2016 Kentucky Derby Pedigrees: Whitmore

Profile Picture: Kellie Reilly

April 30th, 2016

Whitmore is the product of two different types: sire Pleasantly Perfect was a true classic horse on the racetrack, while dam Melody’s Spirit features a concentration of speed.

Representing the sire line of unbeaten Italian legend *Ribot, Pleasantly Perfect is by 1981 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1) hero Pleasant Colony. He is out of Regal State, a daughter of 1978 Triple Crown sweeper Affirmed, who captured the 6-furlong Prix Morny (G1) at two.

Pleasantly Perfect scored all of his marquee victories at 1 1/4 miles, in the 2003 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) and 2004 Dubai World Cup (G1) and Pacific Classic (G1). With his resume, you’d expect him to be a stamina influence. His highest-profile runner, Shared Account, won the 1 3/8-mile Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) in 2010, and Setsuko was twice runner-up in the Santa Anita H. (G1). Multiple Grade 2 turf queen Cozi Rosie placed three times at 1 1/4 miles. He’s also sired a Brazilian Group 2 winner over 1 1/2 miles, Perfectly Associat.

Yet his multiple Spanish champion Silverside was campaigned mostly around a mile, and his most recent Group 1 victor, Idalino, also scored that laurel over a mile in Argentina. A similar pattern holds with his useful US Grade 3 winner Nonios (second in the 2012 Haskell [G1]), and Light Green (the 2009 Prioress [G1] runner-up) was a sprinter. So Pleasantly Perfect may also be passing on some of his dam’s speed. Or he may simply be malleable, and liable to conform to the chief influences of his mares. In any event, he’s not a terribly prolific source of major winners.

Whitmore is the first foal from the unraced Melody’s Spirit, who is herself from the first crop of Scat Daddy. The winner of the 2006 Champagne (G1) and 2007 Florida Derby (G1), Scat Daddy was an emerging force in the international sire ranks before his untimely death in December. His headliners span the globe, from Wesley Ward’s smashing Royal Ascot invaders Acapulco and No Nay Never; a squadron of Chilean champions led by Dacita (who edged Tepin in last summer’s Ballston Spa [G2]), Il Campione, and Solaria; to multiple US Grade 1-winning turfiste Lady of Shamrock; El Kabeir; Handsome Mike; Frac Daddy; Daddy Long Legs; and current Kentucky Oaks (G1) candidate Nickname.

Scat Daddy’s daughters are only now beginning to have runners themselves. But the early returns suggest he’ll be influential in this sphere as well. Aside from Whitmore, he also appears as the broodmare sire of Kentucky Oaks contender Mo d’Amour, winner of the Busher and most recently third in the Gazelle (G2).

Melody’s Spirit is out of Capture the Cat, a mare by Tale of the Cat who thereby offers an intense pattern of inbreeding. Tale of the Cat is closely related to Scat Daddy’s sire, Johannesburg. Tale of the Cat’s parents, Storm Cat and Yarn, are both grandparents of Johannesburg. Thus Melody’s Spirit is inbred 4x3 to Storm Cat and Yarn, suggesting a heightening of speed.

And that’s not all. Melody’s Spirit’s parents, Scat Daddy and Capture the Cat, are each inbred to Mr. Prospector. So Melody’s Spirit has a total of four crosses of Mr. Prospector (5x3x4x5) in five generations.

Although the immediate family hasn’t produced anyone noteworthy, the further succession of damsires is all quality – Seattle Slew, Forty Niner, and Hoist the Flag. The latter is the sire of Whitmore’s fifth dam French Flag, the nearest source of serious black-type. She produced a trio of stakes winners – Grade 2 vixen Royal Plume, Royal Pennant, and Drapeau (dam of Hollywood Futurity [G1] hero and speed sire Swiss Yodeler).

This is the extended family of 1986 Epsom Oaks (G1) and 1000 Guineas (G1) star Midway Lady, herself the dam of 2005 Oaks heroine Eswarah.

Pedigree information courtesy of

Photo courtesy of Churchill Downs/Coady Photography.