift Temper.


Sweet Breanna, the dam of Brody’s Cause, was the 2006 Woodbine Oaks runner-up and is a daughter of Sahm, the lone son of Salsabil – who in 1990 became the first filly in 90 years to win the Irish Derby (IRE-I, 12F). Brody’s Cause’s granddam, the graded stakes-winning Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I, 8.5F) runner-up Sweet Roberta, is a daughter of stamina influence Roberto. Winner of three group ones at ten furlongs or longer, Roberto has appeared within the first four generations of Derby winners Barbaro, Big Brown, I’ll Have Another and Monarchos.


20. DANZING CANDY: Twirling Candy – Talkin and Singing, by Songandaprayer


Danzing Candy’s sire, Twirling Candy, was a brilliant grade one winner who won up to nine furlongs. His best effort at ten furlongs resulted in a runner-up effort in the Pacific Classic (gr. I, 10F), in which he was beaten by just a head. Twirling Candy is a son of Candy Ride, who did win the Pacific Classic, and has sired many grade/group one winners that have won at ten furlongs or beyond – such as Candivo, Misremembered and Shared Belief.


Danzing Candy’s dam, Talkin and Singing, is a daughter of 2001 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. I, 8.5F) winner Songandaprayer – a son of Unbridled’s Song. Talkin and Singing is a half-sister to the brilliant turf horse Better Talk Now, who won numerous turf route races – including the Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. I, 12F).

 

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About Mary Cage

 

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Mary Cage has been around horses all her life, having owned, shown, and judged them for as long as she can remember. She began writing her own horse racing blog, Past the Grandstand, in August 2011 and has since been published in America's Horse, American Racehorse and the Appaloosa Journal, as well as with the websites of The Blood-Horse and The Equine Chronicle. She has also had photos published with Paulick Report and Thoroughbred Daily News. In addition, she works as one of the social media coordinators for the Texas Thoroughbred Association and is an intern at WinStar Farm with a client relations and marketing focus, as well as some bloodstock duties.


In her personal horse experience, Mary has been around horses all her life and has won several Appaloosa National Champion and Reserve World Champion titles in the show ring. She has also worked as a hotwalker and groom.


Mary has always aspired to have a career with horses and since her love for horse racing began, she has dreamed of pursuing a career in the Thoroughbred racing industry, possibly as a racing manager or client relations specialist. She is currently attending the University of North Texas, where she is a journalism major with a concentration in advertising and a minor in marketing. With this blog, she hopes to show readers horse racing through the eyes of a young fan and transport you to some of racing's biggest events through her photos and words.

University of Louisville College of Business Equine Program

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