ELKTON, MD - MAY 17: Exercise rider David Nava takes Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness entrant Animal Kingdom over the track at the Fair Hill Training Center on May 17, 2011 in Elkton, Maryland. Animal Kingdom is training for Saturday's 136th Preakness Stakes in Baltimore. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Prior to the Kentucky Derby, I didn't spend the time that I usually do looking through the pedigrees of the contenders. Sure, I took a glance at the sires and damsires, but nothing more than that. Had I done that I likely wouldn't have had much of a change in the way I viewed the race, but I also wouldn't have been so surprised by the enormous stamina influences in Animal Kingdom's pedigree, which I only delved deeper into after he won the Derby.
Instead of waiting until after the Preakness to actually look at some bloodlines, I've gone ahead a produced some high-level pedigree profiles for the current contenders.
(Note: If you're looking for great pedigree information for present or past thoroughbreds, there are several resources that are a must-read. Pedigree Query is sort of the holy grail of pedigree information, as is Brisnet's Sire Stats 2011. Additionally, Blood-Horse.com has excellent information within their Stallion Register Online, while the Thoroughbred Times also provides an excellent Stallion Directory.)
Animal Kingdom: Leroidesanimaux (BRZ) out of Acatenango (GER) (Dalicia (GER))
I've already covered the Derby winner, which you can find at the following link (A Closer Look At Animal Kingdom). In short, Animal Kingdom is one of the odder pedigrees we've seen from a Derby winner in quite some time. Tons of stamina, a bottom-half of the pedigree filled with German-breds, a grand-sire that produced Horse of the Year Invasor (ARG) and the very useful broodmare, Candy Girl (ARG) - it's just a fascinating pedigree. And while pedigree alone won't win Animal Kingdom the Preakness, it's nice to see such strong stamina lines in a classic winner.
Astrology: A.P. Indy out of Quiet American (Quiet Eclipse)
A.P. Indy's progeny have an average winning distance of 8.27 furlongs, while Quiet American's offspring win at approximately 7.5 furlongs - a pretty solid combination. Additionally, both A.P. Indy and Quiet American have had better than average success with runners racing over wet surfaces.
Astrology is a half-brother to Lunarpal, winner of the Grade 3 Bashford Manor at six furlongs and the Grade 3 Kentucky Breeders' Cup Stakes at 5 ½ furlongs as a juvenile.
Astrology's dam, Quiet Eclipse, won once from 13 lifetime starts.
Concealed Identity: Smarty Jones out of Polish Numbers (Richetta)
The offspring of former Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Smarty Jones win at an average distance of 7.1 furlongs. Smarty Jones was able to stretch his miler pedigree during his Triple Crown run but, ultimately, his distance limitations caught up to him during his failed attempt to win the Belmont. The progeny of damsire Polish Numbers have an average winning distance of 7.0 furlongs.
Both Smarty Jones and Polish Numbers rate highly with off-track runners.
Concealed Identity's dam, Richetta, performed well at races a mile to a mile and a sixteenth in distance, and won the Selima Stakes, the Maryland Million Lassie, the Heavenly Cause, and the Twin Light, and was 2nd in the Honey Bee, the Nellie Morse and the Twixt Stakes.
Dance City: City Zip out of Pleasant Colony (Ballet Colony)
The offspring of Dance City's sire, City Zip, sport an average winning distance of 6.4 furlongs. Damsire Pleasant Colony wins at a robust average of 8.4 furlongs. Both City Zip and Pleasant Colony produce above average winners on off-tracks.
Dance City's dam, Ballet Colony won three races during her career, all at a mile or a mile and 70 yards. She has produced seven foals, including Dance City, none of which have won a race over a mile and a sixteenth.
Dialed In: Mineshaft out of Storm Cat (Miss Doolittle)
The offspring of Mineshaft have an average winning distance of 7.5 furlongs, while Storm Cat's offspring win at an average distance of 7.1 furlongs. Storm Cat's offspring tend to perform very well on off tracks, while Mineshaft produces an average amount of winners.
Dialed In has five half-siblings: Backstabber (by Elusive Quality), Broadway Gold (by Seeking the Gold), Eliza's Gold (by Seeking the Gold), Hometown Boy (by Came Home), and Mambo Meister (by Kingmambo).
Backstabber won the listed Apollo Stakes during his career, while Broadway Gold won the Astoria Stakes (5.5 furlongs) and finished 3rd in the Legal Light (6.0 furlongs). Eliza's Gold was unraced, Hometown Boy won nothing of note, and Mambo Meister finished 3rd in the Paterson Stakes on turf.
Dialed In's dam, Miss Doolittle, finished 3rd in the Grade 2 Schuylerville Stakes
Flashpoint: Pomeroy out of Two Punch (Two Punch Lil)
It's not surprising that to this point in his career Flashpoint has been successful primarily in sprint races since his pedigree has a ton of speed in it. His sire, Pomeroy, won the G1-King's Bishop (6.5f) in stakes record time, the G1-Vanderbilt (6.0f) and the G1-Forego (7.0f). His offspring have an average winning distance of 5.5 furlongs. On the dam's side, the offspring of damsire Two Punch have an average winning distance of 6.4 furlongs.
Flashpoint's dam, Two Punch Lil, won the Jacob France Stakes (5.5f) and the In The Curl Stakes.
Flashpoint has four half-siblings, the most notable being Yuwa Hurricane, a colt by Mt. Livermore that finished 3rd in the Hyogo Junior Grand Prix (7.0f) in Japan.
King Congie: Badge of Silver out of End Sweep (Wise Ending)
King Congie is another colt that features a primarily speed-based pedigree. Offspring of his sire Badge of Silver have an average winning distance of 6.4 furlongs, while the progeny of damsire End Sweep win at an average distance of 6.5 furlongs. Badge of Silver's offspring tend to perform very well on wet surfaces, while End Sweep's progeny are merely average.
King Congie's dam, Wise Ending, won 12 races from 52 starts but never did anything of note at the stakes level.
King Congie has an unraced full-brother, Roll Call Honors.
Midnight Interlude: War Chant out of Groom Dancer (Midnight Kiss (NZ))
Midnight Interlude has Northern Dancer influences all over his pedigree; he's by the Danzig sire War Chant, a stallion that produces an average winning distance of 7.0 furlongs. His damsire, Groom Dancer, has a solid average winning distance of 9.3 furlongs, providing Midnight Interlude with a nice blend of speed and stamina on the top and bottom of his family tree.
War Chant tends to produce offspring that run very well on off tracks, while Groom Dancer is the exact opposite - his runners tend to perform poorly over sloppy or muddy surfaces.
Midnight Interlude's dam, Midnight Kiss (NZ), raced only twice in her career but was stakes placed in New Zealand. Midnight Kiss has produced to other foals: Prime Kiss (by Point Given), and Woods Road (by Empire Maker). They have a combined one win from six lifetime starts.
Mr. Commons: Artie Schiller out of Apalachee (Joustabout)
The offspring of Artie Schiller sport an average winning distance of 7.2 furlongs, while damesire Apalachee is noted for primarily producing milers.
The most interesting part of the pedigree of Mr. Commons is his half-siblings.
- Feisty Woman won at 9.0 and 8.0 furlongs on the turf.
- Hardest Rock (by Touch Gold) won at 9 furlongs on the turf.
- If What So What (by Milwaukee Brew) won on the Polytrack at Woodbine at 8 ½ furlongs.
- Jungle Fighter won multiple races on the turf and finished 2nd in the 1 3/8 mile Bob Harding Stakes on the turf at Monmouth in 2006.
- Knight Shot won a six furlong Maiden Special Weight at Hawthorne on the main track.
Mr. Commons ran well in the Santa Anita Derby, so perhaps he can outrun his miler pedigree. However, the record of his siblings suggest that he's not going to be at his best attempting 9.5 or 10 furlongs.
Mucho Macho Man: Macho Uno out of Ponche (Ponche De Leona)
The offspring of Macho Uno have an average winning distance of 6.8 furlongs and have proven to be exceptional when running over an off-track (>20%). The progeny of damsire Ponche win at an average distance of 6.4 furlongs and are average on wet surfaces.
While Mucho Macho Man has a very sprint oriented pedigree, his performance in the Derby suggests that he will probably fare just fine at the Preakness. The only concern is with the pace - was his ability to get a mile and a quarter in the Derby due to the slow fractions on the front-end and, if it was, will he be distance compromised if he has to run more early on?
Norman Asbjornson: Real Quiet out of Citidancer (Merryland Missy)
Sire Real Quiet is a good source of stamina, producing offspring with an average winning distance of 7.3 furlongs. Damsire Citidancer tends to be a bit more on the speed side, with an average winning distance of 6.5 furlongs for his progeny. Citidancer's offspring tend to run well over wet surfaces.
Norman Asbjornson's dam, Merryland Missy, won four races from 12 starts, including the Maryland Million Distaff Sprint.
Norman Asbjornson has two half-siblings: Essenceofthemoon (by Malibu Moon, and Moonlight Missy (by Malibu Moon). Both siblings have only won at sprint distances in their careers.
Shackleford: Forestry out of Unbridled (Oatsee)
Shackelford has a pretty typical pedigree of an American Triple Crown contender over the last couple of decades, as he features Northern Dancer in the top half of the pedigree, along with Bold Ruler/Secretariat, while the bottom half we see Raise A Native/Mr. Prospector influences. His sire, Forestry, sports an average winning distance of 6.5 furlongs, while damsire Unbridled sees his offspring win at an average distance of 7.8 furlongs. Both Forestry and Unbridled are excellent at producing offspring that run successfully over off-tracks.
Shackleford's dam, Oatsee, was 2-for-21 lifetime, with a 3rd in the Supertrack Racing Series serving as the highlight of her career. The Super Track Series was an obscure event held at Gulfstream about ten years ago.
Shackleford is a half-brother to a couple of very nice mares: Baghdaria (by Royal Academy) and Lady Joanne (by Orientate). Baghdaria won the G3-Indiana Oaks, G3-Iowa Oaks, G3-Silverbulletday, and was 3rd in the G2-Black-Eyed Susan and G2-Churchill Downs. Lady Joanne won the G2-Golden Rod, G1-Alabama Stakes (at 10f), and the G3-Dogwood. An impressive list of accomplishments by both of those mares.
Sway Away: Afleet Alex out of Seattle Slew (Seattle Shimmer)
The offspring of former Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner Afleet Alex have an average winning distance of 7.7 furlongs. Damsire Seattle Slew's progeny tended to excel at distances up to 9 furlongs, with some stretching the distance a bit farther.
Sway Away's dam, Seattle Shimmer, was unraced and has produced three other foals that are a combined 4-for-12.
Sway Away is an interesting pedigree case due to the fact that he has a good deal of stamina on both the top and bottom of his pedigree but his past races suggest that he is best suited as a closing sprinter and not as a router. It's possible that he could continue to develop that side of his game (he's an April 9th foal), but it's also probable that he'll end up running to the short side of his pedigree.
Isn't He Perfect: Pleasantly Perfect out of Rictorious (CHI) (Reciclada (CHI))
A former winner of the Breeders' Cup Classic, Pleasantly Perfect's progeny win at a healthy average winning distance of 7.8 furlongs. Damsire Rictorious is a bit of an obscure damsire that stood for stud in Ireland and Chile, among other places. Almost all of his offspring are Chilean-breds who sport spotty race records.
Isn't He Perfect's dam, Reciclada (CHI), was an impressive runner during her career. She won the G2-Top Flight Handicap, G3-Eatontown Stakes, G2-Premio Independencia (Chile), and was 2nd in the G2-Churhill Downs Distaff Handicap and 3rd in the G1-Santa Anita Handicap and G3-Las Cieneges Handicap. Reciclada has produced five foals, only two of which have raced (Isn't He Perfect and his full-brother Tapadero).