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O’Brien is a formidable training force in his native country of Ireland having won numerous training titles on both the jump and flat circuit. In the mid- 1990s, O’Brien was backed by the Coolmore group of John Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith and together they have risen to great heights in the racing world. The partnership of Coolmore and O’Brien has captured nearly every prestigious race in Europe as well as multiple Breeders’ Cup races in America. In 2011 O'Brien and Coolmore teamed up with O'Brien's son, 18 year old Joseph, aboard St Nicholas Abbey for a win in the Breeders Cup Turf. O'Brien also captured the 2011 Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf with Wrote and sent out Champion Cape Blanco to victories in the G-1 Arlington Million and G-1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and Treasure Beach to victory in the G-1 Secretariat Stakes. The team has campaigned such champions as Johannesburg, Galileo, Giant’s Causeway, and Rock of Gibraltar.
Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier & Michael Tabor
The partnership of Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor has had horse racing success of the greatest heights with champions represented worldwide. Under the direction of International conglomerate Coolmore Stud, the team has lead the European and American racing standings numerous years and accounted for wins in nearly every Classic race on both sides of the pond and down under in Australia. Susan Magnier is the daughter of famed trainer Vincent O'Brien and her husband John is the managing partner of Coolmore. Derrick Smith joined the partnership in 2003 after making his fortune in property and currency trading and prior to that was a British bookmaker at Ladbrokes. Michael Tabor burst on to the American racing scene in 1995 when his Thunder Gulch captured the Kentucky Derby. He sold his Prince Arthur betting shops in Great Britain in 1995 and decided to follow his passion of horse racing in which he had been involved on a smaller scale since the 1970's. Together and in partnership the group has raced additional top horses such as Montjeu, So You Think, Cape Blanco, George Washington, Fame and Glory, Rags to Riches, Desert King, Scat Daddy, Lion Heart, Entrepreneur and Hurricane Run .
Daddy Long Legs is one of two major Derby contenders from the first crop of millionaire Scat Daddy, along with Daddy Nose Best. But Daddy Long Legs has a different pedigree profile from the other "Daddy," for this one's maternal side presents more of a stamina conundrum.
Scat Daddy, a son of 2001 European and American champion juvenile colt Johannesburg, was a prominent two-year-old himself. The winner of the 2006 Champagne and Sanford, he finished second in the Hopeful and fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. But unlike Johannesburg, who failed to win at three, Scat Daddy prospered early on in the 2007 Derby trail. He just got up in time in the Fountain of Youth, and was more convincing when capturing the Florida Derby. Unfortunately, his progress ended with an uncharacteristic 18th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, which he exited with a tendon injury, and connections opted to retire him to stud.
Off to a hot start, Scat Daddy is already responsible for five stakes winners in addition to Daddy Long Legs. The aforementioned Daddy Nose Best has captured the El Camino Real and Sunland Derbies, while Shared Property and Finale have also landed Grade 3 events, Grade 3 victress Lady of Shamrock has collected a trio of turf stakes, and Swag Daddy owns two New York-bred stakes wins. Scat Daddy has also sired several stakes-placed runners, most significantly Scatman, who has placed in the second division of the Southwest as well as the Rebel, and Handsome Mike, who was third in the El Camino Real Derby.
Daddy Long Legs is out of multiple stakes winner Dreamy Maiden, a sprinter/miler who has tended to produce foals with similar distance limitations. A case in point is her multiple stakes-winning daughter Tres Dream, a pure sprinter.
Yet Dreamy Maiden is responsible for one runner with a 1 1/4-mile victory to his credit, a colt named Lake Ontario. The winner of a minor race at that distance at Cork, he has interestingly close connections to Daddy Long Legs. He is by Scat Daddy's sire Johannesburg, making him a three-quarter brother to Daddy Long Legs, and he was also trained by Aidan O'Brien. Of course, his 1 1/4-mile score is a far cry from the Kentucky Derby, but the combination of nature and nurture is quite similar.
Dreamy Maiden is by the brilliant but injury-plagued Meadowlake. Undefeated from just three career starts, he romped by 22 lengths in his debut, and won the Arlington-Washington Futurity by 8 3/4 lengths, but his physical problems forced his early retirement from the track. Meadowlake was chiefly a speed influence, and his best runners were predominantly fillies, such as millionaire Meadow Star, Wildcat Bettie B, Sutra, Meadow Breeze and Meafara. He did sire a few classy males as well, including Greenwood Lake, Meadow Flight and Meadow Monster.
Meadowlake's daughters have produced such smart sprinters as millionaire Henny Hughes; two of last year's leading juveniles, Majestic City as well as Del Mar Debutante and Oak Leaf star Weemissfrankie; multiple Grade 1 heroine Seventh Street; Japanese miler Real Impact; Grade 2 winners Old Fashioned, Star Dabbler and Soul Warrior; and My Miss Storm Cat (the dam of champion filly My Miss Aurelia).
Dreamy Maiden's dam, Sparrow Lake, managed to win the 1 1/4-mile Wonder Where Stakes in her only attempt at that trip. The multiple Canadian stakes winner mostly competed in sprints or races in the vicinity of a mile. She hails from the family of two other notable Canadian performers -- champion Bruce's Mill, winner of the 1 3/16-mile Prince of Wales, and multiple stakes victor Ever Steady, who just missed in a 1 3/8-mile stakes.
Sparrow Lake was sired by Apalachee, who reigned as the English and Irish champion two-year-old of 1973, but was retired prematurely after disappointing at three. Although he was bred to stay farther than a mile himself, Apalachee typically transmitted his speed to his progeny.
Ordinarily, the presence of both Meadowlake and Apalachee so close in the maternal half of the pedigree would suggest stamina limitations. But part of the fascination of pedigrees is how the conventional wisdom isn't necessarily a good predictor.
Given how Daddy Long Legs and his close relative Lake Ontario have already fared going a distance, a different linkage could be occurring here. For all their speed, both Meadowlake and Apalachee actually descend from a redoubtable stamina influence, Princequillo. Dreamy Maiden is thus inbred to Princequillo, and his genes might be asserting themselves from afar.
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