Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mr. Prospector "No Shows", Nasrullah, Northern Dancer Descendants Impact Derby 137

Since Unbridled won the 116th running of the Kentucky Derby in 1990, descendants of the Mr. Prospector sire line have dominated the classic race. In 2009, a record 10 Mr. Prospector sire line descendants competed in the Derby.

But this year, with
Master of Hounds and Watch Me Go as the only potential starters from that sire line, Derby 137 will have the fewest contenders of Mr. Prospector descendants since 1994 when Powis Castle finished 8th and Mahogany Hall finished 9th.

Premier Pegasus appeared to be the most promising colt from the Mr. Prospector sire line to have a good chance in Derby 137 but he was taken off of the trail with an injury. Brethren, Elite Alex and Sway Away were the other promising colts from that sire line but their poor showing in the Arkansas Derby knocked them out of contention when they failed to get the graded earnings necessary to get into the Derby starting gate.

Since 1990, a total of 374 horses have competed in the Kentucky Derby and 106 (28%) of them have been descendants of Mr. Prospector. Of those 106 horses, 25 (24%) finished in the top four and 10 won the Derby.

Here’s a look at the yearly total of Mr. Prospector sire line competitors since 1990 and the horses that finished in the top four:

2010 – 8

2009 – 10. Mine That Bird 1st; Pioneerof The Nile 2nd; Papa Clem 4th

2008 – 5. Eight Belles 2nd

2007 – 7. Street Sense 1st; Curlin 3rd

2006 – 7. Jazil dh-4th

2005 – 6. Afleet Alex 3rd

2004 – 8. Smarty Jones 1st; Limehouse 4th

2003 – 6. Funny Cide 1st; Empire Maker 2nd; Peace Rules 3rd

2002 – 6. War Emblem 1st; Proud Citizen 2nd

2001 – 5. Invisible Ink 2nd

2000 – 6. Fusaichi Pegasus 1st

1999 – 4

1998 – 6. Real Quiet 1st; Victory Gallop 2nd; Hallory Hunter 4th

1997 – 3

1996 – 6. Grindstone 1st; Prince Of Thieves 3rd

1995 – 3. Thunder Gulch 1st; Timber Country 3rd

1994 – 2

1993 – 3

1992 – 1

1991 – 1

1990 – 3. Unbridled 1st


Since 1990, the Nasrullah sire line (including Bold Ruler) has had 61 (16%) descendants compete in the Kentucky Derby. This year’s Derby field has a record number of seven potential runners from the Nasrullah sire line and a record four of those are from the A.P. Indy/Bold Ruler line.

Here are the Nasrullah sire line horses in Derby 137:

Horse, Sire, Sire Line

Animal Kingdom, Leroidesanimaux-Blushing Groom line

Nehro, Mineshaft-A.P. Indy line

Dialed In, Mineshaft-A.P. Indy line

Pants On Fire, Jump Start-A.P. Indy line

Stay Thirsty, Bernardini-A.P. Indy line

Uncle Mo, Indian Charlie-Caro line

Comma To The Top, Bwana Charlie/Indian Charlie-Caro line

No horse from the Nasrullah sire line has won the Kentucky Derby since 1990. But 11 (18%) of those 61 descendants have finished in the top four.

The A.P. Indy line has had 25 runners in the Derby since 1990 and six (24%) of those finished in the top four:

2010: Ice Box 2nd

2006: Steppenwolfer 3rd

2005: Don’t Get Mad 4th

2003: Atswhatimtalknbout 4th

2000: Aptitude 2nd

1997: Pulpit 4th

The Blushing Groom sire line, which is the line of Animal Kingdom, has had eight runners in the Derby since 1990 and two (25%) of them finished in the top four:

2009: Musket Man 3rd

2001: Congaree 3rd

The Caro sire line, which is the line of Uncle Mo and Comma To The Top, has had five runners in the Derby since 1990 and two (40%) of them finished in the top four:

1998: Indian Charlie 3rd

1995: Tejano Run 2nd

Indian Charlie, the sire of Uncle Mo and grandsire of Comma To The Top, has sent two runners to the Derby and both finished out of the money:

2010: Conveyance 15th

2003: Indian Express 14th


Since 1990, the Northern Dancer sire line has had 93 (25%) runners in the Kentucky Derby. This year’s field, with seven potential runners, is tied with the 2002 field of Derby entrants as the second largest showing of Northern Dancer descendants in the Kentucky Derby. In 1993, there were eight Northern Dancer descendants entered in the Derby.

Here’s a look at the Northern Dancer descendants in Derby 137:

Decisive Moment, With Distinction-Storm Cat line

Santiva, Giant’s Causeway-Storm Cat line

Shackleford, Forestry-Storm Cat line

Twinspired, Harlan’s Holiday-Storm Cat line

Midnight Interlude, War Chant-Danzig line

Soldat, War Front-Danzig line

Toby’s Corner, Bellamy Road-Danzig line

Since 1990 there have been 20 (22%) of the 93 Northern Dancer descendants finish in the top four of the Kentucky Derby. Of those 20 horses, seven are descendants of Storm Cat:

2010: Make Music For Me 4th

2008: Denis of Cork 3rd and Tale Of Ekati 4th

2006: Bluegrass Cat 2nd

2004: Lion Heart 2nd

1999: Menifee 2nd and Cat Thief 3rd

Four of those 20 horses are descendants of Danzig:

2008: Big Brown 1st

2007: Hard Spun 2nd

2004: Imperialism 3rd

1993: Sea Hero 1st


Since 1990, the Royal Charger sire line has had 36 (10%) runners in the Kentucky Derby. Of those 36 horses, 13 (36%) finished in the Derby top four and five (38%) of those 13 are out of the line of Roberto who is the grandsire of Brilliant Speed and and great grandsire of Archarcharch.

Dynaformer, the sire of Brilliant Speed, has a good record in the Kentucky Derby. He has only sent three runners to previous Derbies and they all finished in the money:

2006 – Barbaro: 1st

2002 – Perfect Drift: 3rd

1994 – Blumin Affair: 3rd

That statistic is how I focused on Brilliant Speed and after studying his past performances I made him my pick to win the Blue Grass Stakes (G1).

In my opinion, the best runner from the Mr. Prospector sire line is Master of Hounds; the best runners from the Nasrullah line are Animal Kingdom, Nehro, Uncle Mo and Comma To The Top; The best runner from the Northern Dancer line is Midnight Interlude and I like Brilliant Speed from the Royal Charger sire line.


  1. Sharon ScarpelloMay 1, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    Hi Calvin, I'm surprised by the statistics for the Royal Charger line. I'm not as familiar with that line, but usually if I see Roberto or Dynaformer, I think Turf horse, and wouldn't think they would necessarily run well on dirt. Guess I have that wrong! It's impressive that 36% of those runners have finished so well.

  2. Calvin
    I see lots of great information! But did you once comment re: TWINSPIRED? he's the only PGH as of now in the Derby ( & any PGH is a favorite of mine) and I think he may be an "under the radar" horse no one is talking about. AND has an outside chance as a very long shot. His pedigree is nothing to toss :)
    Continue your comments, as I am watching and listening :)

  3. Hi Calvin. I like AAA for the win in this Derby. I'm also enamored by his pedigree. Certainly looks as though he'll get the 1 1/4. But I'm not near the expert you are on pedigree. Could you go into the strengths of AAA's pedigree in some depth please. Thanks. Stan.

  4. Sharon,

    That statistic (36%) is quite impressive. The Royal Charger sire line produced Hail To Reason, the sire of Roberto and Halo. Hail To Reason is the grandsire of Dynaformer and Sunday Silence. Just think what might have been if Sunday Silence spent his stud career in America instead of Japan.

    SR Vegas,

    I know you love those gray horses.

    Harlan’s Holiday, the sire of Twinspired, finished first in the 2002 Blue Grass Stakes, beating Booklet by 4 ½ lengths, and he went on to finish 7th as the 6-1 favorite in the Kentucky Derby.

    Twinspired is a descendant of the Storm Cat line and as you can see from my blog post that line has had several runners in the Derby top four.

    Good luck!

    Stan L.,

    Archarcharch should like the 10-furlong distance of the Kentucky Derby. His sire, Arch, won the 10-furlong Super Derby and he is the sire of Blame, winner of the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic which is also contested at 10-furlongs.

    Kris S., the grandsire of Archarcharch, is the damsire of route specialist and 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta who just barely lost to Blame in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

    Roberto, the great grandsire of Archarcharch, won the 1972 Epsom Derby and he is a well-known stamina influence.

    Woodman, the damsire of Woodman’s Dancer, is also a stamina influence and sire of 1991 Preaskness Stakes and Belmont Stakes winner Hansel. Woodman also sired 1995 Preakness Stakes champion Timber Country.

    Nureyev, the tail-female second damsire, is also a stamina influence and sire of Peintre Celebre, winner of the 1997 Prix du Jockey Club, Grand Prix de Paris and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Nureyev is also the grandsire of the Classic Champion Thoroughbreds Media Puzzle, Portland Player, Limpid and Starcraft.

    Other stamina influences in the pedigree of Archarcharch include Danzig, Princequillo, Northern Dancer, Alydar and Buckpasser.

    Archarcharch is a descendant of the Royal Charger sire line and as you can see from my post, that line has had an impact on the Kentucky Derby.

  5. Thanks very much Calvin for the quick response. Appreciate the information.

  6. Kudos, Sir, on your selection of Animal Kingdom to win the Derby! I had seen your selections in the "Ten On Ten" feature in HorsePlayer Magazine, prior. I suspect your following will increase :)