Derby Contenders

Prep Race History

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Date Race Grade Distance Finish Chart Replay
Mar 1 2014 Gotham Aqueduct III 1 1/16 Miles 2 REPLAY
Mar 1 2014 Gotham Aqueduct III 1 1/16 Miles 2 REPLAY
Feb 1 2014 Withers Aqueduct III 1 1/16 Miles 2 REPLAY


Gary Contessa


Gary Contessa entered the horse racing industry in the 1970s. He says his thing was always horses.  In 2007, he set a NYRA record when he saddled 159 winners.  He went on to be NYRA's leading trainer by wins for four consecutive years.  He describes his training niche as someone who can pick a winning horse that owner's can afford. A 2012 ranking in MarketWatch, published by The Blood-Horse, placed Contessa second among all thoroughbred trainers in the world over the last 15 years in return on investment (ROI) for thoroughbreds purchased at two-year-old in training sales.

Irad Ortiz Jr.


Originally from Puerto Rico, Irad Ortiz is a graduate Escuela Vocacional Hípica, a school for prospective jockeys. His grandfather, also named Irad Ortiz, was a jockey, and so is his uncle, Ivan Ortiz and brother Jose Ortiz. The Ortiz brothers were encourage to become jockeys by their grandfather, who worked on the backside of racetracks in New York helping newly arrived hispanic jockeys get started in the United States.  Irad moved to the states to ride in 2011.

Wounded Warrior Stables & Anthony C. Robertson


George (Chip) McEwen III races as Wounded Warrior Stables and has been racing horses for 17 years.  About two years ago Chip turned his focus on helping injured troops.  Wounded Warrior Stables gives 10% of any purses or sales to the Wounded Warrior Project.  Wounded Warrior Stables has partnered with Anthony C. Robertson to campaign Uncle Sigh. 


Indian Charlie-Cradlesong, by Pine Bluff

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Uncle Sigh is by speed influence Indian Charlie, but stands to inherit some stamina from the maternal side of his pedigree.

Indian Charlie was propelled into favoritism for the 1998 Kentucky Derby after his emphatic win in the Santa Anita Derby. But he ended up finishing third in the Run for the Roses to his stablemate, Real Quiet, and never raced again.

An outstanding sire, Indian Charlie is responsible for such U.S. champions as Uncle Mo, an Eclipse Award winner as the champion two-year-old colt of 2010; Indian Blessing, the champion two-year-old filly of 2007 and champion female sprinter of 2008; and champion older mare Fleet Indian, who stayed farther than most of her sire's progeny when romping in the 1 1/4-mile Personal Ensign and Delaware Handicap in 2006. Indian Charlie has also sired a pair of Canadian champions in Roxy Gap and Indian Apple Is, both sprinters.

Uncle Sigh is a half-brother to two stakes-winning routers, Percussion and Slew by Slew. Percussion captured the 1 1/8-mile Albert the Great at Belmont last May, and nearly wired the 1 1/2-mile Brooklyn Handicap, only to be run down late by a come-from-the-clouds Calidoscopio. Slew by Slew didn't compete at as high a level, but he did win over as far as 1 3/16 miles, setting a new track record of 1:55.86 at that distance at Will Rogers Downs.

Uncle Sigh's dam, Cradlesong, is by Pine Bluff, hero of the 1992 Preakness and Arkansas Derby who was also a close third in the Belmont Stakes. Pine Bluff is himself a full brother to the dam of 2000 Kentucky Derby star Fusaichi Pegasus.

As a sire, Pine Bluff is responsible for multiple Grade 1 winner I Ain't Bluffing (dam of 2010 Black-Eyed Susan heroine Acting Happy); Super Frolic, who garnered the 1 1/4-mile Hawthorne Gold Cup in 2005; multiple Grade 2-winning sprinter Bear Fan; classy turf runners Pine Dance and Middlesex Drive; and Lil's Lad, the 1998 Fountain of Youth winner who was disqualified from a photo-finish win in the Florida Derby.

Pine Bluff's daughters have produced the smart speedster Currency Swap, victor of the 2011 Hopeful (sired by Uncle Sigh's relative High Cotton); Absolut Glam, a Group 1 winner at about seven furlongs in Australia; Grade 2 queens Just Jenda and Carlsbad; and current Kentucky Oaks hopeful Please Explain.

Cradlesong is an unraced half-sister to Grade 3 winners High Cotton and Symphony Sid. While High Cotton's major wins all came at 1 1/16 miles (the 2006 Northern Dancer, Rushaway and Sir Barton), Symphony Sid's claim to fame is a front-running victory in the 1 1/2-mile Carleton F. Burke in 2008.

Uncle Sigh's second dam, Happy Tune, is by renowned stamina influence A.P. Indy. Happy Tune is a half-sister to 1996 champion two-year-old filly Storm Song, whose descendants include Singaporean champion Better Life, a major winner at up to 1 3/8 miles.

Uncle Sigh's third dam is a daughter of Fappiano, and his fourth dam is by 1977 Epsom/Irish Derby legend The Minstrel.

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