Derby Contenders

Prep Race History

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Date Race Grade Distance Finish Chart Replay
Apr 12 2014 Blue Grass Keeneland I 1 1/8 Miles (S) 2 REPLAY

Connections

Dale Romans

Trainer

Dale Romans grew up on the Churchill Downs backstretch learning his trade from longtime trainer and father Jerry Romans. The Louisville, Ky native just missed winning the 2010 Kentucky Derby when Paddy O’ Prado finished a game third. Dullahan was a fast closing third in Kentucky Derby 138 and would follow that up with a win in the G-1 Pacific Classic. In 2011 he won his first Classic race when Shackleford captured The Preakness Stakes. He saddled Court Vision to an upset win in the Breeders Cup Turf Mile in 2011 and captured the Breeders Futurity with Dullahan. 2012 was a banner year for the Romans stable with wins by Shackleford in the G-1 Met Mile and G-1 Clark Handicap and Little Mike's gallant victories in the G-1 Woodford Reserve, Arlington Million and Breeders' Cup Turf. His other top runners include O'Prado Again, Sassy Image, First Dude, Kitten’s Joy, Tapitsfly, and Roses in May.

Robby Albarado

Jockey

Born in Lafayette, Louisiana, Albarado like many other jockeys got his start at a very young age riding in races at the local “bush” tracks. He has won nearly 4,200 races in his career and was the regular rider of Horse of the Year Curlin, who finished third in the Kentucky Derby before going on to win many prestigious races like The Preakness Stakes, The Stephen Foster Handicap, The Woodward, The Breeders’ Cup Classic, and the Dubai World Cup. Other top mounts include Mineshaft, Court Vision, and Endorsement.

Spendthrift Farm

Owner

Spendthrift Farm was originally created by Leslie Combs II in Lexington Kentucky. Spendthrift was the name of one of the family's best horses who would go on to be the great grandsire of Man O' War. Spendthrift was purchsed in 2004 by B. Wayne Hughes who has had a great deal of success in the racing industry since being introduced to the sport by his father. Hughes owns the largest Public Storage company in the country and also began the Parker Hughes Cancer Research Center. Some of his top horses include Breeders' Cup winners Action This Day and Court Vision as well as Don't Get Mad and Joyeaux Danseur.

Pedigree

Dynaformer-Brisquette, by Unbridled's Song

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Medal Count is by Dynaformer, sire of 2006 Kentucky Derby legend Barbaro, who should outweigh the speed-centric maternal side of the pedigree.

Dynaformer was a solid racehorse, winning the 1988 Jersey Derby and Discovery Handicap, but became a superior sire on a global scale. A beautifully-bred son of Epsom Derby winner Roberto, Dynaformer has also sired 2010 Melbourne Cup hero Americain, a champion in both Europe and Australia; dual English classic heroine Blue Bunting; 2007 St Leger winner Lucarno; European champion filly Rainbow View; and such U.S. stars as three-time steeplechase champ McDynamo, Perfect Drift and Point of Entry. Moreover, Derby rival General a Rod is out of a daughter of Dynaformer.

Medal Count was produced by the Grade 3-placed Brisquette, who was a neck short of being a stakes winner in the 2001 Manhattan Beach and again in the 2003 Las Flores. A sprinter adept on both dirt and turf, she never won past 6 1/2 furlongs and was fifth in her lone attempt at a mile.

Brisquette has produced one other stakes winner, Garden District, whose highlight came as a juvenile in the Debutante at Churchill Downs.

Briquette is by top sire Unbridled's Song. The winner of the 1996 Florida Derby and Wood Memorial, he was fifth as the 7-2 favorite in that year's Kentucky Derby in his only 1 1/4-mile attempt.

Unbridled's Song was bred to handle the classic distance, however, as a son of 1990 Derby-winning champion Unbridled.

Sadly, Unbridled's Song died last summer, just as a trio of his sons was coming to prominence. Will Take Charge went on to clinch champion three-year-old honors by taking the Travers and Clark and just missing in the Breeders' Cup Classic, while Graydar and Cross Traffic established themselves as leading older males.

Other progeny include Eight Belles, the ill-fated second in the 2008 Derby; Dunkirk, runner-up in the 2009 Belmont Stakes; 2008 champion juvenile colt Midshipman; such notable 1 1/4-mile winners as Octave and Political Force; Canadian champion mare Embur's Song; and Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic heroines Unbridled Elaine (2001) and Unrivaled Belle (2010).

Daughters of Unbridled's Song have produced the likes of General Quarters and his half-brother, classy Japanese performer A Shin Top; Australian celebrities Puissance de Lune, Mrs. Onassis and Once Were Wild; U.S. Grade 1 stars Unbridled Command and The Lumber Guy; and Derby rival Intense Holiday.

Medal Count's second dam is Grade 1-placed Pirate's Glow, the runner-up in the 1984 Del Mar Debutante, Anoakia and Oak Leaf (now called the Chandelier). She foaled two graded performers in addition to Brisquette -- Grade 2-placed Quake and Grade 3-placed Amorously.

Pirate's Glow is in turn a full sister to multiple stakes-winning sprinter Fearless Pirate. This is also the family of Grade 3 victor Biloxi Indian, 12th behind Swale in the 1984 Kentucky Derby.

Medal Count's fourth dam is the aptly-named Three Quarter Girl: she is a three-quarter sister to Quadrangle, who defeated Triple Crown-seeking Northern Dancer in the 1964 Belmont Stakes.

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