Pedigree Fun Facts

Take a deep dive into what makes a Derby contender
Guntown breaks his maiden at Ellis Park (Coady Photography)
Pedigree fun facts: 2021 Iroquois Stakes

The Road to the 2022 Kentucky Derby commences in Saturday’s Iroquois S. (G3) at Churchill Downs, where several exquisitely-bred juveniles will try to live up to their pedigrees.Triple Crown champion American Pharoah has a promising runner in Husband Material,…

Sep 16, 2021

Sea Hero statue at Saratoga (NYRA/Coglianese Photos)
Pedigree fun facts: 2021 Travers Stakes

Leading sire Tapit has yet to sire a Travers S. (G1) winner, but that gap on his resume can be filled at Saratoga Saturday by his champion son Essential Quality. Tapit is the paternal grandsire of last year’s Travers star, Tiz the Law, but his own sons have…

Aug 27, 2021

Essential Quality at the Breeders' Cup (Coady Photography)
Pedigree fun facts: 2021 Belmont Stakes

If champion Essential Quality can rebound in Saturday’s Belmont S. (G1), he would become a record-equaling fourth winner sired by Tapit. The only stallion to achieve that feat is the 19th-century patriarch Lexington, who sired General Duke (1868), Kingfisher…

Jun 3, 2021

Ram at Pimlico for the Preakness (Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club)
Pedigree fun facts: 2021 Preakness Stakes

Several Preakness S. (G1) contenders with strong pedigree ties to the middle jewel are longshots. Might that portend an upset brewing at Pimlico on Saturday? Triple Crown champion American Pharoah (2015) is trying to join the exclusive club of Preakness…

May 14, 2021

Kentucky Derby trophy (Churchill Downs)
Pedigree fun facts: 2021 Kentucky Derby

All 20 runners in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby (G1) – from the most expensive yearlings and aristocratic homebreds to the bargain basement specials – have ancestral ties to great champions.  Here’s a look at some of the fascinating pedigree angles in the 147th…

Apr 29, 2021

Bourbonic upsets the Wood Memorial (NYRA/Coglianese/Chelsea Durand)
Pedigree fun facts: Bourbonic

Bourbonic aims to become the fourth straight generation of his male line to win a classic. Moreover, his female line is responsible for one of the greatest horses ever to lose the Kentucky Derby (G1).Bourbonic’s sire, champion Bernardini, captured the 2006…

Apr 21, 2021

Like the King after his Jeff Ruby Steaks win (Coady Photography)
Pedigree fun facts: Like the King

Although Like the King has yet to win on dirt, his pedigree is filled with American classic winners.Like the King is by 2013 Belmont (G1) hero Palace Malice. A star from the first crop of Hall of Famer Curlin, Palace Malice had suffered narrow losses earlier…

Apr 19, 2021

Super Stock upsets the Arkansas Derby (Coady Photography)
Pedigree fun facts: Super Stock

Super Stock will try to wear the roses that eluded both his sire and broodmare sire in their respective attempts in the Kentucky Derby (G1).Super Stock’s sire, Dialed In, ranked as the lukewarm 5-1 favorite here in 2011 after late-running heroics in the Holy…

Apr 18, 2021

Rock Your World winning the Santa Anita Derby (G1) - © Benoit Photo
Pedigree fun facts: Rock Your World

Rock Your World’s successful move from turf to dirt is no surprise, given the surface versatility encoded in his ancestry. Both of his parents were trained by Hall of Famer Ron McAnally, who also co-bred Rock Your World with his wife, Deborah. Indeed,…

Apr 17, 2021

Known Agenda wins the Florida Derby (Derbe Glass/Coglianese Photos)
Pedigree fun facts: Known Agenda

With his convincing victory in the Florida Derby (G1), Known Agenda becomes the latest advertisement for his sire, Hall of Famer Curlin, on the Kentucky Derby (G1) trail. Curlin is a leading son of the Mr. Prospector stallion Smart Strike, who is emerging…

Apr 6, 2021

Hot Rod Charlie wins the Louisiana Derby (Jamie Newell/
Pedigree fun facts: Hot Rod Charlie

If Hot Rod Charlie can win the Kentucky Derby (G1), he’d represent a breakthrough for his branch of the Northern Dancer sire line as well as a unique historic accomplishment for his dam.Supersire Northern Dancer, the 1964 Derby and Preakness champion, is the…

Apr 2, 2021

Mandaloun captures a Churchill allowance (Coady Photography)
Pedigree fun facts: Mandaloun

As a homebred for the late Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms, Mandaloun provides a poignant storyline on the 2021 Kentucky Derby (G1) trail. His rise as a classic contender is especially meaningful, since the entire dam’s side of his pedigree is a tribute to…

Mar 19, 2021

Concert Tour training at Oaklawn (Coady Photography)
Pedigree fun facts: Concert Tour

Concert Tour is bred along a pattern similar to another homebred campaigned by Gary and Mary West – champion Maximum Security, who was disqualified after crossing the wire first in the 2019 Kentucky Derby (G1). Both are by sons of Street Cry and out of A.P.…

Mar 13, 2021

Helium wins the Tampa Bay Derby (SV Photography)
Pedigree fun facts: Helium

Although Tampa Bay Derby (G2) upsetter Helium was not an early nominee to the Triple Crown, the Kentucky-bred has a pedigree filled with classic influences. Helium is a grandson of Distorted Humor, who has been prominent on the 2021 Kentucky Derby (G1) trail…

Mar 8, 2021

Risk Taking wins the Withers (NYRA/Coglianese Photos)
Pedigree fun facts: Risk Taking

Withers (G3) hero Risk Taking has a well-constructed pedigree, a rock-solid foundation to assure even the most conservative investor. Bred along a successful cross, he also sports a less common inbreeding pattern, one that he shares with a commanding Kentucky…

Feb 23, 2021

Medina Spirit wins the Robert B. Lewis Stakes (Benoit Photography)
Pedigree fun facts: Medina Spirit

When Medina Spirit dug in gamely to withstand all comers in the Jan. 30 Robert B. Lewis (G3), he was expressing tenacity reminiscent of grandsire Giant’s Causeway – and a more distant ancestor, Wild Again.Medina Spirit’s pedigree isn’t fashionable up front,…

Feb 6, 2021

Greatest Honour wins the Holy Bull (Ryan Thompson/Coglianese Photos)
Pedigree fun facts: Greatest Honour

As a Tapit colt out of a half-sister to two Belmont S. (G1) winners, Greatest Honour has the third jewel of the Triple Crown written all over him. So it’s highly encouraging that he’s burst onto the Kentucky Derby (G1) trail with a stellar display as early…

Feb 1, 2021

Caddo River wins the Smarty Jones (Coady Photography)
Pedigree fun facts: Caddo River

Fourteen years after Hard Spun made a bold attempt to carry his speed in the Kentucky Derby (G1), his son Caddo River could try to do the same on the first Saturday in May.Hard Spun was a warrior on the 2007 Triple Crown trail, finishing second in the Derby,…

Jan 25, 2021

Midnight Bourbon at Ellis Park (Coady Photography)
Pedigree fun facts: Midnight Bourbon

The Man o’ War sire line hasn’t come up with a Kentucky Derby (G1) winner since Triple Crown sweeper War Admiral (1937), a factoid that current contender Midnight Bourbon hopes to erase.Midnight Bourbon’s sire, Hall of Famer Tiznow, has helped carry the torch…

Jan 25, 2021

Essential Quality at the Breeders' Cup (Coady Photography)
Pedigree fun facts: Essential Quality

Top sire Tapit, and global operation Godolphin, are still seeking an elusive first Kentucky Derby (G1) winner. Both could achieve the goal simultaneously courtesy of Essential Quality, who comes from the same female line as Smarty Jones.Tapit has furnished…

Jan 9, 2021