Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015 Kentucky Derby Outlook



©2014 Calvin L. Carter. All rights reserved.
As 2014 draws to a close, once again it is time to write my Kentucky Derby Outlook, which has become a blog tradition. The 2015 Kentucky Derby Outlook will be the fifth outlook I’ve written since starting my blog. And, it’s a lot of fun researching and studying the current crop of two-year-old Thoroughbreds to see which one may have classic potential.
By far, my best pick was in December of 2010 when in my 2011 Kentucky Derby Outlook I wrote that Animal Kingdom would most likely be my Derby favorite. At that time, Animal Kingdom had a 1-1-0 record in two starts – both were maiden special weight races on all-weather tracks.
I had no idea if the connections planned to give Animal Kingdom a classic campaign. But research of his pedigree showed me that, given a chance, he had the potential to become a Classic Champion Thoroughbred.
Despite the joy and pleasure I receive in trying to find a potential champion, analyzing pedigrees and reviewing the races of as many two year olds as possible is always a daunting task. And, as you can see from the blog I wrote last week, it’s not easy finding a Derby winner and one has to look at many different sources to find the horse that may have star potential.
Nevertheless, that intensive study has helped me hone my analysis skills and, over the years, that has enabled me to pick in my Derby blogs the classic champions California Chrome, Orb, I’ll Have Another, Animal Kingdom, Pour Moi, Super Saver, Lookin At Lucky, and Summer Bird. And in my 2012 Derby blog, all five horses I profiled finished in the top five.
Like an intricate puzzle, the pedigree contains many secrets of what champions are made of. After many years of research and study, I know that the influence of the Ancestral Herd is of primary importance in determining the outcome of races on the Triple Crown Trail.
Recently, the qualifying stakes races for two year old Thoroughbreds on the Kentucky Derby Trail came to a close with the victory of Dortmund in the exciting finish of the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1). Let’s take a look at the current top twenty qualifiers for the 2015 Kentucky Derby.


2015 KENTUCKY DERBY LEADERBOARD

Individual Leaders ranking, total points, Trainer, Non-Restricted Stakes Earnings

1. Carpe Diem, 14, Todd Pletcher, $660,000
2. Texas Red, 12, Keith Desormeaux, $1,136,000
3. El Kabeir, 11, John Terranova II, $210,792
4. International Star, 11, Mike Maker, $130,979
5. Ocho Ocho Ocho, 10, Jim Cassidy, $660,000
6. Mr. Z, 10, D. Wayne Lukas, $473,326
7. American Pharoah, 10, Bob Baffert, $360,000
8. Daredevil, 10, Todd Pletcher, $300,000
8. Dortmund, 10, Bob Baffert, $300,000
10. Leave the Light On, 10, Chad Brown, $240,000
11. Lucky Player, 10, Steve Asmussen, $96,481
12. Upstart, 6, Rick Violette Jr., $300,000
13. Bold Conquest, 6, Steve Asmussen, $72,176
14. Conquest Typhoon, 4, Mark Casse, $221,827
15. Imperia, 4, Kiaran McLaughlin, $163,804
16. Calculator, 4, Peter Miller, $120,000
17. Firing Line, 4, Simon Callaghan, $100,000
18. Frosted, 4, Kiaran McLaughlin, $80,000
19. Far Right, 2, Ron Moquett, $115,906
20. The Truth Or Else, 2, Kenny McPeek, $76,000


Dortmund, ranked eighth, is the 9-1 individual favorite in pool one of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, and he’s the Wynn Las Vegas 12-1 pre-Derby favorite, replacing American Pharoah who is now the 15-1 second choice. If Dortmund stays healthy, he should be competitive as a three year old and he could earn a spot in the Derby starting gate.
This is the third year that Churchill Downs has used a point system to determine eligibility to run in the Kentucky Derby and all of the races have been run over a route of ground a mile or longer. I like the new system, especially the fact that the races start in September and they are not run less than a mile as that was a key for training two-year-old Thoroughbreds that Burchard von Oettingen wrote about in his book: Horse Breeding In Theory And Practice, published by Sampson Low, Marston & Co., 1909.
Von Oettingen was director of the German Royal Stud at the turn of the 20th Century and he was a pioneer in making farm life as natural as possible for the horse. He believed the best schedule for two-year-old Thoroughbreds was to begin racing them in September at not less than a mile. I’ve written numerous blogs about von Oettingen and you can learn more about his theories, in my Thursday, July 18, 2013 blog.
Looking forward to 2015, I can see a similar scenerio from this current crop of Derby qualifiers that has manifested from the past two years of qualifiers. In 2012, four horses emerged from the top twenty to compete as three year olds in the 2013 Kentucky Derby: Goldencents, Overanalyze, Normandy Invasion and Frac Daddy. The same happened in 2013 when Tapiture, We Miss Artie, Dance With Fate and Ride On Curlin went on as three year olds to compete in the 2014 Derby.
So, for this outlook, I’ve decided to trim the list of top twenty qualifiers to four horses that, perhaps, may have the best potential to enter the Derby starting gate. Also, in keeping with the spirit of Christmas, I’ve compiled a Derby “Wish List” of six horses that have yet to earn any Derby points which I would like to see in the 2015 Derby starting gate. Here’s a look at my picks:


Derby Qualifers

1. Ocho Ocho Ocho
1. Dortmund
3. Carpe Diem
4. Mr. Z


Derby Wish List

1. Ventura Highway
1. Seattle Serenade
2. Another Lemon Drop
2. Nasa
2. Hard to Port
5. Toasting Master

          So if these young horses stay healthy and my Derby wish list comes true, here’s a look at my top ten:

Top Ten

1. Ventura Highway
1. Seattle Serenade
3. Another Lemon Drop
3. Ocho Ocho Ocho
3. Nasa
6. Hard to Port
7. Dortmund
8. Carpe Diem
9. Mr. Z
10. Toasting Master


Both Ventura Highway and Seattle Serenade are unraced, however, they are two of the best-bred colts in this crop and that’s why I have them ranked number one (After all, this is my Derby “Wish List”). But, it remains to be seen if they will live up to their breeding. If they have the talent and good fortune to make it into the Derby starting gate, they should be competitive.
Another Lemon Drop, Nasa, Hart to Port and Toasting Master have raced but they have yet to earn any Derby points. They also have excellent pedigrees and if they live up to their breeding they should be competitive on the Derby trail.
Of my top ten horses, five are sire-line descendants of the Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd: Seattle Serenade, Another Lemon Drop, Nasa, Hard to Port and Ocho Ocho Ocho. Ventura Highway, Toasting Master and Mr. Z are sire-line descendants of the Bold Ruler Ancestral Herd. Dortmund and Carpe Diem are sire-line descendants of the Northern Dancer Ancestral Herd. (See notes about the Mr. Prospector, Bold Ruler and Northern Dancer Ancestral Herds at the end of this blog.)
It’s still early on the Derby trail and one never knows how these young horses will fare on the Derby Trail. Let’s take a look at my picks:


VENTURA HIGHWAY, a bay colt by Street Cry (IRE) out of Music Note by A.P. Indy, was foaled on April 3, 2012. A homebred of Darley Stallions and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ventura Highway is trained by Eoin Harty and he has three recorded work outs at Tamp Bay Downs.
Ventura Highway has a lot of catching up to do but how fitting it would be for a son of Street Cry, who died earlier this year, to make it into the 2015 Kentucky Derby Starting Gate.
Despite the obstacles and likelihood of Ventura Highway running in the Derby, he definitely has the breeding to be a Classic Champion Thoroughbred.
Ventura Highway is bred on nick of the Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd over the Bold Ruler Ancestral Herd and that cross produced the classic champions Funny Cide (2003 Kentucky Derby, Preakness), Lemon Drop Kid (1999 Belmont) and Editor’s Note (1996 Belmont). Red Bullet, winner of the 2000 Preakness, was bred on a cross of Mr. Prospector over Nasrullah.
Street Cry, the sire of Ventura Highway, was an outstanding racehorse and homebred of Sheikh Mohammed and his most notable stakes victories were in the 8-furlong UAE 2,000 Guineas (G1), the 10-furlong Dubai World Cup (G1), the 9-furlong Stephen Foster Handicap (G1) and the 10-furlong Maktoum Challenge Round 3 (G2).
At stud, Street Cry sired numerous champions and his most notable progeny are Kentucky Derby winner, Street Sense, and the multiple graded-stakes winner, Zenyatta.
A.P. Indy, the damsire of Ventura Highway, won the 1992 Belmont Stakes and his sire, Seattle Slew, was an outstanding racehorse and winner of the 1977 Triple Crown. In addition, Sadler’s Wells, the sire of the second dam, Note Musicale, was a Classic Champion Thoroughbred and Sire of Sires. 
Music Note, the dam of Ventura Highway, was an outstanding racehorse and multiple graded stakes winner who, during her racing career, compiled a 7-1-2 record in 12 starts with $1,615,000 in earnings. Her most notable grade-one stakes wins were in the Mother Goose Stakes, Coaching Club American Oaks Stakes, Gazelle Stakes, Ballerina Stakes and Beldame Stakes. She also finished third, twice, in the grade-one Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic.
In addition to sire lines, tail-female lines are another important Ancestral Herd influence is that has a tremendous impact on the offspring.
 Music Note is a tail-female line descendant of Sweet Hawthorn (Family 4-k) which descends from the foundation mare Layton Barb Mare (Family 4), and Family 4 has produced the most Kentucky Derby winners with a total of 17 champions:

Family 4: Layton Barb Mare 4-r = Monarchos (2001). 4-d = Real Quiet (1998). 4-m = Sunny’s Halo (1983). 4-n = Canonero (1971). 4-d = Majestic Prince (1969). 4-m = Venetian Way (1960). 4-m = Middleground (1950). 4-c = Assault-T (1946). 4-e = Gallahadion (1940). 4-m = Lawrin (1938). 4-n = Gallant Fox-T (1930). 4-r = Black Gold (1924). 4-r = Donau (1910). 4 = Wintergreen (1909). 4-r = Manuel (1899). 4-r = Halma (1895). 4-m = Day Star (1878). T-Triple Crown.

Family 4-k also produced Balanchine, winner of the 1994, 12-furlong Irish Derby (Group 1) and the 12-furlong English Oaks Stakes (Group 1). In addition, four of the dams on the tail-female line of Ventura Highway – It’s In The Air, A Wind Is Rising , Queen Nasra and Bayborough – are Reines-de-Course mares.
On December 31, Ventura Highway worked 2 of 15 today at the Tampa Bay Downs, so I look for him to make his racing debut, soon.


SEATTLE SERENADE, a bay colt by Smart Strike, out of Serenading by A.P. Indy, was foaled on March 9, 2012. Owned by Dr. Mark Dedomenico and partners and trained Jerry Hollendorfer, Seattle Serenade was a $1 million purchase for agent Mike Puhich at the Keeneland Association September 2013 Yearling Sale.
Here’s what Puhich had to say about the colt in a Keeneland news release:

“(He’s) just a really classy, gorgeous horse and he’s by a top stallion -- we fell in love with him and decided we wanted to try to get him,” Puhich said. “Jerry Hollendorfer, our trainer, he’s gonna probably stay in for a piece of the horse, and that’s the type of horse he wants. … We’re excited about it.”

It remains to be seen if Seattle Serenade can make it into the Derby starting gate. However, he has the breeding to be competitive on the Derby trail.
Like Ventura Highway, Seattle Serenade, is bred on a nick of the Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd over the A.P. Indy, Bold Ruler Ancestral Herd and that cross produced the classic champions Funny Cide (2003 Kentucky Derby, Preakness), Lemon Drop Kid (1999 Belmont) and Editor’s Note (1996 Belmont). Red Bullet, winner of the 2000 Preakness, was bred on a cross of Mr. Prospector over Nasrullah.
Smart Strike, the sire of Seattle Serenade, has proven to be an outstanding sire of champions and classic champions. He sired the Classic Champion Thoroughbreds Curlin and Lookin at Lucky and he’s the grandsire of Belmont Stakes winner, Palace Malice. Also, Smart Strike is the damsire of the 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird.
In addition, Smart Strike has sired numerous outstanding stakes winners including: English Channel, My Miss Aurelia, Shining Pisa, Soaring Free, Fleetstreet Dancer, Fabulous Strike, Never Retreat, Papa Clem, Tenpins and Strike a Deal, just to name a few.
Like Ventura Highway, A.P. Indy is the damsire of Seattle Serenade, and the tail-female line is reinforced by the outstanding Thoroughbreds Deputy Minister, Buckpasser and Northern Dancer.
Serenading, the dam of Seattle Serenade, was a multiple graded-stakes winner who compiled a 6-7-2 record in 18 starts and she was the recipient of the Canadian 2009 Sovereign Award for Champion Older Mare.
Serenading is a tail-female line descendant of Alexander Mare (Family 2-n) which descends from the foundation mare Burton’s Barb Mare (Family 2). Family 2 has produced several Kentucky Derby winners:

Family 2: Burton’s Barb Mare – 2-d = Giacomo (2005). 2-d = Spectacular Bid (1979). 2-d = Cannonade (1974). 2-s = Secretariat-T (1973). 2-d = Northern Dancer (1964). 2-e = Reigh Count (1928). 2-c = Buchanan (1884).

Seattle Serenade’s third dam, Passing Mood, is the dam of Touch Gold (1997 Belmont) and the 1989 Canadian Triple Crown winner With Approval. Multiple graded stakes winner Brilliant Speed also hails from the family of Seattle Serenade.
Like Ventura Highway, Seattle Serenade has a lot of catching up to do if he’s going to make it into the Derby starting gate. However, he’s been training at Golden Gate Fields and a recent bullet work on December 30 should have him ready to make his racing debut, soon.


ANOTHER LEMON DROP, a dark bay colt by Lemon Drop Kid, out of Shytoe Lafeet by King of Kings (IRE), was foaled on May 1, 2012. Owned by Rigney Racing and trained by Phillip Bauer, Another Lemon Drop has compiled a 2-0-1 record in four starts, including a 5-length win running a mile in the slop in his last race at the Fair Grounds. Here’s the video and chart call:

ANOTHER LEMON DROP raced off the rail early on the first turn then dropped to the inside, settled nicely off the pace, moved up late on the backstretch, slipped through along the rail to take the lead midway through the far turn, edged clear when asked leaving that bend and drew away under steady handling.

The finish time of 1:39.12 is not as fast as I like, but Another Lemon Drop won going away and he has a lot of talent that will blossom as he gets older and the races get longer. In fact, two races back Another Lemon Drop finished a respectable third to Dortmund who is the current Derby favorite.
Another Lemon Drop is bred on a nick of the Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd over the Northern Dancer Ancestral Herd and that cross has been the most successful on the Triple Crown Trail producing 13 classic champions: Palace Malice (2013 Belmont), 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) and Hansel (1991 Preakness & Belmont).
Lemon Drop Kid, the sire of Another Lemon Drop, won the 1999 Belmont Stakes and the three-generation pedigree is further reinforced with the Classic Champion Thoroughbreds: Kingmambo, King of Kings, Miesque, Seattle Slew, Sadler’s Wells and St. Jovite.
Shytoe Lafeet, the dam of Another Lemon Drop, was multiple stakes placed and won the West Virginia Senate President's Stakes. She also is a tail-female line descendant of the foundation mare Burton’s Barb Mare (Family 2) and descends from Orville Mare (Family 2-s). Family 2 has produced several Kentucky Derby winners:

Family 2: Burton’s Barb Mare – 2-d = Giacomo (2005). 2-d = Spectacular Bid (1979). 2-d = Cannonade (1974). 2-s = Secretariat-T (1973). 2-d = Northern Dancer (1964). 2-e = Reigh Count (1928). 2-c = Buchanan (1884).

Cinq a Sept, the eighth dam of Another Lemon Drop, is the fifth dam of Triple Crown winner, Secretariat.
Another Lemon Drop is in training at the Fair Grounds. He has the breeding to be competitive on the trail, especially as the races get longer.


OCHO OCHO OCHO, a dark bay colt by Street Sense, out of Winner by Horse Chestnut (SAF), was foaled on April 2, 2012. Owned by DP Racing, LLC and trained by James Cassidy, Ocho Ocho Ocho is undefeated in three starts.
In just his second start, Ocho Ocho Ocho looked impressive on Breeders’ Cup weekend, cruising to a 5¾-length victory in the Juvenile Turf Sprint Stakes which was taken off the turf. Here’s the chart call and video:

OCHO OCHO OCHO had good early speed and dueled inside, inched away under urging in midstretch and won clear in hand late.

And in his last start, Ocho Ocho Ocho successfully stretched out to 8½-furlongs to win the Boyd Gaming’s Delta Jackpot Stakes (G3) by a narrow nose. Here’s the video and chart call of the Delta Jackpot:

OCHO OCHO OCHO away well from the outside, dropped inside entering the first turn, inched closer up the backstretch, reached a striking position entering the second turn, dueled with MR Z through the second turn, remained engaged with that one through the drive and outfought his rival.

For such a lightly-raced colt, Ocho Ocho Ocho has shown a great deal of professionalism in the way he handles himself on the racetrack. And, he definitely has the breeding to be competitive on the trail as a three year old.
Like Another Lemon Drop, Ocho Ocho Ocho is a sire-line descendant of the Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd and he’s bred on a cross of Mr. Prospector over Northern Dancer which is the most successful nick on the American Triple Crown Trail, producing 13 Classic Champion Thoroughbreds: Palace Malice (2013 Belmont), 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) and Hansel (1991 Preakness & Belmont).
Street Sense, the sire of Ocho Ocho Ocho, won the 2007 Kentucky Derby, and, his damsire, Horse Chestnut, won the 1999 South African Triple Crown and was picked as the South African Horse of the Year and Champion Three Year Old Colt.
Winner, the dam of Ocho Ocho Ocho, is a tail-female line descendant of the foundation mare Old Bald Peg (Family 6) and his immediate family descends from Cream Cheeks (Family 6-a). Family 6 has produced several Derby winners:

Family 6: Old Bald Peg – 6-d = Funny Cide (2003). 6-a = Count Fleet-T (1943). 6-a = Bold Venture (1936). 6-a = Old Rosebud (1914). 6-a = Worth (1912). T - Triple Crown winner.

In addition, three of the dams on Winner’s tail-female line – Personal Ensign, Grecian Banner and Dorine – were multiple graded-stakes winners and Reines-de-Course mares. Also, Personal Ensign and Grecian Banner were both selected as the Kentucky Broodmare of the Year. Personal Ensign foaled the outstanding racehorses Miner’s Mark, My Flag and Traditionally. Grecian Banner foaled the graded-stakes winners Personal Flag and Personal Ensign.


NASA, a bay colt by Smarty Jones, out of Shootforthestars by Seattle Slew, was foaled on May 11, 2012. Nasa is a Someday Farm homebred of Patricia L. Chapman, and he’s trained by John Servis – the same connections that campaigned Smarty Jones to victories in the 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.
In four starts, Nasa has compiled 2-1-1 record including a 2¼-length victory in the 7-furlong Pennsylvania Nursery Stakes, which, by the way, was also won by Smarty Jones 11 years ago. Here’s the video and chart call of the Nursery:

NASA took the lead at once, set the pace well off the rail, steadily drew away and won under strong handling. INSTRUCTOR KUNU prompted the pace outside winner, was unable to keep pace late while second best.

Nasa is a fast, talented colt. But if he is as fast as Smarty Jones remains to be seen. Here’s a look at the Nursery Stakes fractional times for Nasa and Smarty Jones:

Nasa – 22.98, 46.14, 1:11.30. Final Time: 1:24.67
Smarty Jones – 21.88, 44.20, 1:08.67. Final Time: 1:21.88

Nasa led gate-to-wire in the Nursery and if he can carry his speed over a route of ground, he’ll be competitive on the Kentucky Derby Trail. And, he has the breeding to be successful.
Like Ventura Highway and Seattle Seranade, Nasa is also bred on a nick of the Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd over the Bold Ruler Ancestral Herd and that cross produced the classic champions Funny Cide (2003 Kentucky Derby, Preakness), Lemon Drop Kid (1999 Belmont) and Editor’s Note (1996 Belmont). Red Bullet, winner of the 2000 Preakness, was bred on a cross of Mr. Prospector over Nasrullah.
Smarty Jones, the sire of Nasa, won the 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness and the damsire, Seattle Slew, was the 1977 Triple Crown winner. Alydar, the sire of the second dam, Lotta Dancing, would have been a Triple Crown winner if he did not have to face his rival, Affirmed, who won the 1978 crown.
Shootforthestars, the dam of Nasa, was unraced. She also is a tail-female line descendant of the foundation mare Burton’s Barb Mare (Family 2) and descends from Emma (Family 2-d). Family 2 has produced several Kentucky Derby winners:

Family 2: Burton’s Barb Mare – 2-d = Giacomo (2005). 2-d = Spectacular Bid (1979). 2-d = Cannonade (1974). 2-s = Secretariat-T (1973). 2-d = Northern Dancer (1964). 2-e = Reigh Count (1928). 2-c = Buchanan (1884).

Queen Sucree, the fifth dam of Nasa, was the dam of 1974 Kentucky Derby winner, Cannonade, and Almahmoud, the seventh dam of Nasa, was the second dam of Northern Dancer, winner of the 1964 Kentucky Derby and Preakness.
Whether Nasa has any classic potential like his sire, Smarty Jones, remains to be seen. He’ll get his first test as a three year old this Saturday when he faces a field of eight other young Thoroughbreds in the 145th running of the $200,000 Jerome Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct Racetrack.


HARD TO PORT, a bay colt by Afleet Alex, out of Turn Away by Empire Maker, was foaled on March 5, 2012. A homebred of Juddmonte Farms, Inc. and trained by Bill Mott, Hard to Port has compiled a 2-0-0 record in three starts, including a dead-heat in his last race to his stable mate, Dubai Sky. Here’s the video and chart call:

HARD TO PORT allowed to settle and save ground along the inside, shifted off the rail, circled around into the lane, kicked in final sixteenth and finished on equal terms with stable mate at the wire.

Hard to Port, in seventh place at the three quarter pole, made a wide sweeping move and gobbled up ground to get up and finish in a dead heat with Dubai Sky. The final time for the mile of 1:36.61 is what I like to see in a colt that is on the Derby Trail. And, Hard to Port has the breeding to be competitive.
Hard to Port is bred on a nick of the Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd over Mr. Prospector and that cross produced the Classic Champion Thoroughbred, Mine That Bird, winner of the 2009 Kentucky Derby.
Afleet Alex, the sire of Hard to Port, won the 2005 Preakness and Belmont. Empire Maker, the damsire of Hard to Port, won the 2003 Belmont. In addition, the tail female line is reinforced with the Classic Champion Thoroughbreds Known Fact and Quadrangle. Sham, the sire of the third dam, Safe Play, finished second in the 1973 Kentucky Derby and Preakness and most likely would have been a Classic Champion Thoroughbred if he had not ran against his rival, Secretariat.
Turn Away, the dam of Hard to Port, won the Top Secret Stakes and was stakes-placed in the Golden Rod Stakes (G2) and First Flight Handicap (G3). She, also, is a tail-female line descendant of the foundation mare Burton’s Barb Mare (Family 2) and descends from Crucifix (Family 2-i). Family 2 has produced several Kentucky Derby winners:

Family 2: Burton’s Barb Mare – 2-d = Giacomo (2005). 2-d = Spectacular Bid (1979). 2-d = Cannonade (1974). 2-s = Secretariat-T (1973). 2-d = Northern Dancer (1964). 2-e = Reigh Count (1928). 2-c = Buchanan (1884).

To date, Family 2-1 has not produced any classic champions on the Triple Crown Trail.
Hard to Port is in training at Gulfstream Park and I look for him to make his stakes debut, soon.


DORTMUND, a chestnut colt by Big Brown, out of Our Josephina by Tale of the Cat, was foaled on February 7, 2012. Owned by Kaleem Shah, Inc. and trained by Bob Baffert, Dortmund in undefeated in 3 starts, including a narrow victory in the Los Alamitos Futurity Stakes (G1). Here’s video and chart call:

DORTMUND content to track dueling leaders from off the rail into and through the backstretch, continued three then four wide into the stretch, was under strong asking from the outside, challenged outside rivals in the upper stretch, edged closer under vigorous right hand urging, joined rivals three deep nearing the wire and got the bob decision.

The fractional splits and final time of 1:40.86 for this race were blistering fast and this was the first real test for Dortmund who has dominated winning his previous two races by a combined 12½-lengths.
Dortmund is bred on a nick of the Northern Dancer Ancestral Herd over Northern Dancer. Big Brown, the sire of Dortmund, is also bred on that same cross and he won the 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness.
Tale of the Cat, the damsire of Dortmund, did not begin racing until late May of his three-year-old racing season and he did not run in any of the classics. However, he did sire, Lion Heart, who finished second to Smarty Jones in the 2004 Kentucky Derby and he also sired Tale of Ekati who finished fourth to Big Brown in the 2008 Kentucky Derby.
At stud, Tale of the Cat has sired numerous outstanding racehorses including Gio Ponti, A Shin Top, Stopchargingmaria, Shigeru Sosai, Eishin Bodin, Gathering (AUS), Glamour Puss (NZ), and My Trusty Cat.
Our Josephina, the dam of Dortmund, won the Ohio Valley Handicap and was placed in the Chicago Breeders’ Cup Handicap (G3) and the West Virginia Secretary of State Handicap. She is a tail-female line descendant of Crab Mare (Family 9-c) which descends from the foundation mare, Vinter Mare (Family 9), and that family has produced several Kentucky Derby winners:

Family 9: Vinter Mare – 9-f = Bold Forbes (1976). 9-c = Forward Pass (1968). 9 = Hoop Jr. (1945). 9-g = Sir Barton-T (1919). 9-h = Omar Khayyam (1917). 9-a = Spokane (1889).

To date, the immediate tail-female line of Our Josephina has not produced any Derby winners.
It remains to be seen if Dortmund has any classic potential. However, I look for him to be competitive as a three year old on the Derby trail.


CARPE DIEM, a chestnut colt by Giant’s Causeway, out of Rebridled Dreams by Unbridled’s Song, was foaled on February 29, 2012. Owned by WinStar Farm, LLC and Stronestreet Stable, LLC, and trained by Todd Pletcher, Carpe Diem has compiled a 2-1-0 record in three starts, including a 6¼-length win in the Breeders’ Futurity Stakes (G1) and a 6½-length, second-place finish to Texas Red in the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Here’s the video and chart call of the Juvenile:

CARPE DIEM, off the early pace while three wide, gained leaving the far turn, angled six wide under a ride into the lane, straightened away and finished with good energy to nab the place.

Carpe Diem is bred on a nick of the Northern Dancer Ancestral Herd over the Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd and that cross produced the classic champions Union Rags (2012 Belmont), Shackleford (2011 Preakness) and Rachel Alexandra (2009 Preakness).
Giant’s Causeway, the sire of Pablo del Monte, was undefeated in three starts as a 2-year-old (all at 7-furlongs) – winning the Group 3 Futurity Stakes and the Group 1 Prix de la Salamandre Stakes. As a 3-year-old, Giant’s Causeway was 6-4-0 in 10 starts, winning from 7- to 10-furlongs, and he was the 2000 Cartier Racing Awards European Horse of the Year.
Unbridled’s Song, the damsire of Carpe Diem, was a competitive two year old that won the 1995 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes (G1). As a three year old, Unbridled’s Song won the Florida Derby (G1) and Wood Memorial Stakes (G2) in route to a fifth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby.
Rebridled Dreams, the dam of Carpe Diem, won the Money Penny Stakes and finished third in the Silverbulletday Stakes (G2). She is a tail-female line descendant of Turk Mare (Family 23-b) which descends from the foundation mare, Piping Peg’s Dam (Family 23), and that family has produced several Kentucky Derby winners:

Family 23: Piping Peg’s Dam – 23-b = I’ll Have Another (2012). 23-b = Mine That Bird (2009). 23-b = Lil E. Tee (1992). 23-b = Winning Colors (1988). 23-b = Affirmed-T (1978). 23-b = Tim Tim (1958). 23 = Ponder (1949). 23-a = Burgoo King (1932). 23-b = Zev (1923). 23-b = Kingman (1891).

While Family 23-b is a good family, the immediate tail-female line of Rebridled Dreams has not produced any Kentucky Derby winners.
Carpe Diem has yet to return to the work tab. However, Brian Zipse of Horse Racing Nation noted that he will probably begin training at Gulfstream Park.


MR. Z, a chestnut colt by Malibu Moon, out of Stormy Bear by Storm Cat, was foaled on January 12, 2012. Owned by Zayat Stables, LLC, and trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Mr. Z has compiled a 1-4-1 record in eight starts, including a narrow loss by a head to Dortmund in the Los Alamitos Futurity. Here’s video and chart call of the Futurity: (Truenicks: B)

MR. Z was under pressure setting the pace while slightly off the rail and trying to get out, resisted when challenged approaching top of the stretch, continued off the rail into the lane, fought gamely inside rival, lugged out and bumped FIRING LINE repeatedly in grueling drive and narrowly missed.

Mr. Z is bred on a nick of the A.P. Indy, Bold Ruler Ancestral Herd over the Northern Dancer Ancestral Herd and that cross produced the Classic Champion Thoroughbred Rags to Riches, winner of the 2007 Belmont Stakes.
Malibu Moon, the sire of Mr. Z, also sired the 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb. Storm Cat, the damsire of Mr. Z, sired the 1994 Preakness Stakes (G1) and Belmont Stakes (G1) winner, Tabasco Cat. And Storm Cat is the grandsire of the 2011 Preakness Stakes winner, Shackleford.
As a damsire, Storm Cat’s best runner on the Derby Trail was Bodemeister who, sired by Empire Maker, finished second to I’ll Have Another in the 2012 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1).
Stormy Bear, the dam of Mr. Z, was unraced. She is a tail-female line descendant of Stray Shot (Family 13-c) and she descends from the foundation mare Sedbury Royal Mare (Family 13) which has produced several Derby winners:

Family 13: Sedbury Royal Mare – 13-c = Ferdinand (1986). 13-c = Seattle Slew-T (1977). 13-c = Jet Pilot (1947).

Myrtlewood, the seventh dam of Mr. Z, is the fifth dam of Triple Crown winner and influential sire, Seattle Slew. Gold Digger, the fourth dam of Mr. Z, is the dam of the influential Sire of Sires, Mr. Prospector.
Mr. Z always shows up to race and in his eight previous starts he’s only been out of the money twice. That is why he is in my top ten and, if he stays healthy, he should be competitive as a three year old, too. And, he’s now training at Oaklawn Park.
In a December 23 tweet, Dick Downey @DowneyProfile of the Downey Profile tweeted: Mr. Z is now at @OaklawnRacing. Trainer Lukas said he's looking at a 2015 debut in the Southwest Stakes on Feb. 16.


TOASTING MASTER, a bay colt by Congrats, out of Broadway Gold by Seeking the Gold, was foaled on March 32, 2012. Owned by West Point Thoroughbreds and trained by Dale Romans, Toasting master has yet to run in a stakes or route race and he’s compiled a 2-1-0 record in three starts. Here’s the video and chart call of his last race:

TOASTING MASTER set the pressured pace two wide, opened clear leaving the turn, fought on and was all out to just last. WAKE UP JOE tracked the pace three wide, dug in once straightened for the drive, kicked on well and was getting to the winner with every stride.

Toasting Master is bred on a nick of the A.P. Indy, Bold Ruler Ancestral Herd over the Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd and that cross produced the Classic Champion Thoroughbreds California Chrome (2014 Kentucky Derby & Preakness), Orb (2013 Kentucky Derby) and Bernardini (2006 Preakness).
In addition, that cross has also produced numerous important sires and outstanding racehorses: Malibu Moon, Pulpit, Mineshaft, Tapit, Lu Ravi, Tomisue’s Delight, A. P. Arrow, Aratama Indy, Indian Vale, Tempera, Adriano, Pulpit, Hotep, Eye of the Leopard, Daydreaming, Little Belle, Flashing, Teammate and With Ability. Congrats, the sire of Toasting Master, is also bred on a cross with the Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd.
During his racing career, Congrats was a multiple stakes winner who compiled 7-3-5 record in 26 starts with $998,960 in earnings. His most notable stakes wins were in the Alysheba Stakes and San Pasqual Handicap (G2) and he placed in several graded-stakes races.
As a stallion, Congrats best runners include: Turbulent Descent, Toasting and I’m Steppin’ It Up.
Seeking the Gold, the damsire of Toasting Master, was a multiple graded stakes winner who won the Swale Stakes and finished second in the Gotham Stakes (G2) and the Wood Memorial Invitational Stakes (G1) in route to seventh-place finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1). He went on to win the Peter Pan Stakes (G2), Dwyer Stakes (G1) and Super Derby (G1).
At stud, Seeking the Gold sired Jazil, winner of the 2008 Belmont Stakes (G1). In addition, Seeking the Gold has also sired several outstanding racehorses such as Dubai Millennium, Seeking the Pearl, Heavenly Prize, Seeking the Best, Pleasant Home, Wanderin Boy, Dream Supreme and Bob and John, just to name a few.
Broadway Gold, the dam of Toasting Master, was unplaced in graded stakes company, but won the Astoria Stakes and finished third in the Legal Light Stakes. She is a tail-female line descendant of the foundation mare, Merlin’s Grandam (Family 37), and that family has not produce any Derby winners.
Miss Doolittle, the second dam of Toasting Master, is also the dam of Dialed In who was tough competitor that won Holy Bull Stakes (G3) and Florida Derby (G1) in route to an eighth-place finish in the 2011 Kentucky Derby.
Toasting Master, along with several other three year olds from the stable of trainer Dale Romans, is in training at Gulfstream Park. And, Romans is keen on him moving forward as a three year old.
“Toasting Master is a little further along right now than the others, and I loved his work here yesterday,” said Romans in a Daily Racing Form news story.
Indeed, Toasting Master has a lot to prove, and he’ll get his first test as a three year old this Saturday when he faces a field of eight other young Thoroughbreds in the 6-furlong Spectacular Bid Stakes at Gulfstream Park.


HONORABLE MENTIONS: Goo Bird is a colt who’s been on my watch list for some time. But, so far, he’s not lived up to my expectations. Cozmic One, foaled by Zenyatta, and Rachel Alexandra’s foal, Jess’s Dream, are the two colts on most everyone’s watch list. Rounding out the top twenty, other honorable mentions include: Texas Red, Blofeld, Tough Customer, Eagle, Tale of Verve, Cyrus Alexander, Skill Not Luck.


*****
MR. PROSPECTOR ANCESTRAL HERD – On the Triple Crown Trail, The Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd has been a powerful influence and during the past 24 years – since 1990 – descendants of that herd have sired 29 Classic Champion Thoroughbreds who have won 38 of the past 72 Triple Crown races for a 53% strike rate:
Palace Malice (2013 Belmont), I’ll Have Another (2012 Kentucky Derby, Preakness), Ruler On Ice (2011 Belmont), Drosselmeyer (2010 Belmont) Lookin At Lucky (2010 Preakness) Mine That Bird (2009 Kentucky Derby), Summer Bird (2009 Belmont), Curlin (2007 Preakness), Street Sense (2007 Kentucky Derby), Jazil (2006 Belmont), Afleet Alex (2005 Preakness, Belmont) Birdstone (2004 Belmont), Smarty Jones (2004 Kentucky Derby, Preakness), Empire Maker (2003 Belmont), Funny Cide (2003 Kentucky Derby, Preakness), War Emblem (2002 Kentucky Derby, Preakness), Point Given (2001 Preakness, Belmont), Commendable (2000 Belmont), Red Bullet (2000 Preakness), Fusaichi Pegasus (2000 Kentucky Derby), Lemon Drop Kid (1999 Belmont), Victory Gallop (1998 Belmont), Real Quiet (1998 Kentucky Derby, Preakness), Editor’s Note (1996 Belmont), Grindstone (1996 Kentucky Derby), Timber Country (1995 Preakness), Thunder Gulch (1995 Kentucky Derby, Belmont), Hansel (1991 Preakness, Belmont) Unbridled (1990 Kentucky Derby).


NORTHERN DANCER ANCESTRAL HERD – Since 1984, there have been 87 races on the Triple Crown Trail and 20 (23%) of those races have been won by a total of 17 sire-line descendants of the Northern Dancer Ancestral Herd: Oxbow (2013 Preakness), Union Rags (2012 Belmont), Shackleford (2011 Preakness), Rachel Alexandra (2009 Preakness), Big Brown (2008 Kentucky Derby, Preakness), Charismatic (1999 Kentucky Derby, Preakness), Touch Gold (1997 Belmont), Louis Quatorze (1996 Preakness), Tabasco Cat (1994 Preakness, Belmont), Sea Hero (1993 Kentucky Derby), Pine Bluff (1992 Preakness), Summer Squall (1990 Preakness), Go and Go (1990 Belmont), Bet Twice (1987 Belmont), Danzig Connection (1986 Belmont), Ferdinand (1986 Kentucky Derby), Gate Dancer (1984 Preakness).


BOLD RULER ANCESTRAL HERD – The Ancestral Herd of Bold Ruler dominated the Triple Crown Trail during the decade of the 1970’s and, overall, it has produced ten Kentucky Derby winners: California Chrome (2014), Orb (2013), Swale (1984), Spectacular Bid (1979), Seattle Slew (1977), Bold Forbes (1976), Foolish Pleasure (1975), Cannonade (1974), Secretariat (1973) and  Dust Commander (1970).
Since 1970, Bold Ruler Ancestral Herd produced seven Preakness Stakes winners: California Chrome (2014), Bernardini (2006), Risen Star (1988), Spectacular Bid (1979), Seattle Slew (1977), Master Derby (1975) and Secretariat (1973). Aloma’s Ruler, winner of the 1982 Preakness Stakes, is a descendant of the Never Bend branch of the Nasrullah Ancestral Herd.
Also, since 1970, the Bold Ruler Ancestral Herd has produced nine Belmont Stakes winners: Tonalist (2014), Rags to Riches (2007), A.P. Indy (1992), Risen Star (1988), Swale (1984), Caveat (1983), Seattle Slew (1977), Bold Forbes (1976) and Secretariat (1973).


2015 DERBY QUALIFIERS – So far on the Derby Trail, seven of the top twenty Derby qualifiers (35%) are sire-line descendants of the Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd: Texas Red, International Star, Ocho Ocho Ocho, American Pharoah, Leave the Light On, Lucky Player, Bold Conquest. Since 1990, the Mr. Prospector Ancestral Herd has dominated the Triple Crown Trail.
And, six of the top twenty qualifiers (30%) are sire-line descendants of the Northern Dancer Ancestral Herd: Carpe Diem, El Kabeir, Dortmund, Conquest Typhoon, Imperia and Firing Line.
In addition, four more qualifiers (20%) are sire-line descendants of the Bold Ruler Ancestral Herd: Mr. Z, Upstart, Frosted and The Truth Or Else.
Rounding out the top 20, Daredevil is a sire-line descendant of the Royal Charger Ancestral Herd. Calculator is a sire-line descendant of the Man O’ War Ancestral Herd. Far Right is a sire-line descendant of the Nasrullah Ancestral Herd.

2 comments:

  1. I have put these into my Equibase virtual stable so that I may keep an eye on them. Thank you, Calvin, and Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Wubert,

      Happy New Year! to you, too.

      Delete