Going the Derby Distance 2015
Level: Intermediate
By Valerie Grash, Hello Race Fans Contributing Editor

So many factors come into play when handicapping the Kentucky Derby. Since none of the contestants has yet attempted the distance, prior form provides only some hint at each runner’s capabilities; it ultimately comes down to pedigree in terms of who can traverse the 1 1/4 miles (10 furlongs) fastest to win. The validity of this approach is confirmed when looking back over our previous posts in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. How, then, does one explain California Chrome’s pedigree-challenged victory in 2014? Well, freaks of nature sometimes happen.

Perhaps more so this year than in recent years, the Derby field is loaded with stamina potential, so it will take a wily bettor to look beyond the obvious factors like current form to find possible longshot plays. Obviously, the handicapper must consider which Derby entrants blend the right combination of speed (usually from the sire) and stamina (proven through the damline). Furthermore, given that two recent Kentucky Derby winners, Animal Kingdom and I’ll Have Another, boasted terrific stamina damlines proven on turf, no longer can those “turf only” pedigrees be ignored.

With that in mind, let’s break down this year’s contenders into four categories:

Best Stamina Pedigrees
Hands down, based solely on pedigree, these four contenders appear best qualified to get the Derby distance (in alphabetical order):

Bolo
(Temple City, out of Aspen Mountain, by Chief Seattle)
Proven on turf as a juvenile, this Carla Gaines trainee switched to dirt in 2015, twice finishing third behind the highly regarded Dortmund, including most recently in the 9-furlong Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby. Yet stretching out to 10 furlongs plays right into this colt’s wheelhouse, as his sire Temple City (also trained by Gaines) was a monster in long-distance races. Not only did Temple City win the 12-furlong Grade 3 Cougar II at Del Mar, but he also finished his career with a narrow runner-up finish behind Unusual Suspect in the 12-furlong Grade 1 Hollywood Turf Cup—not surprising given that Temple City’s sire was the stamina-producing Dynaformer, sire of both Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro and 2-mile Grade 1 Melbourne Cup victor Americain. If stamina of his sire isn’t exciting enough, consider the fact that Bolo’s dam is a half-sister to the unraced Mining My Own, producer of both Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird and three-time Grade 1 winner Dullahan, who, in addition to finishing third in the 2012 Kentucky Derby behind I’ll Have Another, set a new track record defeating Game On Dude in the 10-furlong Grade 1 Pacific Classic.


Danzig Moon

(Malibu Moon, out of Leavemeinthedust, by Danzig)
With 2013 Kentucky Derby victor Orb among his progeny, Malibu Moon may get his second winner with this stamina-rich Canadian-bred colt. Danzig Moon’s dam Leavemeinthedust never broke her maiden in three starts at age 4, but in her final race she did finish a game second in an 11-horse field going 9 furlongs over the Saratoga grass. Danzig Moon’s half-brother Global Express (by Street Sense) broke his maiden (by nearly 9 lengths) at Woodbine going 11 furlongs on turf; he later won a 12-furlong turf allowance race. Among his dam’s siblings are juvenile Grade 3-winning full brother Defer who also won a 9-furlong Saratoga turf allowance race, and 9.5 furlong dirt Grade 3-winning half-brother Philanthropist, who broke his maiden at 3 going 9 furlongs. As a juvenile, Danzig Moon’s second dam Hidden Reserve finished second out of nine runners in the 9-furlong Grade 2 Demoiselle at Aqueduct, a race won by subsequent champion 3-year-old filly Ajina. Among Hidden Reserve’s siblings: two-time Grade 1-winning full sister Educated Risk, runner-up in the 9-furlong Grade 1 Beldame, and Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff winning half-sister Inside Information, whose daughter Smuggler won the 12-furlong Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks.


Materiality

(Afleet Alex, out of Wildwood Flower, by Langfuhr)
With only three starts, this Todd Pletcher trainee is the most lightly raced horse in this year’s field, but that shouldn’t scare anyone off this undefeated colt. Both of his two most recent wins came at 9 furlongs, and everything about his breeding suggests he can go much further. His 12-furlong Grade 1 Belmont Stakes-winning sire Afleet Alex counts among his progeny not only 10-furlong Grade 1 Travers victor Afleet Express, but also 14-furlong Grade 2 Breeders’ Cup Marathon winner Afleet Again. In addition to sharing a sire, Materiality and Afleet Express have something else in common: their dams are half-sisters. Members of this immediate family include four-time 9-furlong Grade 2-placed Reporting for Duty; 9.5 furlong Grade 2 Washington Park Handicap winner Eye of the Tiger; and Grade 1 Preakness runner-up Sweetnorthernsaint, not to mention Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks runner-up Quiet Kim and her daughter, 10-furlong Grade 1 Alabama runner-up Fifyshadesofhay. As if that isn’t evidence enough of Materiality’s stamina potential, he has a half-sister who won the 9-furlong Grade 2 Gazelle: My Miss Sophia, game runner-up to Untapable in last year’s Kentucky Oaks.


Mubtaahij (IRE)

(Dubawi, out of Pennegale, by Pennekamp)
The Grade 2 UAE Derby winner has twice raced and won at 9.5 furlongs, a distance no other horse in the field has yet attempted, and he’s beautifully bred to get 10 furlongs both on his sireside and damside. In his eight-race career, his sire Dubawi only once attempted anything over one mile, finishing a distant third (8 lengths) behind the proven stayer Motivator in the 12-furlong Group 1 English Derby. However, Dubawi’s sire Dubai Millennium won nine of 10 lifetime starts, and five of those were at 10 furlongs, including the Grade 1 Dubai World Cup and the English Group 1 Prince of Wales. Both Mubtaahij’s first and second damsires, Pennekamp and Last Tycoon, were Group 1 sprint-milers; it’s the female members of his damside that hint at stamina, including Mubtaahij’s half-sister Lily of the Valley who captured the prestigious 10-furlong French Group 1 Prix de l’Opera over six-time Group/Grade 1 victress Stacelita. His dam’s half-brother Takwin won or placed regularly between 12 and 14 furlongs, and once ran third (out of 20 competitors) in the 2-mile HRH Prince Abdullah Bin Aziz Cup in Saudi Arabia. Also included among Mubtaahij’s immediate family members are 11.5 furlong listed Cheshire Oaks winner Hammiya and two-time 12-furlong Group 2 International Bosphorus Cup winner Indian Days. He’s already proven on dirt, so the only question remaining is: can he make the transition to North American racing?


Above Average Stamina Pedigrees

There’s a lot to like about these contenders in terms of stamina, especially in terms of turf performers in their families (in alphabetical order):


Carpe Diem

(Giant’s Causeway, out of Rebridled Dreams, by Unbridled’s Song)
Based solely on having sixtime Group 1-winning Giant’s Causeway as a sire, Carpe Diem possesses an above-average stamina pedigree. Three of those wins came between 10 and 10.5 furlongs on turf, but in his career finale, Giant’s Causeway finished just a neck behind Tiznow in the 10-furlong Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic on dirt. Carpe Diem’s Grade 2-placed dam Rebridled Dreams was a minor stakes winner at 1 1/16 miles; she’s produced the multiple English Group 3-placed turf sprinter Doncaster Rover (by War Chant) in addition to J B’s Thunder (by Thunder Gulch), who, like Carpe Diem, captured the 1 1/16 miles Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity as a juvenile. On his damside, there are no clear performers at 9 furlongs or above, so there is still the niggling question of whether his sire’s stamina will be enough.


Frosted – 4th

(Tapit, out of Fast Cookie, by Deputy Minister)
In 2014, red-hot sire Tapit enjoyed a banner year. His 3-year-old son Tonalist captured the 12-furlong Grade 1 Belmont Stakes and the 10-furlong Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup. His daughter Untapable won four Grade 1 events, including the Kentucky Oaks and Breeders’ Cup Distaff, on her way to a championship year. His sons Constitution and Ring Weekend took down the Grade 1 Florida Derby and Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby, respectively, while Grade 2 West Virginia Derby winner Tapiture posted a runner-up finish in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. As his sole Kentucky Derby representative in 2015, Frosted looks perfectly capable of continuing his sire’s Grade 1 success. Like Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile victor Tapizar, Frosted is the product of Tapit crossed with a well-bred Deputy Minister mare. Frosted’s second dam is Grade 1 Milady runner-up Fleet Lady, a filly that began her 4-year-old campaign with two straight Grade 2 victories, including the 9-furlong La Canada at Santa Anita. Among her progeny are 2008 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile victor Midshipman, a half-brother to Frosted’s own Grade 2 Cotillion-winning dam Fast Cookie, who was also Grade 3-placed going 9 furlongs on dirt. Interestingly, when she broke her maiden, Fast Cookie did so against future Hall of Fame filly Xtra Heat. As it turned out, Fast Cookie was equally at home routing on turf, with four of her nine lifetime wins coming on the grass. Perhaps that explains why all three wins by Frosted’s full sister Macaroon have come in turf sprints, while half-sister With Sugar on Top (by Unbridled’s Song) twice captured 9-furlong turf allowance races. Other high-quality grass routers in Frosted’s immediate family include 9-furlong Grade 2 Bernard Baruch runner-up War Monger, 11-furlong Group 1 Italian Oaks winner Carnauba, and 12-furlong Grade 2 San Luis Obispo runner-up Carnival Baby.


Itsaknockout

(Lemon Drop Kid, out of Stormy B, by Cherokee Run)
With 12-furlong Grade 1 Belmont Stakes winner Lemon Drop Kid for a sire and Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint victor Cherokee Run for a damsire, you’d expect Itsaknockout to possess a perfect blend of stamina and speed. Yet with an extremely disappointing effort last out in the 9-furlong Grade 1 Florida Derby requires that we take a deeper look at his pedigree. His second dam Seoul won a 9-furlong Keeneland dirt allowance race by 10 lengths (in a 9-horse field); she also won a 9-furlong turf allowance at Churchill. Her progeny performed better on turf than dirt, including 12-furlong Grade 2 Nijinsky winner Rush Bay who finished fourth behind the dynamic trio of Red Rocks, Better Talk Now and English Channel in the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Turf. Another half-sister to Itsaknockout’s dam, War Relic, broke her maiden going 9 furlong on turf. This is also the immediate family of 12-furlong turf G1-placed Chorwon who recorded seven stakes wins between 9 and 12 furlongs, including the 12-furlong Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Turf; three-time 9-furlong turf Fair Grounds Breeders’ Cup Handicap victor Yukon Robbery; and, more distantly, 2012 Kentucky Oaks winner Believe You Can.


Keen Ice

(Curlin, out of Medomak, by Awesome Again)
While he hasn’t yet proven himself to be a standout among this year’s 3-year-old crop, Keen Ice certainly has the necessary stamina breeding to excel at 10 furlongs and beyond. Curlin, his 12-furlong Grade 1 Belmont Stakes runner-up sire, won four 10-furlong Grade 1 events, including the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Dubai World Cup and Jockey Club Gold Cup (twice). His damsire Awesome Again likewise was a four-time 10 furlong winner, including the prestigious Queen’s Plate and Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Classic. Keen Ice’s dam Medomak is a half-sister to 9-furlong Grade 1 Haskell runner-up Coal Play, while another half-brother to Medomak, Iron Works, recently broke his maiden going two miles over hurdles. Keen Ice’s third dam, 10-furlong Grade 2 Ladies Handicap winner Tara Roma, also produced 9-furlong Grade 1 Go for Wand victress. This is also the immediate family of 9-furlong Grade 1 Diana winner Somali Lemonade; two-time 9-furlong Grade 1 winner Verrazano; 11-furlong Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club-placed Baraan; and 11-furlong Grade 2 winner Al Khali, who was also twice a 12-furlong Grade 1 runner-up on turf.


Mr. Z

(Malibu Moon, out of Stormy Bear, by Storm Cat)
The second of three Malibu Moon colts in this year’s race, Mr. Z also possesses a rich stamina pedigree on his dam side. Among his unraced dam’s half-siblings are Canadian Hall of Fame inductee Chief Bearhart, who won both the 12-furlong Grade 1 Canadian International and 12-furlong Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf in 1997; and 9-furlong Grade 1 Hollywood Derby victor Explosive Red, who was Grade 1-placed at both 10 and 12 furlongs. Other close-up family members include 10-furlong Grade 1 Secretariat runner-up Strut the Stage, who was a four-time Grade 2 winner at 11 and 12 furlongs; 12-furlong Grade 3 Singspiel victor Aldous Snow, who finished second behind Irish Mission in the third leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the 12-furlong Breeders’ Stakes; 12-furlong Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks runner-up Sacred Song; 12-furlong English Group 2 runner-up Multidimensional; and 15-furlong Japanese St. Leger winner Oken Bruce Lee.


Ocho Ocho Ocho

(Street Sense, out of Winner, by Horse Chestnut)
A colt whose current form is questionable, Ocho Ocho Ocho is certainly bred to be a 10-furlong winner. His Breeders’ Cup Juvenile-winning sire Street Sense captured two 10-furlong Grade 1 races, the Kentucky Derby and the Travers. His damsire Horse Chestnut won the South African Triple Crown, culminating with the 12-furlong Group 1 South African Derby, before winning his first and only dirt American start. Ocho Ocho Ocho’s Grade 2-placed half-sister Private Ensign broke her maiden going 1 1/16 miles and concluded her racing career with an unlucky fourth-place finish in the 9-furlong Grade 3 Rampart. High-performing fillies and mares appear again and again in Ocho Ocho Ocho’s damside, beginning with his third dam, the unbeaten Hall of Fame mare Personal Ensign, twice winner of the 10-furlong Grade 1 Beldame. Others include 10-furlong Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks victress My Flag and her Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Storm Flag Flying, who won the 10-furlong Grade 1 Personal Ensign. Ocho Ocho Ocho’s second dam Pennant Champion is a full sister to 10-furlong Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Miner’s Mark; 9-furlong Grade 1 Oaklawn victor Traditionally; and two-time Grade 1-placed sprint-miler Our Emblem.


Upstart

(Flatter, out of Party Silks, by Touch Gold)
Before his son Flat Out twice captured the 10-furlong Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup, not many pedigree handicappers were convinced that Flatter could produce quality stayers, despite the fact that he was a son of noted stamina sire A.P. Indy. When bred to a stamina-rich mare like Upstart’s unraced dam Party Silks (by 12-furlong Belmont Stakes winner Touch Gold), the results could prove to be successful. Eight of Party Silks’ siblings were winners, including Grade 2 sprinter Josh’s Madelyn (by Quiet American). A half-brother by Empire Maker, Beyond Empire, won a 9-furlong dirt allowance race at Saratoga, while another half-sister, Oaks Victoria (by 9-furlong Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby runner-up Honour and Glory) broke her maiden going 9 furlongs at Laurel. Other immediate family members include Percipient, who was twice Grade 1-placed at 9 furlongs; 12-furlong turf Grade 3-placed Strike Me Lucky, who was also a 12-furlong stakes winner; 12-furlong Indian Derby winner Starsky; and two-time 10-furlong German Group 3 winner Zaungast who, in three races at age 10, placed at both 14 and 15 furlongs.


War Story

(Northern Afleet, out of Belle Watling, by Pulpit)
Northern Afleet has already produced 12-furlong Grade 1 Belmont Stakes winner Afleet Alex (an unlucky third behind longshot Giacomo in the 2005 Kentucky Derby), so it certainly appears that War Story possesses the necessary stamina in his sireline. What’s even more revealing is that War Story’s half-brother Draw Two (by Macho Uno) won a 12-furlong turf allowance race at Keeneland last April and had previously finished a fast-closing fourth in the 10-furlong Grade 1 Secretariat as a 3-year-old. Their third dam, Fair Grounds Oaks winner Honest and True, ran third in the 1980 Kentucky Oaks; later, she produced Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner and 1987 champion 2-year-old filly Epitome, dam of 10-furlong Grade 2 UAE Derby winner Essence of Dubai, who also won the 9-furlong Grade 2 Super Derby. War Story broke his juvenile maiden over this Churchill surface last November, but he just hasn’t been able to finish in front of International Star this year.

Positive Indicators, But Also Some Questions
Hints that the necessary stamina may be there, but each of these contenders also possesses pedigree question marks coming into the Derby (in alphabetical order):


American Pharoah – WINNER

(Pioneerof the Nile, out of Littleprincessemma, by Yankee Gentleman)
Out of the second crop of 2009 Kentucky Derby runner-up Pioneerof the Nile, highly-touted American Pharoah will be either sorely tested going 10 furlongs or proven to be a freak of nature. The latter remains to be seen, but the former is readily apparent when studying his damside breeding. Unplaced in two juvenile starts, his dam doesn’t have much of a record to examine, but two of her half-siblings are graded stakes-quality sprinters: Grade 1-placed Misty Rosette who won the 6.5 furlong Grade 3 Old Hat and 7-furlong Grade 2 Lazaro Barrera victor Storm Wolf. American Pharoah’s damsire Yankee Gentleman did once win a 1 1/16 mile allowance race but competed mostly as a sprinter, winning the 6-furlong Pirate’s Bounty before failing to hit the board in either the 6-furlong Grade 1 Ancient Title or the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. His third damsire Tri Jet captured the 10-furlong Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup, but little of his quality or stamina was apparently passed down through American Pharoah’s third dam Zetta Jet—all but one of her foals (American Pharoah’s Florida-bred restricted stakes-winning second dam Exclusive Rosette) toiled sprinting in the claiming ranks.


Dortmund – SHOW (3rd)

(Big Brown, out of Our Josephina, by Tale of the Cat)
Yet to be defeated after six starts, Dortmund faces his greatest challenge to date with some positive stamina indicators, beginning with his Kentucky Derby and Preakness-winning sire Big Brown. On his damside, dig back a little farther to his third dam, the juvenile champion and four-time Grade 1-winning Lakeville Miss, who concluded her racing career with a victory in the 12-furlong Coaching Club American Oaks. Her Grade 1-winning son Mogambo followed up his 10th place finish in the 1986 Kentucky Derby with a runner-up finish in the 10-furlong Grade 2 Jersey Derby behind Preakness winner Snow Chief. And that’s where the stamina indicators end. Dortmund’s dam Our Josephina was a Grade 3 runner-up at 7 furlongs, and she’s produced two half-sisters to Dortmund who have both won maiden events at 5 furlongs. He has the benefit of having won a race over the Churchill surface, not to mention being undefeated in six starts, but the 20-horse field will be a test unlike anything he’s seen before.


Firing Line – PLACE (2nd)

(Line of David, out of Sister Girl Blues, by Hold for Gold)
His sire Line of David won the 9-furlong Grade 1 Arkansas Derby over eventual Kentucky Derby victor Super Saver, but it’s actually his damside that holds the tantalizing promise of stamina in Firing Line. In 2003, his dam Sister Girl Blues dueled with the great mare Azeri to a second-place finish in the 9-furlong Grade 1 Vanity. Her half-brother Mint Lane ran second behind Casino Drive in the 9-furlong Grade 2 Peter Pan. Other more distant family members include Kentucky Oaks winner Seaside Attraction, dam of G1 Florida Derby winner Cape Town; 10-furlong Queen’s Plate winner Key to the Moon; 10-furlong English Group 1 Champion Stakes runner-up Carnival Dancer; and 11-furlong listed English Oaks Trial winner Munnaya, dam of 10-furlong Travers winner Alpha.


International Star
SCRATCHED
(Fusaichi Pegasus, out of Parlez, by French Deputy)
No son or daughter of 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus has yet to replicate his or her sire’s Classic success. Can Grade 2 Louisiana Derby winner International Star finally break through? He’s bred on a similar cross to 9-furlong Grade 1 Haskell winner Roman Ruler, not to mention 10-furlong Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch Turf victor (and 12-furlong Breeders’ Cup Turf runner-up) Champ Pegasus—all three of their dams are by sons of Deputy Minister. His strong turf pedigree is likely why International Star made his winning juvenile debut on the grass: his dam is a half-sister to the dam of 9-furlong turf Grade 2 Lake Placid runner-up New Edition. His second dam is also a half-sister to Irish Group 1 juvenile turf sprint runner-up Van Nistelrooy who has produced some nice grass horses, including 12-furlong Group 1 New Zealand Oaks winner Boundless. This is also the immediate family of a host of 9-furlong graded stakes winners on dirt, including Grade 2 Blue Grass victor Halory Hunter and Grade 2 Demoiselle victress Strategic Maneuver.


Stanford
SCRATCHED
(Malibu Moon, out of Rosy Humor, by Distorted Humor)
The third son of Malibu Moon in this year’s race, Stanford comes from a sire that has already produced a Kentucky Derby winner (Orb) with the same Mr. Prospector presence in his damsire line; for Orb, his damsire is Unbridled, while Stanford hails from a Distorted Humor mare. However, unlike Orb, who had clear stamina performers among his close-up female family members, Stanford’s female line doesn’t. Both his dam Rosy Humor and his second dam Show Me the Roses were winless in a combined 10 starts, and only Stanford as a Grade 2 Louisiana Derby runner-up stands out among their progeny. Yet his second dam is a half-sister to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Johannesburg, sire of 9-furlong Grade 1 Florida Derby winner Scat Daddy. Other slightly more removed family members include two-time English Group 1 turf sprinter Minardi; 9-furlong Grade 1 Whitney runner-up Tale of the Cat; 9-furlong Grade 1 runner-up Fed Biz; and 9-furlong Grade 2 Blue Grass winner Pulpit.

Questionable Derby Stamina Pedigrees
In possession of questionable stamina, these entrants could find the Derby distance beyond their capabilities (in alphabetical order):


El Kabeir
SCRATCHED
(Scat Daddy, out of Great Venue, by Unbridled’s Song)
Grade 1 Florida Derby winner Scat Daddy has produced some nice graded stakes winners, but nothing approximating a Classic winner in North America. El Kabeir’s damline is also light in stamina, especially close-up with his unraced dam’s half-brother being multiple Grade 2 sprint winner Too Much Bling. It’s a nice family of solid Ohio-bred stakes winners, but nothing that hints at the capability to get 10 furlongs.


Far Right

(Notional, out of Zindi, by Vindication)
Although Notional finished second in the 9-furlong Grade 1 Florida Derby, he performed best at one mile—a fact that does not necessarily preclude him from siring a Classic winner. However, stamina is also lacking in Far Right’s damside. To find it, you have to go back to his fourth dam, 9-furlong Grade 1 Vanity winner Cascapedia, champion older mare of 1977 who just missed winning the 10-furlong Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup against males. Among her descendents are 12-furlong Group 1 Australian Oaks victress Republic Lass and twotime 12-furlong Grade 3-placed Deputy Strike. The more immediate family members to Far Right, though, are sprinters, including his second dam’s half-brother, 6-furlong Dubai Golden Shaheen winner Big Jag, who finished third in the 1999 Breeders’ Cup Sprint, and two-time Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint place-getter Reneesgotzip.


Frammento

(Midshipman, out of Ginger Bay, by Golden Missile)
A juvenile maiden winner, Frammento earned enough points to enter the Derby with his rather distant third-place finish in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth. Last out in the 9-furlong Grade 1 Blue Grass, he finished a distant fourth, 7 1/4 lengths back of winner Carpe Diem. Can he get the 10-furlong Derby distance successfully? His dam Ginger Bay was a minor stakes winner sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs and has produced a half-sister to Frammento (by Hard Spun) that twice won sprinting. More distantly, his fourth dam is 12-furlong Coaching Club American Oaks third-place finisher Inca Queen, but damline performers closer up in his pedigree don’t appear to be stamina-blessed.


Tencendur

(Warrior’s Reward, out of Still Secret, by Hennessy)
Top and bottom, his pedigree screams “sprinter.” Although Warrior’s Reward did hang on for place-money in a rather weak running of the 9-furlong Grade 2 Jim Dandy in 2009, he excelled at sprinting, winning the 7-furlong Grade 1 Carter as a 4-year-old. Tencendur’s second damsire Mt. Livermore also captured the Carter, the same year that he ran third in the 6-furlong Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Tencendur’s half-sister is multiple New York-bred sprint stakes winner Mother Russia; her son Golden Barows (a listed stakes winner in Japan) ran a distant third behind Mubtaahij in this year’s Grade 2 UAE Derby. Going far back in his damline, Tencendur boasts a fourth dam who is a full-sister to 1982 Broodmare of the Year Best in Show, dam of Kentucky Oaks winner Blush With Pride (ancestress of 12-furlong Grade 1 Belmont Stakes winners and half-siblings Rags to Riches and Jazil). However, the bloodlines diverged at that point—one with stamina, and one without. Tencendur falls in the latter category.

We will add also-eligible Tale of the Verve if he draws into the race.

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