Bloodlines: Uncle Chuck Baffert’s latest Kentucky Derby sensation

Bloodlines: Uncle Chuck Baffert’s latest Kentucky Derby sensation
Photo: Benoit Photo

Uncle Chuck is the latest sensation to watch from the Bob Baffert stable after an easy four-length victory in the Los Alamitos Derby (G3). Dean Martini proved to be an astute claim for Tom Amoss when the gelding captured the Ohio Derby (G3). Finally, we take a closer look at maiden winner Flying Finish, who has a family connection to American Pharoah.


(Uncle Mo - Forest Music, by Unbridled’s Song)

His effortless four-length victory in the Los Alamitos Derby (G3) over stablemate Thousand Words earned Uncle Chuck 20 Kentucky Derby qualifying points. It vaulted him into the ranks of Charlatan, Nadal, Authentic, and Cezanne as 2020 Baffert buzz horses.  Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings bred Uncle Chuck, and Three Amigos partnership grabbed him out of the 2018 Keeneland auction for $250,000.

Pedigree:  Uncle Chuck has the conformation and pedigree of a middle distance/classic runner. He has a long, ground-eating stride, but paddles with his left fore, which could hinder him at longer distances against top company. The dark-bay colt displayed the ability to sit just off the pace in the Los Alamitos Derby but is still learning. He didn’t keep a straight path in the stretch and moved away from the whip. Uncle Chuck hasn’t been seriously challenged in either start.

Uncle Mo quickly proved himself a prominent sire, getting 23 graded/listed winners in his first crop, including 2-year-old champ and Kentucky Derby hero Nyquist. His progeny win at all distances over all surfaces.

The pretty gray Forest Music (Unbridled’s Song - Defer West, by Gone West) did her best work on the track as a sprinter. Her greatest achievements were victories in the Honorable Miss Handicap (G2), and Miss Preakness (G3), plus three listed stakes. She also placed in the Test and Prioress Stakes, both Grade 1’s. The mare had a full racing career, earning $370,566 in 18 starts. 

Forest Music’s best work has undoubtedly been as a broodmare. All five of her foals to race are winners. Three, Kentuckian, Electric Forest, and Uncle Chuck are graded stakes winners and one, McLean’s Music, has sired eleven graded/listed winners, including Grade 1 winners Cloud Computing and Complexity, in five racing crops. Forest Music has an unnamed yearling colt by Curlin, who is a full brother to Doubledogdare (G3) winner Electric Forest.

Unbridled’s Song is the damsire of over 100 graded/listed winners in the U.S. Four have been successful at ten furlongs. Two, last year’s Santa Anita Handicap (G1) winner Gift Box, and Hold Me Back, winner of Canada’s Dominion Day Handicap (G3) won their classic-distance races on dirt.


(Cairo Prince - Soundwave, by Friends Lake)

After finishing second or third in six of seven maiden special weight starts, Dean Martini dropped to the $50,000 maiden claiming level in May and found success. Tom Amoss claimed Dean Martini and sent the bay gelding out to a second-place finish against winners in his next start. Amoss took a chance wheeling the son of Cairo Prince back in the Ohio Derby (G3) and was rewarded with a three-quarter length victory and 20 Kentucky Derby qualifying points. Brereton Jones & Bret Jones of Airdrie Stud bred Dean Martini. Glencrest Farm picked up the weanling for $72,000 at the Keeneland November mixed sale and sold him for $220,000 the following year to Rockingham Ranch.  Amoss is considering the Ellis Park Derby on August 8 for Dean Martini.

Pedigree: Dean Martini has a miler/middle distance pedigree.

Holy Bull (G2) winner Cairo Prince has sired eight graded/listed winners. Dean Martini and Sands Point (G2) winner New and Improved are successful at nine furlongs. None of Cairo Prince’s offspring have won beyond that distance.  

Soundwave (Friends Lake - Echo Echo Echo, by Eastern Echo) won the Monmouth Park NATC Futurity as a 2-year-old and placed in the listed Classy Mirage and Miss Royal Stakes, all at six furlongs. She earned $177,270 in ten starts.

The bay mare bore four starters, three winners. Dean Martini is her first blacktype earner. She produced Sauvecito, a 2-year-old full sister to Dean Martini, who had her initial breeze at Ashwood Training Center on June 28. An unnamed yearling filly by Creative Cause and a weanling colt, also by Creative Cause are future runners to look forward to.

A blacktype earner out of Soundwave shouldn’t be surprising. Her half-sister, graded winner, and good producer Letgomyecho bore the Gotham (G3) winner J Boys Echo, plus blacktype earners Dragic, Unbridled Outlaw, and Echo Town, who finished second in this year’s Woody Stephens (G2).  Others descended from the second generation are Grade 3 winning sprinter Western Smoke and One Lucky Dane, runner-up in the 2015 Santa Anita Derby (G1).

Friends Lake is the damsire of three graded/listed winners, two are sprinter/milers.


(Pioneerof the Nile - Misty Rosette, by Stormin Fever)

Flying Finish graduated in his second start, a Maiden Special Weight, over Belmont’s main track. He bobbled at the start, then took to the rail in the early stages. Irad Ortiz, Jr. guided the colt to the four-path around the turn, and the pair mowed down the pacesetter in the final furlong. The Anthony Margotta, Jr. trainee won going away under a hand ride by 1 1/4-lengths, getting 6 1/2-furlongs in 1:18.84 over a good (sealed) track.

Pedigree: Flying Finish has a miler/middle distance pedigree. He’s a three-quarter brother to American Pharoah both by Pioneerof the Nile out of half-sisters by sons of Storm Cat. Three-quarter breeding is a horse (Flying Finish) by the same sire, and the dam is a half-sister to the dam of the other horse (American Pharoah). (three of the four grandparents are the same). (see chart below).

Misty Rosette (Stormin Fever - Exclusive Rosette, by Ecliptical) won three sprint stakes, including the Old Hat (G3), and was third in two other graded stakes, the Forward Gal (G2) and Test (G1). She earned $184,021 in eight starts.

So far, none of Misty Rosette’s seven starters have earned blacktype status, but six are winners. Her most accomplished runner is the hardy Mr. Beer Goggles, who earned $286,668 in 51 starts. Misty Rosette has a two-year-old 3/4-brother to Flying Finish, New York Empire, who hasn’t recorded a work, and an unnamed weanling colt by Classic Empire.

As mentioned, Misty Rosette is a half-sister to Littleprincessemma, dam of American Pharoah, his full brother stakes-placed St. Patrick’s Day, and their half-sister, Grade 1 winner Chasing Yesterday.  Misty Rosette’s full brother Storm Wolf is a Grade 2-winning sprinter.  

Stormin Fever, a son of Storm Cat, is the damsire of eight graded/listed winners. Most are sprinter/milers, but two have won at nine furlongs over dirt and turf.  

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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