Brother Bird, a half-brother to this year’s Kentucky Derby (G1) winner and Preakness Stakes (G1) runner-up Mine That Bird, will make his debut Saturday, along with eight other first-time starters, in a 6-furlong $55K maiden race for 2-year-olds at Saratoga Race Course.
In addition to Brother Bird being a half-brother to Mine That Bird, what makes this race so potentially significant is that Brother Bird is a Cherokee Run sire line colt and I have been tracking the 2-year-old colts descended from Cherokee Run and his sons Kafwain and Yonaguska.
In my July 3 blog I noted that it is important to keep abreast of new emerging trends and sire lines. In the past seven years, there have been a total of nine thoroughbreds descended from the Cherokee Run sire line that have proven themselves to be good middle-distance stakes winners and several have had an impact on the Triple Crown trail.
Brother Bird’s sire, Yonaguska, sired Musket Man who won this year’s Tampa Bay Derby (G3), Illinois Derby (G2), and finished third in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.
Kafwain sired The Pamplemousse who won this year’s San Rafael (G3) and Sham Stakes (G3). The Pamplemousse was one of the favored horses going into the Santa Anita Derby before an injury knocked him out of the Derby and off of the Triple Crown trail.
Dogwood Stable’s President Cot Campbell paid $485,000 via telephone bids for Brother Bird (Yonaguska-Mining My Own by Smart Strike) at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-old sale. After the sale, Brother Bird was sent to the Saratoga barn of trainer Todd Pletcher where he has been training regularly since June.
"He’s a lovely mover, and he has got the right family behind him,” Campbell said in a Bloodhorse.com interview after the sale. “You could send him to the races, I think, with a great deal of confidence.”
Campbell could be right. Only time will tell.