Kentucky Derby Pedigree Profile: South Bend

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

September 2nd, 2020

Dirt or turf, it doesn’t seem to matter to South Bend, who has displayed strong form on both surfaces while hitting the board in seven stakes races. But distance preferences are another question entirely, and there are reasons to believe the 1 1/4-mile journey of the Kentucky Derby is a bit longer than South Bend prefers.

South Bend Pedigree
Ava Knowsthecode
South Bend
Old Trieste
Sandra's Rose
St Lucinda

South Bend is a son of Algorithms, a classy Bernardini colt who splashed his way over a sloppy track to defeat champion Hansen in the 2012 Holy Bull (G3) racing a one-turn mile at Gulfstream Park. Produced by the Cryptoclearance mare Ava Knowsthecode, Algorithms hails from a productive family, ranking as a full- or half-sibling to Greenpointcrusader, Justin Phillip, Keyed Entry, and Successful Mission, all of them graded stakes-winning sprinter/milers.

Whether Algorithms could have carried his speed farther than his siblings never became clear, because the unbeaten colt was injured and retired after just three starts. At stud he’s been primarily responsible for siring sprinters, including graded winners Recruiting Ready and Rich Mommy, though his son Math Wizard did upset the 2019 Pennsylvania Derby (G1) racing 1 1/8 miles.

However, Math Wizard benefited from a stoutly-bred female family, which looms as a missing part of the equation in South Bend’s pedigree. Whereas Math Wizard was produced by the Deputy Minister mare Minister’s Baby, winner of the 1 1/8-mile Gardenia H. (G3), South Bend was produced by Sandra’s Rose, who placed in multiple graded stakes events sprinting on turf. Sandra’s Rose has foaled five previous winners, the majority of them sprinters and milers, though her son He’s the Reason did stretch out to win the 1 1/8-mile S. W. Randall Plate H. at Hastings Racecourse.

Sandra’s Rose, in turn, is a daughter of Old Trieste, a 1998 Kentucky Derby participant who won four graded stakes ranging in distance from a mile to 1 1/8 miles. Though he died at a young age, Old Trieste managed to sire a handful of classy sprinter/milers, including 6-furlong Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) winner Silver Train, 1 1/8-mile Blue Grass (G1) winner Sinister Minister, and 1 1/16-mile Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) runner-up Minister Eric.

As a broodmare sire, Old Trieste is best known for his granddaughter Killer Graces, upset winner of the 1 1/16-mile Hollywood Starlet (G1) over the synthetic Cushion Track at Hollywood Park. Given the blend of dirt, turf, and synthetic influences scattered through South Bend’s pedigree, it’s easy to understand why he’s displayed talent on multiple surfaces.

Having rallied to finish second in a fast-paced renewal of the 1 1/8-mile Ohio Derby (G3), it’s clear South Bend is capable of handling typical middle-distance routes. But there’s a big difference between 1 1/8 miles and 1 1/4 miles, and from top to bottom South Bend’s pedigree hints the Kentucky Derby distance might be a furlong too far.