Kentucky Derby Pedigree Profile: Concert Tour

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

March 14th, 2021

It appears Concert Tour is bound for a spring stop at Churchill Downs, where horsemen and handicappers alike will find out if he can produce a winning tune on the first Saturday in May.

Concert Tour hasn’t missed a beat so far, joining the Road to the Kentucky Derby with a decisive victory in the $1 million Rebel S. (G2) at Oaklawn Park. The California-based colt has already shown he can take his game on the road, but can he handle the testing 1 1/4-mile distance of the Kentucky Derby (G1)?

The answer, of course, won’t be clear until Concert Tour breaks from the Churchill Downs starting gate and takes 1.25 laps around Louisville’s famous oval. But his pedigree can provide a few clues.

Concert Tour’s sire, Street Sense, certainly showed an affinity for 1 1/4 miles when rallying to victory in the 2007 Kentucky Derby, defeating a widely acclaimed field containing future Grade 1 winner Hard Spun and eventual two-time Horse of the Year Curlin. Street Sense also won the historic Travers (G1) racing 1 1/4 miles, proving his signature victory over the American classic distance wasn’t a fluke.

Street Sense has enjoyed strong success at stud, siring a bevy of Grade 1 winners in both the U.S. and Australia. But somewhat surprisingly, his progeny have shown a bit more speed than stamina, primarily excelling as sprinters and milers. A few have stretched their speed over longer trips, including Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) runner-up McKinzie and Doomben Cup (G1) winner Sense of Occasion. But even McKinzie was best running 1 1/8 miles or less, and Street Sense’s long-winded progeny are outnumbered by the likes of Aubby K, Callback, Dixie Blossoms, Hallowed Crown, Politeness, and Sweet Reason, all of them Grade 1 winners racing one mile or less.

Fortunately for Concert Tour, the bottom half of his pedigree is considerably stouter. Although his dam, Purse Strings, won only a maiden sprint from 12 starts, she did finish second five times running one mile or farther on both dirt and turf. Furthermore, Purse Strings is a daughter of three-time leading sire Tapit, a source of stamina best known for siring 1 1/2-mile Belmont (G1) winners Tonalist, Creator, and Tapwrit.

At first glance, Street Sense might not be the most likely candidate to sire a Kentucky Derby winner. But the stout bloodlines of Tapit may counterbalance the speed of Street Sense, providing Concert Tour with a ticket for success on the first Saturday in May.