Kentucky Derby betting has always generated plenty of interest, but over Thanksgiving weekend, you’ll have a brand new way to forecast the Derby – by betting on which stallion will sire the winner of the 2016 “Run for the Roses.” This is the idea behind the inaugural Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager.
Beginning on Thanksgiving and concluding at 6 p.m. (EST) Sunday, November 29, the Sire Future Wager runs alongside Pool 1 of the regular Kentucky Derby Future Wager, where you can bet on the soon-to-be three-year-olds you like in Derby 142.
Like the long-established Kentucky Derby Future Wager, the first-ever Sire Future Wager also has 23 individual betting interests, with #24 being “All Others.” Only this time, you’re betting on the stallion, and thereby getting a package deal, so to speak, on every one of his progeny in the Derby. If you think that the 2016 Derby-winning sire isn’t among the 23 available, you can bet the “All Others” option, and get all the Derby hopefuls sired by every other stallion not listed as an individual interest.
With that background, here are 15 “fun facts” about the Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager:
- Ten of the sires competed in the Kentucky Derby themselves, and two won – Street Sense (2007) and Super Saver (2010). Hard Spun and Curlin finished second and third, respectively, behind Street Sense, while Scat Daddy was 18th in the same running. Tapit was ninth in the slop in 2004. Medaglia d’Oro finished fourth in 2002, in which Harlan’s Holiday was seventh as the favorite. Unbridled’s Song was the beaten favorite in 1996, finishing fifth, and Pioneerof the Nile (2009) was runner-up to the 50-1 Mine That Bird.
- Three have already sired a Kentucky Derby winner. Pioneerof the Nile sired 2015 Triple Crown champ American Pharoah, Malibu Moon is responsible for Orb (2013), and Distorted Humor is the father of Funny Cide (2003).
- Seven have sired winners of another Triple Crown race. Pioneerof the Nile obviously qualifies in this category, thanks to American Pharoah. Distorted Humor has sired the winners of all three classics, with Funny Cide adding the 2003 Preakness and Drosselmeyer taking the 2010 Belmont. Two more are responsible for Preakness winners: Medaglia d’Oro (Rachel Alexandra in 2009) and Awesome Again (Oxbow in 2013); and three others have sired Belmont winners: Tiznow (Da’ Tara in 2008), Curlin (Palace Malice in 2013) and Tapit (Tonalist in 2014).
- Four sires compiled Hall of Fame careers on the racetrack. Curlin, Ghostzapper, and Tiznow have been enshrined in the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, New York, and Awesome Again is a member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.
- Five sires won or placed in another Triple Crown race. Bernardini (2006) and Curlin (2007) both won the Preakness. Street Sense and Hard Spun placed to Curlin, who also finished a close second to the filly Rags to Riches in the Belmont. Medaglia d’Oro came up a half-length short in the 2002 Belmont. Also, note that Awesome Again won Canada’s signature classic, the Queen’s Plate, in 1997.
- Nine sires won or placed in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Blame famously denied Zenyatta in 2010, joining Hall of Famers Awesome Again (1998), Tiznow (2000-01), Ghostzapper (2004) and Curlin (2007) on the Classic honor roll. Giant’s Causeway just missed to Tiznow in 2000, Hard Spun was second to Curlin, and Medaglia d’Oro (2002-03) and Bernardini (2006) also took the runner-up spot.
- Ten descend from the male line of 1964 Derby hero and breed-shaping patriarch Northern Dancer. Four different branches of this sire line are represented. The Storm Cat branch is the most numerous, through Harlan’s Holiday, Scat Daddy, Giant’s Causeway and the latter’s son Eskendereya. The Danzig branch is represented by his sons Hard Spun and War Front. The Deputy Minister branch is represented by his son Awesome Again, who is in turn the sire of Ghostzapper. Finally, Kitten’s Joy and Medaglia d’Oro are both by the Sadler’s Wells stallion El Prado.
- Six descend from the influential sire line of Mr. Prospector, which is responsible for 11 of the last 21 Derby winners: Candy Ride, Curlin, Distorted Humor, Pioneerof the Nile, Street Sense, and Unbridled’s Song. Also, note that Super Saver is a direct male-line descendant of Mr. Prospector’s sire, Raise a Native.
- Three descend from the male line of 1977 Triple Crown legend Seattle Slew, all by way of his Hall of Fame son A.P. Indy. Bernardini and Malibu Moon are both by A.P. Indy, while Tapit is by the A.P. Indy stallion Pulpit.
- The three remaining sire lines represented aren’t as numerous, but they too have had Derby success in the past. Blame is a scion of the Hail to Reason male line, whose two most recent Derby winners are Sunday Silence (1989) and Barbaro (2006) (who like Blame comes from the Roberto branch). Uncle Mo descends from Caro, the sire of 1988 Derby queen Winning Colors. Tiznow upholds the sire line of Man o’ War, who skipped the 1920 Derby himself, but sired two Derby winners, notably Triple Crown star War Admiral (1937). Unfortunately, no male-line descendant of Man o’ War has won since then.
- Tapit boasts the highest stud fee, commanding $300,000 for his services, as well as the highest average prices for his 2013 offspring who have sold at public auction. His yearlings of 2014 brought an average of $611,125, and when selling as two-year-olds in 2015, they’ve averaged $675,833.
- Giant’s Causeway boasts the longest average winning distance for his progeny, coming in at 8.3 furlongs (just over a mile). Considering how many races are sprints, a stallion has to sire a good number of winners going longer in order to produce such a high average.
- Kitten’s Joy has the most offspring who will be three-year-olds in 2016, topping out at 136.
- Scat Daddy has the most earners of at least $30,000, with 23 current two-year-olds each amassing that much (as of November 15).
- Darley and WinStar Farm tied for the honor of having the most active stallions on the list, with four. Bernardini, Hard Spun, Medaglia d’Oro, and Street Sense reside at Darley, while WinStar stands Distorted Humor, Pioneerof the Nile, Super Saver, and Tiznow. But if you include the late Harlan’s Holiday, WinStar would have the most overall.
For much more, check out the stats on the sires in the Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager, as well as past performances for selected progeny of the 23 individual betting interests, courtesy of Brisnet.com.
What better way to start gearing up for the 2016 Kentucky Derby?