If Brody’s Cause were the subject of a biopic, Keeneland would be so frequent a setting as to become a minor character itself.
At the 2014 Keeneland September Sale, the well-bred yearling was sold for $350,000. The next fall, he returned to take the Breeders’ Futurity (G1), Keeneland’s marquee race for 2-year-olds, and finished third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). Making another appearance during the recently concluded Keeneland Spring Meet, Brody’s Cause garnered the Blue Grass (G1), the track’s signature Kentucky Derby (G1) prep.
The foundation for his success was laid early on. Bred by Gabriel Duignan, William Arvin Jr. and Petaluma Bloodstock in Kentucky, the bay was the product of a good match. His sire, the redoubtable Giant’s Causeway, and his dam, 2006 Woodbine Oaks runner-up Sweet Breanna, complemented each other both physically and on pedigree.
Duignan noted that Sweet Breanna hails from the Mr. Prospector line that crosses exceptionally well with Giant’s Causeway.
“A golden nick with Giant’s Causeway,” as Duignan put it. “That weighed heavily in the decision.”
Sweet Breanna accordingly visited his court at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud, and the resulting foal arrived on March 17, St Patrick’s Day.
“Very nice foal when he was born,” Duignan recalled. “Always a straightforward horse, great disposition, a very smart horse -- just one of the good ones.”
Duignan is a founding partner of Paramount Sales, which consigned the colt to Keeneland September.
“When we started prepping him, he was a very athletic horse. He sold pretty good as a yearling, handled everything in stride.
“He was always very push-button. Whatever you asked him to do, he did it. He was never sick a day in his life, never had any correction put on him.
“A totally straightforward horse. No quirks – none of that.”
Purchased by Kempton Bloodstock as agent for the Albaugh Family Stables, the colt was named within a couple of weeks of the sale. His namesake is Brody Weston, whose father, Reed, was involved in yearling selection as Albaugh’s assistant general manager.
Barry Berkelhammer is likewise a key adviser on the selection team, and Brody’s Cause went into early training at his Abracadabra Farm near Ocala, Florida.
“Brody is a very willing pupil,” Berkelhammer recalled. “He was a pleasure to be around and showed his class and ability from the beginning.
“When we found him at the sale he was a beautiful individual with a lot of presence. When he began breezing he showed a lot of talent and maintained a great attitude throughout his training. After leaving us to go to Dale [Romans] he continued to show his superior talent.”
That assessment aligns with how his co-breeder Duignan summed him up:
“One of those that always wanted to please.”
Photo courtesy of Keeneland/Photos by Z.