2013 Kentucky Derby Contenders: Pedigree Profiles

Take a good look at the colts on the 2013 Kentucky Derby Points List. Chances are, most of them won't be on the list in two months.

I reviewed the last ten winners of the Kentucky Derby to see how many had won or placed in stakes races as two year olds. Six of the ten (Funny Cide, Smarty Jones, Barbaro, Street Sense, Mine That Bird and Super Saver) had won a stakes race at two, but only three colts (Street Sense, Mine That Bird and Super Saver) had won a Graded Stakes. Two Derby victors, Giacomo and I'll Have Another, placed in a graded stakes race at age two.

The Breeders' Cup Juvenile has practically no bearing on three year old form. Only two Kentucky Derby winners in the last ten years even raced in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, the remarkable Champion Street Sense and Mine That Bird, who finished twelfth.

The trend of late-maturing two year olds improving their form as three year olds held strong in the last decade. The majority (7) of the Kentucky Derby winners won their maiden between September and November of the previous year. Three precocious youngsters won their maidens in July or August while two Kentucky Derby champs, Monarchos and Fusaichi Pegasus, had hit the board as two year olds, but didn't win their maidens until early January of the following year.

If this year's crop of Triple Crown aspirants follows the trend of the last decade, chances are good that next year's Kentucky Derby hero has made between two to three starts, has been victorious in one or two of those starts and has placed in a stakes race, possibly graded, between August and December. Chances are good that he (or she) didn't run in this year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Let's take a look at some of the runner-ups in this year's graded stakes races to determine which colts have the pedigree and potential to make an impact on the 2013 Kentucky Derby.

DELHOMME (Dixie Union - Art Show, by Out of Place)
DelhommeRace Record: 3-1-1-1 ($84,800)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Delhomme won his maiden in his second attempt, in October. He made a strong effort in the Remsen Stakes, leading through moderate fractions only to tire in the final stages to finish third, beaten only ¾ length by Overanalyze and Normandy Invasion.

Delhomme's pedigree is distance challenged. His sire, the late Dixie Union, is noted for getting middle-distance types. The stallion's sole winner at classic distances is last year's Belmont Stakes Hero Union Rags. Delhomme's damsire won a stakes race at 1 1/8 miles, but his daughter's progeny haven't been able to go that far, let alone classic distances. Art Show, Delhomme's stakes winning dam never won past 1 1/16 miles. Delhomme's running style and middle distance pedigree may hinder him should he make it into the Kentucky Derby starting gate.

DYNAMIC SKY(Sky Mesa - Murani, by Distorted Humor)
Dynamic SkyRace Record: 4-1-1-1 ($218,115)
Trainer: Mark Casse

Dynamic Sky jumped into stakes competition in his first start, finishing third in the Vandal Stakes at Woodbine. He followed that effort with a victory in the Simcoe Stakes over the same track in August. A month later, the Casse trainee was wide throughout the running of the Dixianna Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland and survived a claim of foul for second place after lugging in. He was beaten a length by front-running Joha. In his first attempt over the dirt in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Dynamic Sky was again pushed wide and had to steady. He finished up in sixth place.

Dynamic Sky owns miler's pedigree. The majority of his sire Sky Mesa's offspring are best up to 1 1/16 miles, although he has produced one listed winner (Masked Maiden) at 1 1/4 miles over Polytrack. Dynamic Sky's young distaff sire Distorted Humor so far appears to be imparting speed to his daughters' 16 stakes winning offspring. As a broodmare sire, Distorted Humor is represented by one stakes winner at 1 1/8 miles (Joes Blazing Aaron) and none going farther.

Although Dynamic Sky has predominant dirt attributes in his pedigree, his personal preference, at least for now, may be for Polytrack and turf. His dam Murani won the 1 1/2 mile Flaming Page Stakes over the Woodbine lawn. Other stakes winning offspring from this female line also prefered the turf.

FRAC DADDY (Scat Daddy - Skipper's Mate, by Skip Away)
Frac DaddyRace Record: 3-1-2-0 ($80,116)
Trainer: Ken McPeek

Frac Daddy drew off to a 9 3/4 length victory while traveling 1 1/16 miles in his second start. Three weeks later in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G-2), the McPeek trainee battled through the Churchill stretch with the more experienced Uncaptured. Frac Daddy was denied victory by a slim neck while out-gaming the third place finisher, Dewey Square by 1 ¼ lengths.

Frac Daddy's pedigree is borderline for classic distances. The young stallion Scat Daddy is ranked #2 on the second crop sire list in terms of earnings. His progeny have won stakes races up to 1 1/8 miles over dirt and synthetics and he has one stakes winner, Lady of Shamrock, who won the 1 ¼ miles American Oaks over turf. Frac Daddy's damsire, three-time Horse of the Year Skip Away is represented by only three stakes winners as a broodmare sire. The farthest winning distance was recorded by Caixa Electronica in the 1 1/8 Charles Town Classic.

Frac Daddy's dam never won beyond six furlongs, however his second dam Power Play (by Fast Play) won the 1 ¼ miles Delaware 'Cap, so there is hope that Frac Daddy could mature into a legitimate Classic contender.

FURY KAPCORI (Tiznow - Gin Running, by Go for Gin)
Fury KapcoriRace Record: 5-2-2-0 ($221,000)

Fury Kapcori won his maiden in August in his second start. He's competed in three stakes races, including the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity. The son of two-time Horse of the Year Tiznow beat lesser company in the one mile Charlie Palmer Futurity at Fresno. In the Real Quiet Stakes and CashCall Futurity, Fury Kapcori never relaxed and found himself battling every step of the way, only to be beaten a combined 1 ¾ lengths by Carving in the Real Quiet Stakes and Violence in the CashCall.
Fury Kapcori owns a stamina oriented pedigree perfect for classic distances. His sire Tiznow has produced a Belmont Stakes winner (D'Tara), Travers hero (Colonel John) and a Dubai World Cup Champion (Well Armed). Fury Kapcori's damsire is 1994 Kentucky Derby winner Go For Gin. The stallion is a direct male descendant of super sire Ribot. Go for Gin's daughters have bore 13 stakes winners. Only one, (Manhattan Sky), is a winner at about 1 ¼ miles. Fury Kapcori is a full brother to Tizfiz, a multiple stakes winner who has been victorious at 1 1/8 miles over the lawn. Fury Kapcori 's half brother Dixie Commander (by Dixie Union) won the 1 1/16 miles Turf Paradise Derby. Juvenile Champ and Horse of the Year Favorite Trick is also descended from this female family.

If Fury Kapcori can learn to relax behind horses during the first part of his races, he may develop into a top classic contender.

NORMANDY INVASION (Tapit - Boston Lady, by Boston Harbor)
Normandy InvasionRace Record: 3-1-1-0 ($92,240)
Trainer: Chad Brown

Normandy Invasion won his maiden in early November, in his second start. He was ambitiously placed in the Remsen Stakes (G-2), but closed with a furious rush to just miss catching the more eperienced Overanalyze at the wire. The bay colt jumped onto many early Derby watch lists with his close defeat in the
1 1/8 mile stakes race.

Despite his strong run down the stretch in the Remsen, Normandy Invasion's pedigree is suspect for 1 ¼ miles. His sire Tapit has given us three stakes winners at 1 ¼ miles, so stamina isn't an issue there. However, Normandy Invasion's damsire Boston Harbor is represented by only one restricted winner at 1 ¼ miles. She is by Belmont Stakes winner Point Given. Normandy Invasion's second damsire Raise A Native is a Brilliant Chef-de-race, indicating that he passes brilliance sprint speed to his descendants.

With his from-the-clouds running style Normandy Invasion may be able to overcome his pedigree shortcommings, but for some, the debate will rage about his late timing in the stretch. Is he a legitimate contender or just passing tired horses? The names Ice Box and Closing Argument come to mind.

VEGAS NO SHOW (Hard Spun - The Hess Express, by Lord Carson)
Race Record: 6-2-1-1- ($114,000)
Trainer: Kelly Breen

Vegas No Show won his maiden in his second start in late July. He's raced in four stakes, three of them graded, with an overall stakes record of 4-1-1-0. His best placing in a graded stakes was a troubled second in the Nashua Stakes, beaten three lengths by Violence.

Vegas No Show's pedigree is a bit light on stamina. His sire Hard Spun has produced one graded stakes winner (Questing) at 1 ¼ miles, and the leading second crop sire may eventually sire a classic winner. The distaff side of Vegas No Show's pedigree is strong on speed. As a broodmare sire, Lord Carson imparts speed to his daughter's offspring. They seldom win beyond 1 1/16 miles. The lone stakes winner at 1 1/8 miles happens to be Vegas No Show's half brother, Bullsbay (by Tiznow). Vegas No Show has class in his female family, in the form of three stakes winning half siblings and a stakes placed dam. He also has an interesting 3S x 3D inbreeding to Turkoman, who is the damsire of Hardspun and the damsire of The Hess Express, Vegas No Show's dam. Turkoman is best known as the damsier of Belmont Stakes hero Point Given, and Travers winner Colonel John.

Vegas No Show may do well in the preps leading up to the Kentucky Derby, but when the question is asked, he may find the race a furlong too far.

Below are four colts who have won or placed in a graded stakes this year and whose pedigrees have been examined at length:

BERN IDENTITY(Bernstein - Maddalena, by Good and Tough) won the Sanford Stakes (G-2) and was the runner-up as the favorite in the Delta Jackpot (G-3) after a troubled trip. Read his complete pedigree profile here.

GOLDENCENTS (Into Mischief - Golden Works, by Banker's Gold) runner up in the Champagne Stakes (G-1) and winner of the Delta Jackpot (G-3) Read his complete pedigree profile here.

HE'S HAD ENOUGH (Tapit - Amelia, by Dixieland Band) was unplaced in two graded stakes races over Polytrack before running down Shanghai Bobby in the stretch of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. He's Had Enough finished only a head shy of the probably Juvenile Champ in the Juvenile, then came back to finish a lackluster fifth in the CashCall Futurity. Read his complete pedigree profile here.

KNOW MORE(Lion Heart - Seattle Qui, by Seattle Slew) winner of the Best Pal (G-2) and runner up in the Frontrunner Stakes (G-1). Read his complete pedigree profile here.

Meet Laurie Ross

 HRN Pedigree Analyst 


 Published Author

 Pedigree Research/Consultation/Sales 

 ThoroFan Board Member

 Member – NTWAB

Through hands-on work at barns, I learned valuable lessons about Thoroughbred conformation, gait, and temperament and later worked withThoroughbred rescue/re-train organizations. I have committed my passion for horses to the intensive study of pedigree and breeding theory for the last 20 years. 

I support clients with all aspects of pedigree/breeding analysis, research, sales, catalogue review, and recommendations on claims or private sales. Clients include national leading owners, racing/breeding syndicates, the little guy with one mare, and everyone in between. 10-20% of all proceeds are donated to Thoroughbred rescue & retraining groups. Check out my website, Iron Maidens Thoroughbreds, and the IMTBreds blog.

I welcome your questions regarding pedigree, handicapping, and breeding. If you would like me to cover a specific topic, please contact me. 

Twitter: @IMTBreds
Facebook: IMTBreds
LinkedIn: Laurie Ross

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