Double Thunder is by 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver (Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)
If Classic Causeway can stay unbeaten in Saturday’s Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland, he would become a record-equaling third winner sired by Giant’s Causeway.
Nicknamed the “Iron Horse,” Giant’s Causeway is responsible for back-to-back Breeders’ Futurity scorers Carpe Diem (2014) and Brody’s Cause (2015). Another win would match the feat of his own sire, Storm Cat, the only stallion so far with three Breeders’ Futurity winners.
Classic Causeway has another pedigree connection to this race. His dam is by Thunder Gulch, the 1995 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Belmont (G1) champion, who sired 2010 Breeders’ Futurity hero J. B.’s Thunder. (Ironically, J. B.’s Thunder is a half to the aforementioned Carpe Diem!)
Giant’s Causeway also factors as the paternal grandsire of Mac’s Time. By Giant’s Causeway’s son Not This Time, Mac’s Time is out of a mare by Street Sense, the 2007 Kentucky Derby star. Street Sense himself competed in the 2006 edition of the Breeders’ Futurity, finishing third, before romping in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). Street Sense’s son Maxfield won the Breeders’ Futurity trophy in 2019.
Kevin’s Folly is by Distorted Humor, and therefore a paternal grandson of Forty Niner, the 1987 Breeders’ Futurity champion. Kevin’s Folly boasts another champion two-year-old colt as his broodmare sire – Vindication, who was a perfect 4-for-4 after the 2002 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
The influential Tapit, who sired last year’s Breeders’ Futurity and Juvenile champ Essential Quality, features prominently in the pedigrees of three Saturday contenders. Tapit is the sire of Stellar Tap and the broodmare sire of Double Thunder (a son of 2010 Kentucky Derby victor Super Saver) and Costa Terra (by leading freshman sire Gun Runner). Gun Runner’s sire, Candy Ride, is represented by Mr. Bouma.
Two entrants descend from the same A.P. Indy sire line as Tapit. Don’t Wait Up is by Upstart, a son of the A.P. Indy stallion Flatter. American Sanctuary is from the first crop of American Freedom, who is by A.P. Indy’s son Pulpit.
Great Escape hails from the first crop of Midnight Storm, who is by Pioneerof the Nile. Best known as the sire of American Pharoah, Pioneerof the Nile has another U.S. champion in Classic Empire, who turned the Breeders’ Futurity/Breeders’ Cup Juvenile double in 2016.
Hall of Famer Curlin has yet to sire a Breeders’ Futurity winner, but three of his sons have placed in the Keeneland feature, most notably Exaggerator (second in 2015). Curlin will try to break through with the aptly-named King Curlin. The young Curlin stallion Connect has a contender in his very first crop, Rattle N Roll, who is out of a mare by transatlantic juvenile champion Johannesburg.
Seal Beach’s pedigree is replete with top two-year-olds. His sire and paternal grandsire, Midshipman and Unbridled’s Song, both won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (in 2008 and 1995, respectively). Broodmare sire Union Rags, who just missed in the 2011 Juvenile, sired 2017 Breeders’ Futurity scorer Free Drop Billy.