© 2013, Calvin L. Carter
Kentucky Derby 139 champion, Orb, will try to extend his winning streak Saturday and capture win the second leg of the Triple Crown when he goes to the starting gate as the even-money favorite in the 138th running of the $1 million Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico racetrack. Orb has won five races in a row, including the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2), Florida Derby (G1), and he was brilliant in his 2½-length Derby win in the slop at Churchill Downs on May 4 – earning a 111 Brisnet Speed Figure for that performance.
I liked Orb in the Derby and I like him in the Preakness, too. However, Govenor Charlie (12-1) is a horse that has all the goods and he could be Orb’s toughest competition. Both horses have a very high Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile, which I’ve fine-tuned since the Kentucky Derby. Here’s a look at the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profiles of this year’s Preakness field:
Horse, Odds Tesio Ancestral Classic ChampionIndex Herd Thoroughbred
1. Orb (1-1) 35.63 140.00 = 175.63
2. Govenor Charlie (12-1) 57.50 117.50 = 175.00
3. Will Take Charge (12-1) 55.00 110.00 = 165.00
4. Mylute (5-1) 48.13 113.75 = 161.88
4. Titletown Five (30-1) 42.50 119.38 = 161.88
6. Oxbow (15-1) 36.25 118.13 = 154.38
7. Departing (6-1) 35.00 114.38 = 149.38
8. Itsmyluckyday (10-1) 39.38 81.13 = 120.51
9. Goldencents (8-1) 42.00 75.00 = 117.00
Like an intricate puzzle, the pedigree contains many secrets of what champions are made of and the proprietary key puzzle pieces, the Tesio Index and Ancestral Herd Index, comprise the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile. The Ancestral Herd Index is a new feature I recently added to calculate the profile and that was included because of my study of the late Federico Tesio, a world renowned owner, breeder and trainer of Thoroughbred racehorses who bred closely to the Ancestral Herd. During his lifetime, Tesio bred an incredible 21 Italiano Derby winners.
The profile is tool I use to measure potential and it does not take into account other factors such as the horse’s will to win. Another thing to keep in mind is that horses, for many different reasons, sometimes fail to live up to their potential. Two horses on the profile list that have yet to live up to their potential are Will Take Charge(12-1) and Titletown Five (30-1).
Horses like those two are hard to handicap in classic races because of their inconsistent performance on the racetrack. Their record says “throwout,” but their breeding indicates that, on a given day, they could run a good race. That’s how I picked Da’ Tara to upset Big Brown in the 2008 Belmont Stakes (G1) for a $79 payday for a $2 wager. So, if you’re feeling lucky, you may want to include Will Take Charge and Titletown Five in a few small wagers.
Orb, has shown a tremendous will to win in all of his races as a 3-year-old. He’s a descendant of the Ancestral Herd of both Bold Ruler and Fappiano and those Ancestral Herds have produced numerous Classic Champion Thoroughbreds.
The Ancestral Herd of Bold Ruler – winner of the 1957 Preakness Stakes – has produced six Preakness Stakes (G1) winners: Bernardini (2006), Risen Star (1988), Spectacular Bid (1979), Orb’s great grandsire and Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew (1977), Master Derby (1975) and Triple Crown winner Secretariat (1973).
The Bold Ruler Ancestral Herd has produced a total of 14 Classic Champion Thoroughbreds and in addition to the Preakness winners, the other champions are: Bold Forbes (1976), Foolish Pleasure (1975), Cannonade (1974), Dust Commander (1970) Caveat (1983), Swale, (1984), A.P. Indy (1992) and Rags to Riches (2007).
Unbridled, the damsire of Orb, won the 1990 Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic and he’s a descendant of the Fappiano Ancestral Herd which is a powerful influence in the pedigree (see my write up below about Govenor Charlie).
Classic Champion Thoroughbred descendants of the Unbridled Ancestral Herd include: Grindstone (1996 Kentucky Derby), Red Bullet (2000 Preakness), Empire Maker, (2003 Belmont), Birdstone (2004 Belmont), Mine That Bird (2009 Kentucky Derby) and Summer Bird (2009 Belmont).
In addition, Orb is bred on the same Bold Ruler, Fappiano Ancestral Herd nick that produced the 2006 Preakness Stakes winner Bernardini.
Orb’s victory in the Kentucky Derby smashed a 29-year draught since Swale won the Kentucky Derby in 1984. It would, indeed, be fitting if Orb was the horse to fill out the trifecta of Triple Crown winners from the Ancestral Herd of Bold Ruler.
I liked Govenor Charlie in the Sunland Derby (G3) and I like him in the Preakness Stakes (G1), too. However, he’s only had three starts and he did not race as a 2-year-old. Despite that, Govenor Charlie has all the goods and the breeding to be a classic champion.
His sire, Midnight Lute, had breathing problems, so he was raced mostly in sprint races and it is unknown if he could have had any classic potential. However, his grandsire, Real Quiet, was an outstanding Classic Champion Thoroughbred who won the 1998 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1) and lost by a nose to Victory Gallop in the Belmont Stakes (G1).
Real Quiet is a perfect example of the Ancestral Herd influence of his grandsire Fappiano who was one of the most influential sons of Mr. Prospector at stud. In Horse Profiling, The Secret To Motivating Equine Athletes, Equine Behaviorist Kerry Thomas and I wrote that Real Quiet had conformation flaws but he possessed a high herd dynamic and Emotional Conformation Profile which was the key puzzle piece necessary for his success as a Classic Champion Thoroughbred.
Since 1985, the Mr. Prospector line has produced 13 Preakness Stakes (G1) winners and two of those winners are descendants of the Fappiano Ancestral Herd: Red Bullet (2000) and Real Quiet (1998). Other descendants of Mr. Prospector that won the Preakness Stakes (G1) include: I’ll Have Another (2012), Lookin at Lucky (2010), Curlin (2007), Afleet Alex (2005), Smarty Jones (2004), Funny Cide (2003), War Emblem (2002), Point Given (2001), Timber Country (1995), Hansel (1991) and Tank’s Prospect (1985).
In addition, Govenor Charlie is bred on the Mr. Prospector, Northern Dancer nick which, since 1990, has been the most successful nick in the American classic races with 12 winners and three of those were Preakness Stakes (G1) winners: Drosselmeyer (2010 Belmont), Lookin at Lucky (2010 Preakness), Summer Bird (2009 Belmont), Curlin (2007 Preakness), Street Sense (2007 Kentucky Derby), Jazil (2006 Belmont), Birdstone (2004 Belmont), Empire Maker (2003 Belmont), Fusaichi Pegasus (2000 Kentucky Derby), Victory Gallop (1998 Belmont), Thunder Gulch (1995 Kentucky Derby & Belmont), Hansel (1991 Preakness & Belmont).
The distaff pedigree of Govenor Charlie is pretty good, too. Govenor Charlie’s dam, Silverbulletway, was unraced. But his second dam, Silverbulletday, was an outstanding champion racehorse who compiled a 15-3-1 record in 23 starts with career earnings over $3 million.
Silverbulletday was competitive in sprints and route races and her most notable wins were in 9-furlong races such as the Kentucky Oaks (G1), Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2), Gazelle Handicap (G2), Davona Dale Stakes (G2), and the 10-furlong Alabama Stakes (G1).
Govenor Charlie comes into the Preakness Stakes (G1) off of an outstanding performance in the Sunland Derby where he showed he has speed and stamina while setting a new track record of 1:47.54. Here’s the chart call:
GOVENOR CHARLIE vied three wide, dueled three wide on the far turn, responded when asked approaching the quarter pole, shook clear in upper stretch and pulled away under a drive [to win by a commanding five lengths].
The fractional splits – 22.74, 46.22, 1:09.96, 1:34.96 – are outstanding. Govenor Charlie has room to improve in his fourth start of the season and I look for him to make another big move forward.
Govenor Charlie is trained by Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert who also trained his sire Midnight Lute and his grandsire Real Quiet. Baffert has an intimate knowledge of colts from the Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd. He trained five Classic Champion Thoroughbreds and four of them are sire-line descendants of Mr. Prospector – Real Quiet, Point Given, War Emblem and Lookin At Lucky. Bodemeister, second-place finishers in the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, is also a sire-line descendant Mr. Prospector and he’s bred on the Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer nick.
Govenor Charlie is lightly-raced with only three career starts. If he’s forwardly placed early in the race and repeats his performance in the Sunland Derby, he’ll be tough to beat in the Preakness Stakes (G1).
I liked Mylute (5-1) in the Kentucky Derby and I like him in the Preakness, too. Despite being checked early and running six-wide in the slop, Mylute finished a respectable fifth just 3¾-lengths shy of victory.
Like Govenor Charlie, Midnight Lute is the sire of Mylute, so he also is a descendant of the powerful influence of the Fappiano Ancestral Herd. In addition, both Mylute and his grandsire Real Quiet are bred on the Mr. Prospector, Man o’ War nick and that is the same nick that produced the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Smarty Jones.
In the distaff pedigree, the second dam of both Mylute and Real Quiet are descendants of the Ancestral Herd of Raise A Native and the tail-female line of Mylute descends from Reine-de-Course mare Golden Apple (Family 23-b) which is the same family that produced the Classic Champion Thoroughbred I’ll Have Another.
Altogether, Family 23-b has produced nine Classic Champion Thoroughbreds: I’ll Have Another (2012), Mine That Bird (2009), Lil E. Tee (1992), Winning Colors (1988), Affirmed (1978), Tim Tam (1958), Zev (1923), Byrn Mawr (1904) and Kingman (1891).
While Mylute failed to replicate the form of his great grandsire Real Quiet and win the Kentucky Derby, he did take another step forward, improving his Brisnet Speed Figure two points from 105 to 107.
The Fappiano Ancestral Herd is a powerful influence in the American classics and that makes Mylute very attractive in the Preakness. With 2-3-2 record in 10 career starts, Mylute is one of the more seasoned colts in the Preakness and he retains the services of outstanding jockey Rosie Napravnik.
If Mylute repeats his form in the Kentucky Derby or improves on it, he’ll be competitive in the Preakness Stakes.
Will Take Charge is a colt that is not at the top of his class and has yet to live up to his potential. But his breeding indicates that he is capable, on a given day, of running a good race and that’s why I’ll use him in some of my wagers on Saturday.
He was in good position at the top of the stretch in the Kentucky Derby when he was checked by an exhausted Verrazano who was backing up and we’ll never know if Will Take Charge could have been a factor in the exotics.
Will Take Charge has compiled a 3-1-0 record in eight starts including wins in the Smarty Jones Stakes and the Rebel Stakes (G2). And, most important, he’s a descendant of the Fappiano Ancestral Herd on the top and bottom of his pedigree.
His grandsire is the previously mentioned Classic Champion Thoroughbred, Unbridled, and his sire, Unbridled’s Song, finished fifth in the 1996 Kentucky Derby – just 3½-lengths shy of victory. One of Unbridled’s Song’s best runners was the ill-fated Eight Belles who broke down after finishing second to Big Brown in the 2008 Kentucky Derby. Will Take Charge is nowhere near as accomplished as Eight Belles was but the two have similar Ancestral Herd breeding.
Take Charge Lady, the dam of Will Take Charge, was a multiple graded-stakes racehorse who compiled an 11-7-0 record in 22 starts. Her most notable victories were in the 8½-furlong Walmac International Alcibiades Stakes (G2), Silverbulletday Stakes (G3), Fair Grounds Oaks Stakes (G2), Ashland Stakes (G1), Dogwood Stakes (G3), the 9-furlong Arlington Matron Handicap (G3) and she was the two-time winner of the 9-furlong Overbrook Spinster Stakes (G1).
D. Wayne Lukas, the trainer of Will Take Charge, knows what it takes to be competitive in classic races and he’s the master at flying under the radar. When he was big winner in the 1990’s, Lukas had several horses that had nice payoffs for a $2 bet: Thunder Gulch ($51.00), Grindstone ($13.80) and Charismatic ($64.60).
In addition to Will Take Charge, Lukas also has entered Oxbow and Titletown Five. But of the three, I like the chances of Will Take Charge to be a factor in the exotic wagers.
Preakness Stakes 138
Post Position, Horse, Odds, Jockey, Trainer
1. Orb, 1-1, Joel Rosario, Claude McGaughey
2. Goldencents, 5-1, Kevin Krigger, Doug O’Neill
3. Titletown Five, 30-1, Julien Leparoux, D. Wayne Lukas
4. Departing, 6-1, Brian Hernandez, Albert Stall Jr.
5. Mylute, 15-1, Rosie Napravnik, Tom Amoss
6. Oxbow, 30-1, Gary Stevens, D. Wayne Lukas
7. Will Take Charge, 20-1, Mike Smith, D. Wayne Lukas
8. Govenor Charlie, 12-1, Martin Garcia, Bob Baffert
9. Itsmyluckyday, 15-1, John Valazquez, Eddie Pleasa, Jr.
Anyone who’s followed my blog for any length of time knows that my study of Thoroughbred pedigrees and the late Federico Tesio, a world-renowned owner, breeder and trainer of Thoroughbred racehorses, has had a tremendous impact on my analysis of classic champion prospects. The result of that research is what I call the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile and it is a powerful tool I use to determine if a young colt has to potential to become a Classic Champion Thoroughbred.
In addition, the behavior of the horse or Emotional Conformation is the final piece of the breeding puzzle. Behavior was the key puzzle piece Tesio relied on to breed his numerous champion Thoroughbreds and, during his lifetime, he bred an incredible 21 Italiano Derby winners.
The Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile and the Emotional Conformation of the horse are important tools that have enabled me to pick the classic champions Orb, I’ll Have Another, Animal Kingdom, Pour Moi, Super Saver, Lookin At Lucky, and Summer Bird.
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Classic Champion Thoroughbreds is a unique, innovative bloodstock consulting firm, dedicated to helping clients make informed decisions, eliminating doubt and guesswork, in buying and breeding Thoroughbreds.
Classic Champion Thoroughbreds provides its clients with the important information necessary to achieve their goals and realize their dreams of competing at the highest level. Every evaluation includes a detailed pedigree analysis and a Classic Champion Thoroughbred Profile of young horses that may be classic racing prospects. Each analysis and profile draws upon the time-tested breeding theories of great Thoroughbred breeders as well as those of Classic Champion Thoroughbreds owner Calvin L. Carter.
(Upon request, clients can receive an Emotional Conformation Profile behavioral analysis of the horses they plan to buy or breed from Kerry Thomas, Founder of the Thomas Herding Technique.)
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