WinStar Farm's homebred BRETHREN (Distorted Humor) remained unbeaten and enhanced his Kentucky Derby (G1) credentials with an impressive victory in Saturday's $207,500 Sam F. Davis S. (G3), posting a four-length decision in his stakes debut. A half-brother to 2010 Derby hero Super Saver, the Todd Pletcher-trained colt moved to the lead midway on the far turn and quickly drew off entering the stretch, winning under wraps with Ramon Dominguez. The promising three-year-old completed 1 1/16 miles over the fast Tampa Bay Downs track in 1:45.
Now three-for-three in his career, Brethren broke a step slowly from post 10 but rushed up to sit a good trip close to the pace while three wide into the first turn. Ribo Bobo (Louis Quatorze) showed the way on the front end, completing an opening quarter-mile in :23 3/5 and the half-mile in :48 1/5 as Brethren raced about a length behind in second down the backstretch.
Brethren carried himself to the lead on the final bend, reaching the six-furlong mark with a one-length advantage in 1:13, and the race was clearly over at that point. Dominguez looked around for challengers in midstretch, but there were none to be found. Brethren continued to widen his advantage, passing the mile mark in 1:38 1/5, and was taken in hand for the final sixteenth of a mile.
"He won it like a good horse should," Dominguez said. "We set up and relaxed just off the lead in the first turn and I was able to wait down the backstretch. I asked him in the turn and he came away very nicely. I took a look on both sides in mid-stretch and there was nothing coming so I was able to wrap up on him going to the wire and out. The distance was no problem for him at all."
Brethren was making his first start at two turns Saturday.
"I was very pleased," WinStar CEO Elliot Walden said. "The thing I was most pleased about was that he didn't break well. He broke out, which typically happens on the outside post with a very young horse; and yet, he gathered himself and got into the race very quickly and settled down and got into a really nice rhythm. I'm hopeful (that he'll have no trouble going further.) I mean, he's got the pedigree for it. Super Saver did it, and we hope he does, too."
Favored at 4-5 over his nine rivals, Brethren paid $3.80, $3.20 and $2.80 for his popular victory. Too Experience (Drewman) rallied from last for runner-up honors at 31-1, and it was another length back to the 30-1 Watch Me Go (West Acre) in third. Beamer (Vindication), Monzon (Thunder Gulch), Litigate (Closing Argument), Ribo Bobo, 3-1 second choice Washington's Rules (Roman Ruler), Adulare (Flatter) and Reprized Halo (Halo's Image) completed the order of finish.
Brethren picked up $120,000 in graded earnings, nearly tripling his career bankroll to $187,369. The bay opened his racing career at Belmont Park last October, winning a six-furlong maiden special weight event by a half-length, and concluded his juvenile season with a 1 3/4-length triumph over allowance rivals going a one-turn mile at Churchill Downs.
"We'll just see how he goes and how he comes out of this," Walden said when asked about future plans. "This is the race that we targeted after he broke his maiden. We knew that we were going to run him in the allowance race at Churchill, and we wanted to get some graded stakes earnings and we felt like this was the place to do it. We've had good luck here in the past, and hopefully it'll work for us this year."
The Kentucky-bred is out of the winning A.P. Indy mare Supercharger, who is also the dam of the two-year-old filly Lisa T. (Awesome Again) and the yearling colt Superfection (Medaglia d'Oro). The 16-year-old mare is a full sister to Grade 2 scorers Daydreaming and Girolamo as well as a Grade 3 hero and Grade 1-placed Accelerator. She is also a full sister to the unraced She's a Winner, herself the dam of 2006 Haskell Invitational (G1) winner Bluegrass Cat (Storm Cat), who ran second in that year's Kentucky Derby and Belmont S. (G1), and Grade 2 victor Lord of the Game (Saint Ballado).
Brethren's second dam is Grade 3 winner Get Lucky (Mr. Prospector), a full sister to 1989 champion two-year-old colt and Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) victor Rhythm as well as successful stakes-placed sire Not for Love. The trio's half-sister Oscillate (Seattle Slew) is the dam of another well-known sire, Group 2-placed listed winner Mutakddim (Seeking the Gold), and Grade 1 runner-up Smooth Charmer (Easy Goer).
Farther back, Brethren counts as his fourth dam 1971 champion two-year-old filly Numbered Account (Buckpasser), who would go on in the breeding shed to produce his third dam, Grade 1 queen Dance Number (Northern Dancer), and multiple Grade 1-winning sire Private Account. Others of note in this line include Irish champion and top sire Woodman (Mr. Prospector) as well as Group 1 winner Assatis (Topsider).