Pedigree and The Kentucky Derby Distance

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Every year it’s considered to be the “X Factor.”  One Mile and one-quarter…which horses can get it, and which ones can’t?  The Kentucky Derby distance has led many great horses down the road to failure, and this years group will be no exception.  Today we’ll analyze the pedigree of all the horses listed in the first Kentucky Derby Future Pool, as we try to determine which one of these horses will be reading for the grueling distance of the Kentucky Derby.

Capo Bastone

If Capo Bastone is gong to get the Derby distance he’ll need a strong influence from his dam side.  Fight to Love was successful around two turns on a few occasions, and all eight of her victories came at seven furlongs or longer.  Capo Bastone’s sire, Street Boss, was an excellent sprinter but had zero wins past seven furlongs.  His grand sire, Street Cry did have success around two turns making Capo Bastone a little more attractive on the male side.  Pedigree Grade: C+

Code West

Both his sire and dam won races going two turns so this one looks promising.  The sire, Lemon Drop Kid, won the Belmont, Travers, Suburban, Whitney, and Woodward Handicap so you can see the strength and distance pedigree.  Charitabledonation was a stakes winner at a mile one sixteenth.  As far as pedigree to get the Derby distance, Code West looks to be in good shape.  Pedigree Grade: A

Delhomme

His sire, Dixie Union, won races from five furlongs all the way up to a mile and one-eighth.  Six of his seven wins came at a mile or less, and his one try at the Derby distance resulted in a fourth in the Travers Stakes where he was beaten nine lengths.  Art Show is the dam, and she did all of her winning at the mile or mile and one-sixteenth distance.  It looks as though Delhomme has the pedigree to get a mile and one-sixteenth, but the Derby distance is in question.  Pedigree Grade: C

Den’s Legacy

When Medaglia d’Oro is your sire, there isn’t much to worry about on the male side of things when talking about distance.  He finished first or second in a variety of stakes races going two turns, including the Travers Stakes.  Den’s Legacy has the unraced mare Sunshine Song for his dam.  Sunshine Song is out of War Front, a solid sire that did his best running at a mile.  Pedigree Grade: B+

Dynamic Sky

Sky Mesa, the sire, was never able to prove himself at the Derby distance, but did win at a mile and one-sixteenth at the age of two.  His efforts at three weren’t as good, including a sixth place effort in the Travers.  The dam side, however, screams distance.  Murani won three races in her career, two of which came at a mile and one-quarter or greater.  Pedigree Grace: B

Falling Sky

Falling Sky is sired be Lion Heart who was able to win at a mile and one-eighth, but failed in two attempts at a mile and one-quarter.  One of those “failed” attempts was a solid second place effort in the Kentucky Derby, so he deserves credit for that race.  His dam, Sea Dragoness, was a winner twice, but never at distances greater than a five and half furlongs.  Pedigree Grade: B-

Flashback

His sire, Tapit, won around two turns three times before a failed attempt at the Kentucky Derby.  His dam, Rhumb Line also complied three wins in her career, but both came at a mile or shorter.  Given Tapit’s recent history of producing solid runners it’s hard to be critical, but getting the Derby distance isn’t a lock.  Pedigree Grade: B

Frac Daddy

Scat Daddy has certainly been a hot sire, but he hasn’t produced many that look to be distance horses.  In his racing days he was able to win at a mile and one eighth which is a good sign, but was dismal in the Kentucky Derby.  Frac Daddy’s dam, Skipper’s Mate, was purely a sprinter.  Pedigree Grade: C

Goldencents

Into Mischief is the sire, and was best when sprinting.  He was able to win the CashCall Futurity at a mile and one-sixteenth, but his other wins came when going short.  Goldencents’ grand sire is Harlan’s Holiday which could help boost his distance pedigree a little.  His dam, Leslie’s Lady, was without question a one turn horse.  Her sire, Tricky Creek was able to win going two turns, but never at the Derby distance.  Pedigree Grade: C-

He’s Had Enough

He’s Had Enough is another colt out of Tapit, who we have already covered once.  His dam is Amelia, who had four victories on the turf, spanning from seven and a half furlongs to a mile and one eighth.  Obviously the dam side will help out in this case, but like Flashback, his pedigree is not a lock.  Pedigree Grade: B

Itsmyluckyday

With Lawyer Ron as a sire, there are no worries about distance from the male side of things.  His dam, Viva La Slew, wasn’t much as a race mare.  She won just two times with her longest victory coming at a mile.  Hopefully the Lawyer Ron influence shines through in this case.  Pedigree Grade: B

Mylute

Mylute is by first year sire Midnight Lute, who is producing solid runners everywhere you look.  However, how far will these horses be able to run?  Midnight Lute was purely a sprinter, so will his offspring also get that quality?  Mylute’s dam is Stage Stop.  Stage Stop won only twice in her career, both wins coming at a mile.  Until Midnight Lute proves he can produce runners that will get the Derby distance, it’s hard to get to excited.  Pedigree Grade: D

Normandy Invasion

Yet another horse by Tapit, who we have already covered.  Boston Lady is the dam for Normandy Invasion, and to be honest you can’t tell much from her career.  She was winless in six starts, and her best overall finish was a seventh place effort.  Given the unknown from the dam side, I have to give Normandy Invasion a lower grade than the other two Tapit horses.  Pedigree Grade: C

Overanalyze

This is our second colt by Dixie Union.  Overanalyze is out of an unraced mare named Unacloud, who’s sire was successful going two turns.  This is perhaps our most unknown pedigree yet.  Pedigree Grade: C

Oxbow

There certainly is no question marks with this sire, as Awesome Again was simply awesome going two turns.  He retired with nine wins to his credit, including the Breeders Cup Classic.  The dam, Tizamazing was unraced, but her sire was Cee’s Tizzy is the same horse that produced Paynter’s dam Tizso.  With Paynter and Oxbow having similar blood lines, you have to like how that might project as the distances get longer.  Pedigree Grade: A-

Revolutionary

War Pass is an extremely interesting sire, perhaps the most interesting of all on this list.  At age two he was unbeatable, winning four straight races including the Breeders Cup Juvenile.  His three-year old season was a short-lived flop, so it’s hard to gauge what he would have done if he was healthy enough to race longer distances.  Revoluionary is out of the dam Runup the Colors who was able to win around two turns, including the Derby distance when she won the Alabama stakes.  With her influence on the female side, this horses pedigree looks good.  Pedigree Grade: A-

Shanghai Bobby

This horse has had a lot of haters (myself included) thinking that he cannot get the Derby distance.  His sire is Harlan’s Holiday who has won several races at two turns, but never won at the Derby distance despite several tries.  Steelin’ is the dam, and was mostly best when sprinting.  His critics are probably right about getting the Derby distance, but a mile and one sixteenth look within his realm.  Pedigree Grade: C

Super Ninety Nine

Pulpit once again shows up on our list of sires!  That in itself is impressive and speaks volumes for how people view him as a sire.  On the dam side, Super Ninety Nine is out of an unraced mare named Exogenetic.  While she never ran, she does have a decent distance pedigree as she is out of Unbridled’s Song.  Pedigree Grade: C+

Uncaptured

This is our second horse by Lion Heart, so I don’t need to go over him again.  His dam is Captivating, who had very little racing with just two starts, both being seventh place efforts.  Her sire was Arch, a horse that should help his stamina pedigree.  Pedigree Grade: C+

Verrazano

His sire More Than Ready has proven to be as versatile as they come in his stallion career.  He’s produced stakes winners on turf and dirt, as well as sprinters and routers.  However, More Than Ready certainly had some troubles going two turns.  He ran twice at the mile and one quarter distance, and finished a respectable but beaten fourth both times.  Enchanted Rock is the dam, and only made one lifetime start.  Her pedigree is distance friendly, so at least he’ll get some of that influence.  Pedigree Grade: B-

Violence

Make this our second horse on the list sired by Medaglia d’Oro.  We’ve already outlined his nice distance pedigree from earlier.  Violent Beauty is the dam, and she won one race from seven lifetime starts.  That one victory was at six furlongs so you can see she’s wasn’t much of a router.  Her sire, Gone West, did record a few victories going two turns so this could help him out.  Pedigree Grade: B

Vyjack

Vyjack joins Goldencents as having Into Mischief as his sire.  As stated earlier, Into Mischief was best when sprinting.  The unraced mare Life Happened is the dam.  Her sire, Stravinsky, won’t help much on the distance side of things.  This one looks iffy.  Pedigree Grade D-

Will Take Charge

To complete our list is Will Take Charge, who is by Unbridled’s Song.  Unbridled’s Song was a winner going one mile and one eighth, but his lone try at the Derby distance ended in a fifth place effort in the Kentucky Derby.  The dam of Will Take Charge is the powerful Take Charge Lady.  She won 11 races in her career, with ten of them coming at a mile or longer.  Pedigree Grade: B+

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