King Fury is a $950,000 son of Curlin and Grade 1 winner Taris (Coady Photography)
Four of the contenders in Saturday’s Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland descend from the sire line of 1977 Triple Crown legend Seattle Slew and his Hall of Fame son A. P. Indy.
Top sire Tapit is responsible for Essential Quality, the 2-1 morning-line favorite. The Godolphin homebred is out of the Grade 3-placed Delightful Quality, a half-sister to 2005 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) champion Folklore, whose unbeaten descendant Contrail is poised to sweep Japan’s Triple Crown. Further back, this is the family of 2004 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1) hero Smarty Jones. Interestingly, Delightful Quality is by Smarty’s sire, Elusive Quality.
Super Stock is by Dialed In, the same sire as last week’s American Pharoah (G1) winner Get Her Number. Super Stock’s dam, Super Girlie, has also produced Boujie Girl, who placed in last year’s Del Mar Debutante (G1). Super Girlie is a daughter of 2005 Derby runner-up Closing Argument.
The other two representatives of Slew’s sire line are both from the first crop of Upstart, the 2015 Holy Bull (G2) winner who trailed in American Pharoah’s Derby. Founder is out of Blue Beryl, a mare by the Storm Cat stallion Bernstein, and a half-sister to Grade 2-placed stakes scorer Brigand. Because Brigand is by Upstart’s sire, Flatter, Founder is closely related to him.
Also by Upstart is Upstriker, a half-brother to three stakes winners including Midnight Soiree. Their dam, the Smart Strike mare Casanova Striker, is from the productive family of Grade 1 vixen Dance Teacher and millionaire Gold Mover.
Four Breeders’ Futurity runners are from different branches of the Mr. Prospector sire line.
King Fury is a $950,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling purchase by Smart Strike’s Hall of Fame son Curlin. He is the first foal from millionaire Taris, who scored her signature win in the 2016 Humana Distaff (G1) at Churchill Downs. Also third in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1), Taris is a full sister to stakes victress Stoweshoe, the dam of smashing Saratoga winner Cantata who is bound for the Oct. 10 Frizette (G1). Taris and Stoweshoe are by Flatter (Upstart’s sire), so King Fury is bred on the prolific cross of Curlin over Seattle Slew-line mares.
Calibrate is by the influential Distorted Humor, who made an immediate splash by siring 2003 Derby and Preakness star Funny Cide in his first crop. Calibrate’s dam is a full sister to Somewhat, an Australian Group 1 winner by Dynaformer, the sire of 2006 Derby legend Barbaro.
Notary, a son of 2007 Derby hero Street Sense, is a half-brother to multiple Grade 3 winner Bridgetown who was runner-up in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G2). Their dam, Ellesmere, is by 1994 Preakness and Belmont (G1) victor Tabasco Cat, and her dam is a full sister to 1991 Derby winner Strike the Gold.
Dixie’s Two Stents is by Quality Road (a son of the aforementioned Elusive Quality) and out of the multiple stakes-placed Sleepless Dixie by Dixie Union. The Quality Road/Dixie Union cross is responsible for such Grade 1 winners as champion Caledonia Road, Klimt, and Salty.
Champion Uncle Mo, a scion of the *Nasrullah line via the Caro branch through Indian Charlie, is coming to the fore already as a sire of sires. His young son Laoban just got his first Grade 1 winner with Simply Ravishing in Friday’s Alcibiades (G1), and now Laoban goes for the Keeneland double with Keepmeinmind in the Breeders’ Futurity. Out of a mare by Victory Gallop, who denied Real Quiet the Triple Crown in the 1998 Belmont, Keepmeinmind is bred along the same lines as Grade 1 victor Liaison (who is by Indian Charlie from a Victory Gallop mare). Keepmeinmind comes from the same family as Grade 2 queen Secret Message, winner of the May 30 Mint Julep (G3) on the Churchill Downs turf.