• by Alan Porter 
  • on March 29, 2016  -  

Coming up to the Triple Crown we thought we’d have a look at some pedigrees of leading Kentucky Derby hopefuls, including Pedigree Consultants recommended matings Mohaymen, Gun Runner, Zulu and Seymourdini.

MOHAYMEN – Tapit – Justwhistledixie by Dixie Union – The top-priced yearling at the 2014 Keeneland September Sales, at $2,200,000, Mohaymen is five-for-five, four of those races coming in graded stakes, the Nashua Stakes (gr. II), Remsen Stakes (gr. II), Holy Bull Stakes (gr. II) and Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II). His sire, Tapit, came close to getting a Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner last year with Frosted, and won a Belmont (gr. I) the previous year with Tonalist.

The dam won five straight at up nine furlongs, four stakes, including the Davona Dale (gr. II) and Bonnie Miss (gr. II), then finished second in the Acorn (gr. I). She would have started second favorite to Rachel Alexandra for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) but for being sidelined by injury. Her first foal was Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) captor, New Year’s Day. Justwhistledixie is half-sister to the Saratoga Special Stakes (gr. II) winner Chace City. The fourth dam, Tiy, is ancestress of numerous stakes winners, including Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. I) scorer Shared Account.

Mohaymen has an intriguing pedigree pattern, as Tapit is by Pulpit, a Seattle Slew/Mr. Prospector cross, and the dam of the broodmare, Dixie Union is also a Seattle Slew/Mr. Prospector cross. Meanwhile Tapit’s granddam is by a son of Northern Dancer out of a sister to Relaunch, where the dam of Mohaymen is a Northern Dancer/Relaunch cross. Mohaymen is isn’t guaranteed to get the 1¼ miles, but he was an impressive graded scorer over nine at two, and both his parents were stakes winners at the trip, so the potential is clearly there.
NYQUIST – Uncle Mo – Seeking Gabrielle by Foestry – Undefeated Champion Two-Year-Old, Nyquist appeared to have improved over winter, taking the seven furlong San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) in 1:20.71.
Nyquist’s is from the first crop of another Champion Two-Year-Old Uncle Mo. Last year’s Leading Sire of Two-Year-Olds and Leading Freshman Sire, Uncle Mo is turning into a prolific black-type sire, and he already has 18 first crop black-type horses, nine stakes winners, four graded, with a number having made their presence in early classic preps. It’s easy to overlook, since, due to illness, Uncle Mo’s second season was something of an anti-climax following his sensational two-year-old campaign, but Uncle Mo absolutely train on as witnessed by his 118 Beyer achieved while beating older horses in the Kelso Handicap (gr. II). We think Uncle Mo was really a natural miler type, and he’s likely to be more of an influence for speed than stamina, although that won’t preclude him getting two turn types out of mares with stamina.

It doesn’t appear, however, that stamina is the long-suit of Nyquist’s family. His dam, Seeking Gabrielle, is a six furlong winner by the sprinter/miler Forestry, also sire of sprint stakes winners Smokin Forest out of sister to the dam of Seeking Gabrielle. The second dam, Seeking Regina, won the Adirondack Stakes (gr. II) at two, and she is dam of Seeking the Sky (three-quarters sister to the dam of Nyquist), a graded stakes winning sprinter, who herself produced grade one winning sprinter/miler Sahara Sky to stamina influence Pleasant Tap.

This is the pedigree of a sprinter/miler type. Most top-class versions of these are good enough to beat their own age group at 8½ furlongs at two, and the very best can stretch out against their own age group in the spring, if the still have a maturity/class advantage. We’re not sure that Nyquist has enough in hand to do that this year, and we’ll be very surprised if he turns out to be best-suited by classic distances.


DANZING CANDY – Twirling Candy – Talkin and Singing by Songandaprayer – Winner of the last three of  his four starts, and looked a bit like this year’s version of Firing Line or Dortmund – go out fast and don’t come back – when winning the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II). He is from the first crop of Twirling Candy, who we had down as a sleeper to watch at the end of last year, when he had no stakes winners, but nine stakes placed first crop two-year-olds. He now has two stakes winners and 11 total stakes horses. Twirling Candy is by a ten furlong grade one winner, out of a mare by a ten furlong grade one winner. He broke the track-record when winning the Malibu Stakes (gr. I) at seven furlongs, but was also a graded winner at nine furlongs, and missed by a nose to Champion Acclamation in the ten furlong Pacific Classic (gr. I).

Danzing Candy’s dam, Talkin and Singing is by Songandaprayer, who did win the Fountain of Youth Stakes (then gr. 1) at 8½ furlongs, but who imploded in the Kentucky Derby after setting the fastest early fractions on record. Talkin and Singing never won, but did place second over 8½ furlongs. The second dam, Bendita, by Nijinsky II’s speedy son, Baldski, was stakes placed at 8½ furlongs, and she is also half-sister to the turf standout, Better Talk Now, a horse who had no problems with 1½ miles. The next dam, the French-bred Bonne Note, is from a stout European family that also produced Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Stage Door Johnny. Like Candy Ride son, Gun Runner, he’s inbred to Fappiano through Cryptoclearance and Unbridled. On pedigree the Derby distance is certainly a possibility, although he’s going to have to ration his speed a bit more careful than he did in the San Felipe.


DESTIN – Giant’s Causeway – Dream of Summer by Siberian Summer – As far as the Giant’s Causeway was concerned, the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II) was a case of “the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away” as Brody’s Cause ran a very disappointing race on his first start of the year, while Destin scored impressively while setting a new track-record. Giant’s Causeway, who was a grade one winner at 10½ furlongs, is generally an influence for stamina, albeit more frequently on turf. His best shot of classic glory in the U.S. would have probably been Eskendereya had that one not got injured prior to the race, and he’s also had Carpe Diem, who won the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), but was injured in last year’s Derby.

Destin’s dam, Dream of Summer was a top-class mare who was a graded winner from 6½ to 8½ furlongs, including the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I), and was second in the Santa Margarita Invitational (gr. I) at nine furlongs. She is also dam of Destin’s brother, Creative Cause, who won the Best Pal (gr. II) and Norfolk Stakes (gr. I) at two, and who at three won the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II), was beaten a nose in the nine furlong Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) by I’ll Have Another, and finished third to that horse in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I).


GUN RUNNER – Candy Ride – Quiet Giant by Giant’s Causeway – He’s a winner of four of five, including the Risen Star Stakes (gr. II), and last out, the Louisiana Derby (gr. II), and his only defeat was a fourth over a wet-track in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II).

Candy Ride proved his chops at ten furlongs when winning the Pacific Classic (gr. I) in a new track record. Numerous of his offspring have won major stakes at nine furlongs and up, with Shared Belief and and Misremembered winning grade ones at ten.

The dam, Quiet Giant, is a daughter of stamina influence, Giant’s Causeway, and was a grade two winner who earned black-type at nine furlongs. Quiet Giant is half-sister to Champion Older Horse and Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Saint Liam, three-quarters to nine furlongs graded winner Congressionalhonor, and to the dam of of Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I) scorer Buster’s Ready. The granddam, Quiet Dance, is by Quiet American out of a three-quarters sister to Champion Irish Two-Year-Old Filly Minstrella.

Gun Runner appeared to by tiring late in the Risen Star, but that may have been a function of being close to a strong pace, and on pedigree his chances of getting ten furlongs are good.


MOR SPIRIT – Eskendereya – Ima Dixie Girl by Dixie Union – Winner of 3 of 5 starts, including the Los Alamitos Futurity (gr. I) and Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. III). He’s from the second crop of Eskendereya (Giant’s Causeway), who would have started favorite for the 2010 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), had if not been for an injury, having scored dominating victories in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) and Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I). Eskendereya started slowly, and is now in Japan. He does now hove two first crop stakes winners, the best of which is grade two winner Isabella Springs. Mor Spirit is one of three stakes winners so far from his second crop.

Ima Dixie Girl was a pure sprinter, winning from 4½-6 furlongs, including a pair of two-year-old stakes. She’s out of prolific regional stakes winner Im Out First, a daughter of speed influence, Allen’s Prospect, also the dam of First Ascent , a minor stakes winner at a mile. Im Out First is half-sister to nine furlong stakes winner Zenith, in turn dam of Great Hunter, successful in the Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) and Robert B. Lewis Stakes (gr. II), and to the dam of last year’s Champion Three-Year-Old Stellar Wind.

Mor Spirit is bred on an extended version of the cross that produced First Samurai (Giant’s Causeway/Dixieland Band). Both Eskendereya, and the broodmare sire, Dixie Union, are Northern Dancer/Seattle Slew crosses, and their dams are both Seattle Slew/Raise a Native (through Alydar in Eskendereya, and the similarly-bred Mr. Prospector in Dixie Union). The dam has a double of the influential mare Change Water.

By U.S. standards, Mor Spirit is virtually a product of extremes. As we’ve said the dam was a pure sprinter, but there is little doubt that Eskendereya would have relished ten furlongs had he had the opportunity. On running style balance is appears more in favor of Mor Spirit being his father’s son.


CUPID – Tapit – Pretty ‘n Smart by Beau Genius – Followed up a maiden win with a score in the Rebel Stakes (gr. II). By the same sire as Mohaymen, he also goes back to the same family as Gun Runner, that of Gallorette, once voted the greatest U.S. racemare of the first half of the 20th century. The dam was speedy and precocious runner whose first four starts included a 6¾ length win on her debut, a third to Golden Ballet and Starrer in the Railbird Stakes (gr. II) and a third in the Manhattan Beach Stakes. As useful as she was as a runner, it’s as a broodmare that Pretty ‘n Smart has really made her name. Prior to Cupid, she has been represented by Tale of the Cat’s daughter, Ashley’s Kitty, who took a trio of black-type events, headed by the Railbird Stakes (gr. III); the Lion Heart filly, Heart Ashley, successful in the Cicada Stakes (gr. III) and Miss Preakness Stakes (gr. III); and Indianapolis, a son of Medaglia d’Oro who was successful in the San Pedro Stakes. Pretty ‘n Smart has an unusual pedigree with Canadian Horse of The Year, Viceregal, and his brother Vice Regent, 3×2.

The dam and her best offspring all had speed in excess of stamina, and while Cupid is obviously not a sprinter, it might make you wary about his chances of getting ten furlongs.


SUDDENBREAKINGNEWS – Mineshaft – Uchitel by Afleet Alex – Broke onto the scene when coming from the clouds for a 2¾ lengths triumph in the Southwest Stakes (gr. III). Had a rough trip when trying to rally from thirteenth in the Rebel Stakes (gr. II). The sire, Horse of the Year Mineshaft, relished ten furlongs. He’s been a solid, rather than outstanding sire, but he’d tend towards being a stamina influence, and his offspring include ten furlong grade one winner Effinex, and nine furlong grade one wnners It’s Tricky and Dialed In.

The dam, Uchitel, is a daughter of Preakness (gr. I) and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Afleet Alex. She is out of graded winning and grade one placed Party Cited, a daughter of the long-winded Alleged. Uchitel is half-sister to nine furlong grded scorer Ready Set, and to Composure, who won the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I), and is dam of nine furlong graded winner Penwith, who is by a son of A.P. Indy, like Suddenbreakingnews.

Whether he is good enough or not remains to be seen, but Suddenbreakingnews looks as if ten furlongs will suit him well.


MO TOM – Uncle Mo – Caroni by Rubiano – Another of the legion of talented first crop three-year-olds by Uncle Mo. Won three of six, including the LeComte Stakes (gr. III), and finished well for third in the Risen Star (gr. III) after a rough trip, and was trying to close when charting a horrible course in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II).

The dam is by Champion Sprinter Rubiano, and has produced mile stakes winner Bella Castani (by Big Brown), and Beautician, a Dehere daughter who is a sprint stakes winner who also took second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). The dam is half-sister to sprint graded stakes winner Kashatreya. He’s finished up well at 9 furlongs, but the pedigree is still a big question mark at the Derby distance.


ZULU – Bernardini – Temporada by Summer Squall – Winner of a pair of sprints in his first two starts, he ran a good second to Mohaymen in the Fountain of Youth (gr. II). He’s one of several promising three-year-olds by Bernardini, who won not only the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), but also at ten furlongs the Travers Stakes (gr. I) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I). He’s generally an influence for stamina.

The dam, a daughter of Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Summer Squall, is also dam of multiple stakes winning juvenile Banner Bill and multiple stakes winning sprinter Third Chance. The second dam, Lemhi Go, by Champion Older Horse Lemhi Gold, was a decisive winner of the La Prevoyante Stakes (gr. II) over 12 furlongs. The cross of Bernardini, a son of A.P. Indy, over a mare by Summer Squall, gives a 3×3 inbreeding to Weekend Surprise, also found in Bernardini’s graded winners Lewis Bay and Theyskens’ Theory. There’s a solid probability that the Derby distance will be in his capability.


SHAGAF -Bernardini – Muhaawara by Unbridled’s Song – Retained his unbeaten record with a grinding win over Laoban (another Uncle Mo) in the Gotham Stakes (gr. III). He is out of the Unbridled’s Song mare, Muhaawara, winner of the Sky Beauty Stakes. Muhaawara is half-sister to a long-winded son of Bernardini’s sire, A.P. Indy, in Eldaafer, whose 13 victories including the Breeders’ Cup Marathon Stakes (gr. III), Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II), Greenwood Cup (gr. III) and Turfway Park Fall Championship Stakes (gr. III). Muhaawara and Eldaafer are out of the Tabasco Cat mare, Habibti, who won Hollywood Starlet Stakes (gr. I) and Del Mar Debutante Stakes (gr. I) as a juvenile. She didn’t win at three, but did demonstrate that she had trained on with seconds in the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) and Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) and a third in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). There is a further Kentucky Oaks connection in Habibti’s pedigree, as her dam, Miss Sobriety, is half-sister to the Gal In a Ruckus (by Bold Ruckus, from the same Boldnesian sire line as Bernardini’s grandsire, Seattle Slew), who took that race in 1995. As an aside, Gal in a Ruckus’s sister, Rambuckus, is third dam of another 2016 A.P. Indy line classic hopeful in Venus Valentine (by Congrats), upset winner of the Rachel Alexandra Stakes (gr. II). Habibti’s third dam, Quillopoly, is also granddam of No Class, from whom descend such as Smart Strike, Dance Smartly, Sky Classic and Regal Classic. Shagaf is also interesting for being inbred to Fappiano through Bernardini’s broodmare sire, Quiet American, and through Unbridled, that pair having very similar Tartan/Genter influenced pedigrees. Shagaf looks one who is sure to stay, although he needs to improve significantly if he’s going to play a part in the Derby.


LANI – Tapit – Heavenly Romance by Sunday Silence. Japanese-trained Lani earned his way into the potential Kentucky Derby line-up with a last-to-first win in the UAE Derby (gr. II).  Another Tapit, Lani is out of Heavenly Romance, who upset a top-class field to win the Autumn Tenno Sho (the Emperor’s Cup) over ten furlongs. She has previously been represented by Awardee, a graded winner at 11 furlongs, and Amour Briller, a stakes winner at 12 1/2 furlongs. The granddam, First Act, is a Sadler’s Wells three-quarters sister to Irish St. Leger (gr. I) scorer, Dark Lomond. First Act is out of Ribot’s daughter, Arkadina, who placed in the English and Irish Oaks (both gr. I), and who was a sister to Blood Royal, a group winner at two miles, and three-quarters sister to Gregorian, who was grade one placed at 12 furlongs. Arkadina’s dam, Natashka, won the Alabama Stakes (gr. I), and is from a branch of the Frizette family. Lani shouldn’t have problems with the distance if he appears at Churchill Downs, in fact he’s a staying type who might depend on a fast-pace to be really effective.


EXAGGERATOR – Curlin – Dawn Raid by Vindication – Enjoyed a good season at two, with wins in the Saratoga Special (gr. II) and the Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes (gr. III), a second in the Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) and a fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) after a rough trip. He proved he’d wintered well with a good second to Nyquist in the San Vicente Stakes (gr. II), but tired late after a big middle move from the rear in the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II).

He’s by two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, who had no trouble with ten furlongs himself, and whose first three crops include Palace Malice, who took a Belmont Stakes (gr. I); Keen Ice, who ran down American Pharoah in the Travers Stakes (gr. I); Curalina, a grade one winner at nine furlongs; and Champion Three-Year-Old Filly Stellar Wind.

Exaggerator’s dam, Dawn Raid, a daughter of Champion Two-Year-Old Vindication, was stakes placed at two, when she won at 5 and 5½ furlongs. She is half-sister to Champion Canadian Older Mare Embur’s Song (a graded winner at up to 8½ furlongs) and sprint stakes winner Ten Flat. The granddam, Embur Sunshine (by Bold Ruckus) as a stakes placed sprinter, who never won beyond 5 furlongs. The third dam, who is by 1½ mile classic winner The Minstrel, is a three-quarters sister to Eternal Search, Champion Sprinter and Champion Older Mare in Canada.

There are lots of names associated with stamina in the pedigree, but the female line has tended to throw speed. Exaggerator won a graded stakes over 6½ furlongs at two, and lead almost throughout to take the Delta Downs Jackpot. We had him tagged as a miler type before the San Felipe, and afterwards his trainer conceded that that was a possibility.


GREENPOINTCRUSADER – Bernardini – Ava Knowsthecode by Cryptoclearance – He is one of quite of bunch of promising Bernardini three-year-olds. Won two out of four last term, including a sloppy renewal of the Champagne Stakes (gr. I). Second, beaten 3½ lengths by Mohaymen in the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. II) on first start this year, but failed to show much closing punch when seventh in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II).

Bernardini is generally a stamina source, and the dam, Avaknowsthecode, is by another stamina source, Cryptoclearance. So far, so good, but Avaknowsthecode, who was best at around a mile on the turf, where she was grade three placed, seems to transmit speed. Her First Samurai son, Justin Phillip, did win at an extend mile, but was much better as a sprinter, where his graded wins included the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. I), and another son, Keyed Entry (by Honour and Glory) was a sprinter who took the Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II) and Deputy Minister Handicap (gr. III). She’s also dam of Successful Mission (Successful Appeal) winner of the Calder Mile Handicap (gr. I), 8½ furlong stakes winner Alex’s Allure (Sky Classic) and Greenpointcrusader’s brother, Algorithms. He should be the horse that gives best evidence, but instead proves an enigma. He broke his maiden by 5¼ lengths on his debut at two, and after a layoff returned to win a 6½ furlong allowance race at the end of that year. On his only other outing, he beat the previous year’s Champion Two-Year-Old, Hansen, by five lengths to take the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III), that year at a mile. We never got to see how Algorithms would have fared over further, but as fast as he was, he may well have been a miler type. Brothers can have different apititudes, but it wouldn’t surprise if Greenpointcrusader turns out to be similar.


Along with the previously mentioned ZULU and SHAGAFSEYMOURDINI (Bernardini – One Stormy Mama by Storm Cat) and MALIBU SUNSET (Bernardini – One Stormy Lady by Storm Cat) are more of the squad of Bernardinis.   Seymourdini is half-sister to graded winners Cali Star and Delightful Joy, out of graded winner Graeme Six. Malibu Sunset is a three-quarters brother to the Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II) scorer, Thunder Moccasin, with a third dam who is three-quarters-sister to French Derby (gr. I) winner Caerleon.  CREATOR (Tapit – Morena by Privately Held) is out of a mare who was a Champion at two and three in Peru, a winner at 12 furlongs, and by a staying brother to Champion Chimes of Freedom. CHERRY WINE (Paddy O’Prado – C.S. Royce by Unbridled’s Song), from the first crop of his sire – by sire of sires El Prado – a horse who ran third in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), before going on to win a grade one at ten furlongs on turf. Dam – bred on a similar cross to Liam’s Map – is out of a stakes winning half-sister to Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) winner Exciting Story. JENSEN (Haynesfield – Spun Lake by Hard Spun) is from the first crop of a Speightstown son who defeated Blame for the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I). The dam, Spun Lake, is out of stakes winner Beebe Lake, herself out of an Alleged sister to Contested Bid, who placed in both the French (gr. I) and Irish (gr. I) Derbys. MATT KING COAL (Cool Coal Man – Donna Marie by Came Home) who broke his maiden with a 96 Beyer returned from a long layoff for an Aqueduct allowance win. He is from the first crop of his sire, a Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) winner by Mineshaft out of a Rubiano mare (very like Tapit, and somewhat like Bernardini). The dam is by Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Came Home, and the second dam is a sister to NY-bred star Biogio’s Rose, a graded winner at nine furlongs, and three-quarters sister to Biogio’s Baby, the granddam of the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) scorer, Dance With Fate.

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