Derby Contenders

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Date Race Grade Distance Finish Chart Replay
Mar 26 2011 Spiral Stakes Turfway Park III 1 1/8 3 REPLAY


Mike Maker


Maker, the son of a trainer, grew up in the suburbs of Detroit attending races at Hazel Park and Detroit Race Course. At the young age of 13, Maker was already involved in the Thoroughbred industry as a horse owner. He was an assistant for Hall of Fame trainer D Wayne Lukas and worked with Kentucky Derby winner Charismatic. Maker opened his own stable in 2003 & has trained top horses including: Eclipse Award winner, Hansen, Derby Kitten and Stately Victor.

Mike Smith


The son of a jockey, Smith, rode in his first race at age 11.  In 2005 Smith guided Giacomo to a win in the Kentucky Derby, and in 2013 rode Princess of Sylmar to victory in the Kentucky Oaks. He has won both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes and 17 Breeders' Cup races, including three Classics. He has won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey, the Mike Venezia Memorial Award, the  George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, and was inducted in the the Hall of Fame in 2003. Mounts include: Azeri, Zenyatta, Holy Bull, Skip Away, Thunder Gulch, and Lure.

Alpha Stables, Skychai Racing, and Sand Dollar Stables


Jim Shircliff and Harvey Diamond entered the horse business together nearly 20 years ago. Recently, the two have been putting together syndicate stables for new owners looking to get into the racing. David Koenig founded Sand Dollar Stables and Shircliff and Diamond started Skychai Racing. Shircliff and Daniel Johnson created Alpha Stables which is a group of 12 co-workers from River Road Asset Management and the three stables have joined together as the owners of Twinspired. The group of Louisville based owners couldn’t have chosen a more fitting name for their Kentucky Derby contender.

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  • ©Coady Photography

  • ©Coady Photography


Harlan's Holiday--Historical Drive, by El Prado (Ire)

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With stamina-laced bloodlines, Twinspired has a favorable pedigree the 1 ¼-mile distance of the Kentucky Derby

Bred in Kentucky by John Jain, Lawrence Opas and Frank Sinatra, Twinspired is by Harlan’s Holiday, who finished seventh as the favorite in the 2002 Kentucky Derby after posting convincing victories in the Florida Derby (G1) and Blue Grass (G1); Harlan’s Holiday went on to capture the Donn H. (G1) and Pennsylvania Derby (G2) and recorded seconds in the Dubai World Cup UAE-G1) and Hollywood Gold Cup (G1)

Out of a mare by Triple Crown winner Affirmed, the 12-year-old Harlan’s Holiday is by the late Harlan, a son of Storm Cat who was also represented by 1999 Kentucky Derby and Preakness runner-up Menifee while standing only three full seasons at stud

Harlan’s Holiday produces many routers, but he’s far from a one-dimensional, plodding sire; his son Majesticperfection, an easy winner of the Alfred G. Vanderbilt (G1), was arguably the nation’s best sprinter last year before being retired early due to an injury; Harlan’s Holiday can provide a mix of speed and stamina that is ideal for classic-type horses

Twinspired is out of the El Prado (Ire) mare Historical Drive, who only raced twice; Twinspired is her first foal of note and there is little quality in her immediate female family, with the exception of Score Twenty Four, a Grade 1 winner at two turns

El Prado was a champion on the track and the influential late stallion ranked as the nation’s leading sire in 2002; his top offspring include champion turf horse Kitten’s Joy; Travers (G1) winner and two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) runner-up Medaglia d’Oro; and Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) hero Artie Schiller

As a broodmare sire, El Prado is a plus for Kentucky Derby hopeful; he can provide much-needed stamina, with daughters producing Grade 1 winners at 1 ¼ miles, and he’s also represented this year by Hilda’s Passion, one of the nation’s top female sprinters

Twinspired’s aptitude for dirt will be tested in the Kentucky Derby – his best races so far are on synthetic tracks – but his pedigree is well-suited for 10 furlongs on dirt

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