Derma Sotogake inherited sire Mind Your Biscuits' affinity for Dubai (Photo by Horsephotos.com)
(G2) romper Derma Sotogake
was bred by Japan’s famed Shadai Farm, from a collection of bloodlines sourced from around the world.
It’s fitting that Derma Sotogake earned his Kentucky Derby
(G1) ticket via Dubai, since his U.S.-trained sire, Mind Your Biscuits
, celebrated two of his biggest wins on World Cup night
at Meydan himself.
American racing fans will find a number of familiar names, especially on the top half of the pedigree, as well as the ubiquitous Sunday Silence factoring on the maternal side.
Here are 12 pedigree fun facts on Derma Sotogake:
1. Sire Mind Your Biscuits surpassed Funny Cide as the richest New York-bred.
Mind Your Biscuits amassed more than $4.2 million in career earnings, more than half courtesy of his late-running scores in the lucrative Dubai Golden Shaheen
(G1) (2017-18). That propelled him past $3.5 million-earner Funny Cide, the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness
(G1) champ, as the all-time leader among New York-breds.
Best known for his sprinting exploits, with major stateside wins including the 2016 Malibu (G1), Mind Your Biscuits nevertheless had a greater range. He just missed in the Metropolitan H. (G1), finished runner-up in the Whitney (G1), and rolled in the 1 1/8-mile Lukas Classic (G3) at Churchill Downs. Mind Your Biscuits was exported to stud duty in Japan, where he reigned as the champion freshman sire of 2022.
2. Mind Your Biscuits is the son and grandson of prominent juveniles of 2002.
Mind Your Biscuits’s sire, Posse, and maternal grandsire, Toccet, both made a splash as juveniles of 2002.
Posse, a 13 1/2-length debut winner in the spring at Keeneland, captured the Kentucky Breeders’ Cup (G3) at Churchill Downs, and developed into a smart sprinter in 2003. During his three-year-old campaign, Posse won four more stakes, led by the Riva Ridge (G2) (now known as the Woody Stephens and upgraded to Grade 1 status). Toccet enjoyed his most successful season at two, sweeping the Champagne (G1), Laurel Futurity (G3), Remsen (G2), and Hollywood Futurity (G1).
3. Mind Your Biscuits is inbred to Canadian Hall of Famer Deputy Minister.
Posse and Toccet both descend from the sire line of Deputy Minister, Canada’s Horse of the Year as a two-year-old in 1981 and later an outstanding influence at stud. The two stallions are by different sons of Deputy Minister, a scion of Northern Dancer.
Posse’s sire, Silver Deputy
, was unbeaten from just two starts, and left a hint of how much ability he had by becoming a successful sire. Silver Deputy’s greatest offspring is Hall of Famer Silverbulletday, the 1999 Kentucky Oaks
Toccet is by Awesome Again
, who would join his own sire Deputy Minister in the Canadian Hall of Fame. Hero of one of the greatest-ever editions of the Breeders’ Cup Classic
(G1) in 1998, Awesome Again sired the great Classic record-setter Ghostzapper (2004).
Interestingly, Posse and Awesome Again are bred along similar lines. Both are out of Blushing Groom-line mares.
4. Mind Your Biscuits comes from the family of high-profile fillies.
Mind Your Biscuits is out of the Toccet mare Jazzmane, who is a half-sister to Canadian champion Kimchi. The year Jazzmane was born (2006), Kimchi landed the first two Canadian fillies’ classics, the Woodbine Oaks and Bison City S. She was fourth when trying to complete the triple in the Wonder Where S.
Further in the family, one finds Search Results, the 2021 Kentucky Oaks near-misser who was just denied by champion Malathaat. Search Results went on to garner the Acorn (G1), and after another productive campaign in 2022, she remains in training.
5. Derma Sotogake’s mother won a notable dirt race in Japan.
Derma Sotogake is out of Amour Poesie, herself a Shadai homebred who raced mostly on dirt. Although she won just three of 17 starts. Amour Poesie strung them together in a little winning streak in the late spring and early summer of 2013. She climbed the ladder from maiden and allowance scores at Kyoto to the about 1 5/16-mile Kanto Oaks at Kawasaki, where she drove five lengths clear on a wet track.
6. Amour Poesie is by one of Sunday Silence’s champion sons.
Amour Poesie’s sire, Neo Universe, ranked as Japan’s champion three-year-old colt of 2003 after nearly sweeping the Triple Crown (on turf). By Hall of Famer and breed-shaper Sunday Silence, the 1989 Kentucky Derby and Preakness hero, Neo Universe likewise won the first two jewels in Japan – the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) and Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby). He was beaten only a length when third in the final classic, the Kikuka Sho (Japanese St. Leger).
Neo Universe’s dam (mother), British import Pointed Path, hails from the extended family of Street Cry. As brilliant as Street Cry was on the racetrack in the U.S. and Dubai, he will be remembered best as the sire of Zenyatta and Winx, along with 2007 Kentucky Derby victor Street Sense.
Neo Universe has sired two-time Japanese champion Victoire Pisa, winner of the 2011 Dubai World Cup on the old all-weather surface. Daughters of Neo Universe have produced dirt standout Le Vent Se Leve and Grade 1-winning turf miler Aerolithe.
7. Amour Poesie is a half-sister to a successful sprinter on the Japanese dirt.
Amour Poesie’s half-brother, Million Disk, was a prolific sprinter who won or placed in a total of 13 sprint stakes. His signature win came in the 2009 Capella (G3), but Million Disk captured the 2010 Hokkaido Sprint Cup in record time at Mombetsu.
8. Amour Poesie is out of a mare by Arc winner Tony Bin.
Amour Poesie and Million Disk’s dam, Happy Request, is by Tony Bin, an Italian celebrity who became a success at stud in Japan. A five-time Group 1 champion in Italy who placed in the 1987 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) among other European majors, Tony Bin went one better to win the “Arc” in 1988.
Tony Bin sired several Japanese champions, led by Horses of the Year Jungle Pocket (2001) and Air Groove (1997) (herself the dam of champion Admire Groove and Rulership). Other Tony Bin mares are responsible for the likes of recently-deceased champion and sire Heart’s Cry, dirt champ Transcend, and Chateau Blanche, now famous as the dam of Japan’s current Horse of the Year Equinox, who galloped to a course record in the Dubai Sheema Classic (G1).
9. Derma Sotogake’s ancestor Dike was third in the 1969 Kentucky Derby and Belmont.
Happy Request is out of Florida-bred April Sonnett, winner of a pair of minor stakes at old Suffolk Downs and Hialeah Park. Also third in the Florida Oaks at Tampa Bay Downs among her stakes placings, April Sonnett earned $211,316 from 49 career starts.
April Sonnett is by Dike, a Claiborne Farm blueblood who was unlucky to be born the same year (1966) as Hall of Famers Majestic Prince and Arts and Letters. Dike was third to that pair in the 1969 Kentucky Derby, and third again when Arts and Letters denied Majestic Prince the Triple Crown in the Belmont S. Trained by Lucien Laurin, later famous for Triple Crown legend Secretariat (1973), Dike won the Breeders’ Futurity, Gotham S., and Wood Memorial.
10. April Sonnett’s half-brother, Hill Pass, was on the Derby trail and later upset Best Pal.
April Sonnett is out of Pass Me, who is also the dam of Hill Pass. On the Derby trail at Fair Grounds, Hill Pass captured the 1991 Old Hickory S. and placed in the 1992 Risen Star S. and Louisiana Derby (then a Grade 3). Later joining the late Hall of Famer Jack Van Berg in California, Hill Pass competed in several graded stakes and earned his biggest win in the 1994 San Pasqual H. (G2). He famously upset Hall of Famer Best Pal as a 15-1 longshot.
11. Pass Me’s sire is an obscure son of Buckpasser.
Pass Me is by Pass, an unraced stallion who never sired a stakes winner. But Pass was well-bred himself as a son of Hall of Famer Buckpasser and French champion filly *Casaque Gris, victress of three major races capped by the Prix Vermeille.
12. Derma Sotogake descends from a family cultivated at the Virginia estate of James Madison.
Pass Me’s dam, Schooner, was bred by Marion duPont Scott of Montpelier, formerly the property of President James Madison. Schooner belonged to a family that she cultivated with great success, including champion steeplechasers Shipboard and Soothsayer, and champion grass horse Parka.
Tracing the female line further back to its British roots, this is the family labeled number 12. Two early Kentucky Derby winners also descend from this family, near relations Joe Cotton (1885) and His Eminence (1901). But Derma Sotogake’s branch of the family is quite distant from theirs; you have to go back to the late 18th century to find the common ancestress – Proserpine, a full sister to the legendary racehorse and patriarch Eclipse.