Kentucky Derby Pedigree Profile: Wells Bayou

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

March 22nd, 2020

With his resilient front-running victory in the 1 3/16-mile Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds, it seems evident Wells Bayou has inherited both the stamina of his sire and the speed of his damsire, a formidable combination stamping the colt as a major player on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

Wells Bayou Pedigree
Smart Strike
Lookin At Lucky
Private Feeling
Wells Bayou
Hard Spun
Whispering Angel

Wells Bayou is a son of Lookin At Lucky, winner of the 2010 Preakness (G1) and a division champion at age two and three. Sired by Smart Strike, whose other successful runners include two-time Horse of the Year Curlin and champion grass male English Channel, Lookin At Lucky has quietly compiled a solid record at stud. Flashy juveniles aren’t his forte; instead, Lookin At Lucky tends to sire late-maturing types who thrive running long, with champion Accelerate the best example. A capable performer at age three and four, Accelerate became a champion at five, counting the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) among his four Grade 1 victories running 1 1/4 miles.

Lookin At Lucky is also responsible for 2019 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Country House, 1 1/2-mile Greenwood Cup (G3) winner Madefromlucky, and Canadian classic winner Breaking Lucky, who nabbed the 1 3/16-mile Prince of Wales Stakes. Lookin At Lucky’s Grade 1-winning daughter Wow Cat also showed impressive stamina in her native Chile, claiming the 1 3/8-mile St. Leger (G1) against colts, and the average winning distance of Lookin At Lucky’s foals is a solid 7.6 furlongs.

Wells Bayou’s dam is Whispering Angel, a modest runner who scored her biggest win in a 1 1/16-mile allowance optional claiming race over the Gulfstream Park turf course. Whispering Angel, in turn, is a daughter of Hard Spun, who was fast enough to win the 7-furlong King’s Bishop (G1) but stout enough to finish second in the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic running 1 1/4 miles.

Speed was Hard Spun’s greatest weapon, but he’s sired plenty of stout runners at stud, including champion and Alabama (G1) winner Questing, Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) winner Hard Aces, and Arlington Million (G1) champion Hardest Core, all Grade 1 winners running 1 1/4 miles. Another son, Rocketry, successfully stretched out over 1 3/4 miles to claim the Marathon (G2).

Hard Spun has also proven he can pass on stamina through his daughters. While Hard Spun is still in the early days of his career as a broodmare sire, his daughters have already produced Silver Dust and Souper Tapit (both graded stakes winners running 1 1/16 miles) plus champion juvenile and Kentucky Derby runner-up Good Magic.

Only time will tell if Wells Bayou can one-up Good Magic and prevail in the Kentucky Derby. But should Wells Bayou come up short at Churchill Downs, it will be hard to blame his pedigree.