As soon as Toast of New York crossed the line first at Meydan to take the UAE Derby and secure himself a spot in the Kentucky Derby with 100 points, the question was immediately asked, "Will he like the dirt at Churchill Downs?" While last year the answer with Lines of Battle was clearly going to be a resounding no, and UAE Derby winners have never finished higher than 5th in the Kentucky Derby, there looks like an outside chance that he might like it.
By Thewayyouare, Toast of New York has a serious pedigree to him. His dam, while not a stakes horse herself, is out of the outstanding race mare Claire Marine (IRE). Claire Marie, by What a Guest (IRE), was Group placed in France, but really hit her stride once she came to the states. In 1989 at Hollywood Park, you couldn't find better. She took the Grade 1 Matriarch, the Grade 1 Beverly Hills Handicap, the Grade 2 Palomar, and the Grade 2 Wilshire and finished second in the Grade 1 Gamely. Great victories certainly, but all are on the turf. While it certainly shows that stamina should be no problem, it is of concern that nary a start was on the main track.
But things get really interesting when you examine Thewayyouare. As with the vast majority of sires, he is impeccably bred, as he is by the venerable Kingmambo and out of a truly cornerstone family anchored by the amazing broodmare of the year Best in Show. She produced dual champions, and full brothers, El Gran Senor and Try My Best, and another great near-champion filly in Blush with Pride.(note: I could write a couple thousand words about Best in Show, but must... stay.... focused....)
Blush with Pride, by the great Blushing Groom, was the 1982 Kentucky Oaks and Ashland winner. Remember when Keeneland had dirt? Yeah, so did she. But she was no one generation dirt wonder. While she produced Thewayyouare's dam, Maryinski (IRE) who was 2nd in the Group 1 Meon Valley stud Fillies' Mile, she also produced the great Better Than Honour.
By Deputy Minister, Better than Honour is truly one of the great broodmares of our time. A Grade 2 winner at 2, as she took the Demoiselle, she was Grade 1 placed twice in the Acorn and the Mother Goose. But that's peanuts when compared to her progeny.
When you think of the great fillies of the 20th century, I (at least) go to three fillies: Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and Rags to Riches. (by the way, no offense is meant to any other filly or mare, but beating the boys in the Triple Crown and the BC Classic seals the deal for me).
Well Better than Honour is the dam of Rags to Riches AND her older brother Jazil (after I finished writing that, I immediately realized that of course she's dam to both). Belmont Stakes victors for the win.
While I normally would see a stallion that stands at Coolmore in Ireland and immediately chalk him up to being solely a grass influence, I think in this case I might not be 100% right in saying that. And honestly, with 100 Derby points, I think that outside chance at liking dirt is probably enough motivation to take a swing at the Kentucky Derby.
Now what did Toast of New York beat? Dunno. Giovanni Boldini (WV) is a nice horse, but what else was in there? I really do not know. But is there enough of a dirt thread there, and a fantastically brilliant one at that.
So truly high class female bloodlines, a fantastically strong sire line thru Mr. Prospector's son, Kingmambo, and a truly brilliant dirt pocket in Thewayyouare's female family spell out that Toast of New York might actually like the dirt, which is more than we've been able to say about any UAE Derby winner in recent history.