Both well-established and up-and-coming young sires are represented by progeny in the 2020 Kentucky Derby (G1). We’ll have more on the contenders’ bloodlines in the “Pedigree fun facts,” but in the meantime, here are five fast facts on some of the noteworthy stallions involved:
1. Pioneerof the Nile and Uncle Mo are the only two sires already responsible for a Kentucky Derby winner
. Their successes came in consecutive years, with Pioneerof the Nile siring Triple Crown champion American Pharoah (2015)
and Uncle Mo sending out Nyquist (2016)
. Pioneerof the Nile’s current hope is also trained by Bob Baffert – Thousand Words
. Uncle Mo, who had several prominent runners throughout the trail, relies on King Guillermo
2. Bernardini is the only winner of a Triple Crown race with a representative
. The 2006 Preakness
(G1) champion has a major runner in Art Collector
. Three other sires had placed in classics. The aforementioned Pioneerof the Nile was second to Mine That Bird in the 2009 Derby. Hard Spun
, runner-up to Street Sense here in 2007, is double-handed with Attachment Rate
and Necker Island
, the 2012 Belmont S
. (G1) runner-up, has Winning Impression.
3. Constitution, Honor Code, and Karakontie sired Derby contenders in their first crop
. That was a logical ambition for Constitution and Honor Code, both leading players on the 2014 Derby trail before being sidelined. Their dreams are now passed on to their sons, Constitution's heavy favorite Tiz the Law
and Honor Code's duo of Honor A. P.
and Max Player
. Less expected is the achievement of Karakontie, a French classic winner and 2014 Breeders’ Cup Mile
(G1) hero who raced exclusively on turf. His colt Sole Volante
started out on turf and switched successfully to the main track. (Liam’s Map
is another young sire who would qualify, if his son Rushie
runs in the Derby rather than the Pat Day Mile [G2]).
4. Hall of Famer Ghostzapper is responsible for two Queen’s Plate winners. Yet to sire a U.S. classic winner, Ghostzapper has had more luck in the first jewel of the Canadian Triple Crown, siring Shaman’s Ghost (2015) and Holy Helena (2017). Now he hopes for Major Fed to come through at Churchill Downs. (Note that Ghostzapper did sire the dam of Triple Crown winner Justify.)
5. Leading sires Into Mischief and Tapit are looking for Derby breakthroughs. Into Mischief’s progeny have been stymied so far by stamina limitations, a question that Authentic must answer. That’s no problem for Tapit, who’s renowned for siring three Belmont winners in Tonalist (2014), Creator (2016), and Tapwrit (2017). The Tapit sons have found the first Saturday in May much tougher, however, and their best official finish (third) came when Tacitus was elevated a spot in 2019. Perhaps this year’s delay to the first Saturday in September will help the Tapit colt Enforceable, whose full brother, Mohaymen, was fourth in the 2016 running.