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Kentucky Derby 2014 - Wicked Strong Pedigree Profile

Wicked Strong reserved a spot in the starting gate of the 2014 Kentucky Derby with his 3 ½ length victory in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial Stakes. Previously undefeated Samraat stuck his nose in front of a tiring Social Inclusion for second place. Wicked Strong’s  final time of  1:49.31 was comparable to that I Want Revenge’s victorious 1:49.49 in 2009 and Nobiz Like Showbiz in 2007 (1:49.46). Check out the race video:
WICKED STRONG (Hard Spun - Moyne Abbey, by Charismatic) was bred by William F. Lynn and originally named Moyne Spun. The bay colt was purchased by Centennial Farms for $375,000 at the 2012 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Sent to James Jerkens for training, Wicked Strong was second in his six furlong debut in September over a sloppy, sealed track. A month later, he scored a two-length victory against maidens traveling a mile. To close out his juvenile year, Wicked Strong raced mid-pack and raced erratically down the stretch.  He got up to finish third, 1/2-length behind the battling Honor Code and Cairo Prince in the Remsen Stakes. 
In the first start of his three year old season, Wicked Strong was a disappointing ninth in the Holy Bull Stakes as the second-favorite. A month later, he was beaten by over six lengths by eventual Florida Derby winner Constitution in an allowance race, although his performance wasn’t as poor as it appeared on paper. Wicked Strong raced at the back of the pack and made a three-wide move to finish fourth over a very speed favoring track. The son of Hard Spun has a 6-2-1-1 ($704,610) record. Wicked Strong has a total of 102 points for the 2014 Kentucky Derby and is in third place on the leaderboard behind California Chrome (150) and Vicar's in Trouble (120).
Wicked Strong sire Hard SpunHARD SPUN (Danzig - Turkish Tryst, by Turkoman) was a member of a spectacular crop of three year olds. He won his five furlong debut by over eight lengths. He followed up with runaway victories in the Port Penn Stakes and Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes.  The son of top sire Danzig continued his winner ways the following year in the LeComte Stakes, winning by six lengths. The game colt tasted defeat for the first time in his career in the Southwest Stakes, finishing a dull fourth. Hard Spun rectified that loss with a 3 ¼ victory in the Lanes End over the Polytrack. Made the fourth choice in the 2007 Kentucky Derby, Hard Spun lead for  most of the race until bobbling at the 1/8 pole. He was overtaken by Street Sense and finished 2 ¼ lengths behind the Champion and 5 ¾ lengths in front of eventual Horse of the Year Curlin.  Hard Spun continued on to place third in the Preakness, and won or placed in four other starts.  He raced for only two years, but compiled a 13-7-3-1 ($2,673,470) race record. Unfortunately, a perfectly sound Hard Spun was retired to stud at the end of his three year old season.
Hard Spun is a member of one Danzig’s last crops.  Danzig was one of the top sires of his generation, producing over 200 stakes winners.  Hard Spun’s dam won the April Run Stakes at 1 ½ miles and is a daughter of Champion Older Horse Turkoman.  Hard Spun’s third dam bore Preakness/Belmont Stakes hero Little Current.
Hard Spun quickly set about siring winners at Darley Stud in Kentucky. He placed second on the 2011 Freshmen Sire List, outperforming Champions Street Sense, English Channel and Invasor.   The plain brown bay was the leading second crop sire in terms of earnings and graded stakes runners and was one winner shy of leading third crop sire.
The mark of a good sire is that his offspring win over a variety of surfaces and at various distances.  A good stallion also “moves his mares up.”  That is, gets a better class of performer than what the mare or her family has previously produced.  Hard Spun’s offspring win from sprints to classic distances. His daughter Questing won the Alabama Stakes (G-1) and CCA Oaks (G-1). She was the first Grade 1 winner produced by her female family in two generations and Questing earned honors as last year’s Eclipse Champion Three Year Old Filly.  Hard Spun has sired one Champion, nine graded stakes winners and 22 stakes winners from four crops of racing age.   The stallion was shipped to Japan for the 2014 breeding season.  
Female Family:
Wicked Strong has plenty of blacktype in his background.
MOYNE ABBEY (Charismatic - Classic Approval, by With Approval) was slower to develop than her Grade 1 winning son. She won her maiden in March of her three year old season after five previous attempts.  A turf router, Moyne Abbey placed once more in her career.  She retired with a 12-1-0-1 ($20,519) race record.
Wicked Strong is the second of his dam’s four foals to make it to the race track. A half-sister by Street Boss is a turf router.  Moyne Abbey bore a two year old Mineshaft colt named Our Lukester and a yearling Sidney’s Candy colt named Cloontia. 
Moyne Abbey is a half-sister to the multiple Grade 3 turf miler Gulch Approval (by Gulch). She’s also a half-sister to Approval Rating (by Lemon Drop Kid), winner of the 1 1/8 mile Display Stakes over Woodbine’s Polytrack. Approval Rating’s full sister is the stakes winning turf miler Rusty Slipper and another half sibling, Highest Class (by Mineshaft) is multiple graded stakes placed.
Wicked Strong’s second dam Classic Approval (With Approval - Classic Value, by Copelan) placed in two route stakes over the lawn. His third dam Classic Value (Copelan - Queen Pat, by Crozier) won four stakes races, including the Churchill Downs Breeders’ Cup Handicap (G-3) and Las Flores Handicap (G-3).  Her daughters bore Pacific Classic hero Student Counsel, Indiana Derby winner Don’t Get Mad and Risen Star winner Gradepoint.
Wicked Strong Pedigree
Wickd Srtong damsire CharismaticCHARISMATIC (Summer Squall - Bali Babe, by Drone) is the Rodney Dangerfield of racing.  He received no respect as a runner in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, going to the post in both races at long odds. The game stallion was all set to win the Belmont Stakes when his leg snapped in two places.  He still finished third.   Charismatic earned Champion Three Year Old and Horse of the Year honors.
Charismatic was sent to stud in Japan after standing for three years in the U.S.  Currently, he is represented by 16 stakes horses, including the Spanish Champion Mil Azul, Sun King, winner of the Pennsylvania and Tampa Bay Derbies, plus graded stakes winners Gouldings Green and Mahzouz.  Charismatic has sired one graded stakes winner, the Japanese-bred Wonder Acute, and a runner-up (Sun King) at 1 ¼ miles.
Charismatic’s daughters have produced over 100 winners, but only five blacktype earners.  None of those have won or placed at ten furlongs, however three are winners at 1 1/8 miles. This small sampling shows the class of winners, rather than Charismatics ability as a broodmare sire to lend his stamina genes to his daughter’s offspring.  Given the abilities of Charismatic at classic distances and the fact that he is a sire of a stakes winner at 1 ¼ miles, it would be safe to say that his daughters can bear winners at longer distances.
Wicked Strong’s second damsire With Approval won the Canadian Triple Crown and was awarded Horse of the Year and Champion Three Year Old in that country.  He also set a world record for 1 3/16 miles over the lawn (2:10.20) in the 1990 Bowling Green Handicap.  Can his daughters get winners at 1 ¼ miles and beyond?  You bet.  With Approval is an old damsire, as he was foaled in 1986, but his daughter’s offspring are still competitive on the track.  They include Revved Up, winner of the 13 furlong John’s Call Stakes, the veteran Silver Tree, hero of the 1 ¼ mile Virginia Derby (G-2), and Hot Six, a Group 1 winner in Brazil.
Wicked Strong ConformationWicked Strong carries the conformation of a stayer. He’s a nicely balanced horse with a nicely angled shoulder, short back and powerful hindquarters. His neck ties in well with his withers and appears well-proportioned (this is important for a horse to maintain balance and a rhythmic stride when running).  Wicked Strong has a smooth gait with excellent leg extension. He does have a tendency to run unevenly down the stretch and did so in both the Remsen and Wood Memorial.   
Wicked Strong has a wonderful pedigree for classic distances and with his mid-pack to stalking style of running, he should relish the extra distance.  One thing I noticed in the Wood Memorial is that Wicked Strong doesn’t have a quick acceleration. He’s more of a grinder type who will mow them down in the stretch. Samraat and Social Inclusion were slowing down, rather than Wicked Strong speeding up, as evidenced by the slow final quarter of 25:23 and 12:92 final eighth.   However, being a grinder isn’t a bad thing.  In a Kentucky Derby shaping up with plenty of front running, pace pressing speed, a colt who can sustain a long run can wind up wearing the roses.  Just ask Giacomo and Mine That Bird.


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Older Comments about Kentucky Derby 2014 - Wicked Strong Pedigree Profile...

Wicked Strong with breed Chrismatic of trainer Wayne Lukas who had won the Derby and 2nd with Chrismatic's stable mate "cat Theif" How many trainers have won 1st & 2nd in the kentucky Derby. (Baffert must be in envy). Later on Breeders Cup 3 Mill Classic, I bet a $5 Bet on Cat Theif & BudRoyal which got me over $3,000! Just a $2 exacta was over $1,000!! I like the breeding and both Chrismatic & Cat Theif had the fastest both almost record speed Beyers! Dont Discount Wicked Strong!
wiked Strong has a lot of distance in his pedigree. Looks like the 2014 derby will have a lot of front end runners, and a few with distance porblems. a horse that is comfortable coming off the pace, should have a distinct advantage. laying off the pace should have
wiked Strong has a lot of distance in his pedigree. Looks like the 2014 derby will have a lot of front end runners, and a few with distance porblems. a horse that is comfortable coming off the pace, should have a distinct advantage. laying off the pace should have
wiked Strong has a lot of distance in his pedigree. Looks like the 2014 derby will have a lot of front end runners, and a few with distance porblems. a horse that is comfortable coming off the pace, should have a distinct advantage. laying off the pace should have
wiked Strong has a lot of distance in his pedigree. Looks like the 2014 derby will have a lot of front end runners, and a few with distance porblems. a horse that is comfortable coming off the pace, should have a distinct advantage. laying off the pace should have
wiked Strong has a lot of distance in his pedigree. Looks like the 2014 derby will have a lot of front end runners, and a few with distance porblems. a horse that is comfortable coming off the pace, should have a distinct advantage. laying off the pace should have
Will he be able 2 get past 19 other horses in the derby? He has great Kentucky Derby history in his pedigree. Charismatic and Hard Spun (2nd) I think he could be a underdog but underdogs have won b4.
The question has been asked Wicked Strong has been beaten by Cairo Prince and Constitution but no one seems to remember California Chrome being beaten by Tamarando and Kobe's Back!
He looked completely spent after the Wood.
I think I read Brian Zipse comparing Wicked Strong to Pleasant Colony, but as far as throwing stamina horses, Hard Spun is no His Majesty. I see Wicked Strong as more of a Normandy Invasion type, running late but probably not good enough to win. Maybe a 3rd – 5th place finish in the Derby, which isn’t bad at all.
Im having a hard time deciding my derby pick. Wicked Strong is defintily on my list. The only thing thats making me question him is his bad start in the year. But his preformance in the Wood is making me see him a little differently
He sure displayed the kind of run that I love to see in a Derby Prospect.
Boy I am glad they changed his name from Moyne Spun to Wicked Strong.
Good analysis Laurie. I have Wicked Strong ranked #2 on my derby list. #1 is California Chrome, i've had him ranked #1 on my list since his romp in the San Felipe. I think you are wrong on your pedigree analysis for California Chrome. The Trainer Art Sherman believes the 1 1/4 will be no problem for him. Hopefully Chrome will burst from the pack at the top of the stretch, it wll take alot to reel him in.

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Meet Laurie Ross


I've been around horses for most of my life, working in racing stables as a hot walker and exercise rider in my teenage years, and later as a volunteer with rescued and retired racehorses. I became interested in pedigree when the sons and daughters of my favorite horses started their racing careers.   


For more than a decade, I've passionately studied pedigree, how it applies to handicapping and breeding theories. In 2010, I joined Horse Racing Nation as their Pedigree Analyst, focusing on juvenile stakes winners, Triple Crown contenders and first crop sires from a handicapping perspective.   


In 2011, I accepted the role of South Florida Coordinator and Advisory Board Member for the national non-profit Thoroughbred Racing Fan Association (ThoroFan). Working closely with Gulfstream Park management and other race fans, we created a ThoroFan Chapter at Gulfstream Race Track. Our main project is assisting Thoroughbred rescue and re-training groups.


I continue to maintain my website Iron Maidens Thoroughbreds and blog of the same name. As a pedigree consultant, I specialize in assisting small to mid-size breeding/training operations with broodmare breeding reports, sales catalog analysis and recommendations on claims and private sales. 10 - 20% of all proceeds are donated to Thoroughbred rescue and retraining groups.
I welcome your questions regarding pedigree, handicapping and breeding. If you would like me to cover a specific topic please contact me at

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