Pedigree fun facts for 2017 Preakness

Profile Picture: Kellie Reilly

May 14th, 2017

After peering at contenders’ pedigrees through a Kentucky Derby (G1) lens, and finding additional fun facts in their ancestry, the Preakness (G1) merits similar treatment.

So without further ado, here are the pedigree fun facts for the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.

Always Dreaming is from the first crop of Bodemeister, whose runner-up effort in the 2012 Preakness (G1) was a virtual carbon copy of his second in the Kentucky Derby. The only difference is that Bodemeister came a lot closer to a wire job at Pimlico, just getting nabbed by I’ll Have Another by a neck. Always Dreaming has already gained vengeance on his sire’s behalf at Churchill; will he make it a double in the Preakness? His dam, Grade 3-winning sprinter Above Perfection, was herself beaten a neck by future Hall of Famer Xtra Heat in the 2001 Prioress (G1). Above Perfection is now responsible for two Grade 1 winners, having produced 2009 Spinaway (G1) heroine Hot Dixie Chick.

Classic Empire’s nearest male relations both regressed from the Derby to the Preakness, a pedigree factoid he hopes to turn upside down on Saturday. Sire Pioneerof the Nile, second to the 50-1 Mine That Bird in the 2009 Derby, threw in the worst effort of his career when a remote 11th in Preakness. He didn’t get a chance to rebound due to a later injury that prompted his retirement that summer. Classic Empire’s broodmare sire, Cat Thief, likewise failed to back up his Derby effort two weeks later. Third to stablemate Charismatic in the 1999 Run for the Roses, Cat Thief was only seventh at Pimlico.

Cloud Computing is from the first crop of Maclean’s Music, a scintillating Santa Anita debut winner by Distorted Humor who never ran again. Cloud Computing is out of multiple graded stakes-placed Quick Temper, an A.P. Indy mare whose closest brush with glory came in the 2004 Silverbulletday (G2) at Fair Grounds. Quick Temper is in turn out of Grade 1-winning millionaire Halo America, who beat Jewel Princess and Escena, traded decisions with Heavenly Prize, and placed to Hall of Famers Inside Information and Serena’s Song.

Conquest Mo Money’s pedigree features top three-year-olds of their respective generations who didn’t participate in the Preakness – plus one who had bad luck. His sire, champion Uncle Mo, missed his chance at the classics due to illness. Paternal grandsire Indian Charlie had to be freshened after his third in the 1998 Derby. Broodmare sire Seeking the Gold was seventh in his Derby, skipped the rest of the 1988 Triple Crown, and prospered in the second half of the season. Conquest Mo Money’s second dam is a full sister to Touch Gold, a heroic fourth in the 1997 Preakness despite taking a nosedive out of the gate. He (in)famously went on to deny Silver Charm the Triple Crown in the Belmont. That deep pedigree belies his $8,500 price at the Conquest Stables dispersal at Keeneland last November.

Gunnevera is from the first crop of Dialed In, eighth as a lukewarm Derby favorite in 2011, who did better to finish fourth in the Preakness. Gunnevera’s broodmare sire, Unbridled, experienced the reverse: he was second to rival Summer Squall at Pimlico after beating him in the Kentucky Derby. (For fun facts related to the maternal lineage, see Senior Investment.)

Hence, by the Street Cry stallion Street Boss, hails from the same extended female line as Classic Empire. Springing from an arguably more productive branch, Hence is out of a half-sister to Canadian Broodmare of the Year Pico Teneriffe (dam of two-time Sovereign Award champion Marchfield). This is the family of multiple Grade/Group 2-winning millionaire Regal Ransom and ill-fated multiple Grade 1 vixen Devil May Care.

Lookin at Lee can make his sire, Lookin at Lucky (pictured), the 11th Preakness winner to have a son follow in his hoofsteps. A brutal sixth in the 2010 Derby, where he was wiped out early from his rail draw, Lookin at Lucky set the record straight in the Preakness and ranked as the divisional champion again at three. Last year, fellow Smart Strike stallion Curlin became the 10th member of the Preakness-winning fathers and sons club, courtesy of Exaggerator. Aside from the ubiquitous trio of Northern Dancer (1964), Native Dancer (1953), and Nashua (1955) (the latter via Mr. Prospector), Lookin at Lee boasts a couple of other Preakness winners on his dam’s side in Elocutionist (1976) and Damascus (1967).

Multiplier might be a surprising classic candidate if you just look at his speedy young sire, The Factor, and broodmare sire Trippi. But he gets a solid stamina boost from his second dam, Ten Downing Street. By two-time Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) hero Alleged, she boasts three crosses of 1937 Triple Crown legend War Admiral. The colt’s third dam, being by Halo and out of a Northern Dancer mare, is inbred to their potent ancestress Almahmoud – a classic Rasmussen Factor of duplicating superior females. Moreover, Multiplier’s maternal line descends from a full sister to the outstanding sire Bull Lea, a relative of Nellie Morse, who beat the boys in the 1924 Preakness. 

Senior Investment is bred along broadly similar lines, in tail-male and female, to Gunnevera. Both are by Mineshaft stallions (in Senior Investment’s case, Discreetly Mine), and from subsets of the “Number 16 Family” on their maternal side. Senior Investment’s dam, Plaid, was a multiple stakes winner tracing to Polly Agnes, who created her own branch of the “Agnes” clan designated 16-g. Gunnevera traces to a celebrated daughter of Polly Agnes, Lily Agnes, who in turn gave rise to yet another offshoot, 16-h, in recognition of her illustrious progeny including Ormonde, the 1886 English Triple Crown winner. Ormonde’s full sister, Ornament, is Gunnevera’s direct female-line ancestress via her daughter, four-time British classic star Sceptre.

Term of Art is a son of Tiznow, making him the only representative of the Man o’ War sire line in the 2017 Preakness. A descendant of the blue hen *La Troienne through his maternal line, Term of Art can claim some outstanding relatives up to the present day. He’s out of a full sister to Grade 1-winning turf miler Mr. Sidney. His second dam, multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire Tomisue’s Delight, is herself a full sister to 2003 Horse of the Year Mineshaft (paternal grandsire of Preakness rivals Gunnevera and Senior Investment). And the family remains current, with Dickinson a recent headliner for foiling Lady Eli in the Jenny Wiley (G1).


The less I heard about Lancaster Bomber in recent days, the more I started to question his participation, but @Aobrienfansite reported Monday on Twitter that it is "looking likely" he'll come. That's great because his final pedigree fun fact can't be topped.

Lancaster Bomber is a War Front half-brother to Excelebration, best remembered for chasing Frankel. But Excelebration was a top miler in his own right who landed three Group 1s once he got away from that phenom. Another half-sibling, Mull of Killough, was a multiple Group 3 winner at his beloved Newmarket. Thus Lancaster Bomber's immediate family is heavily turf oriented. Their dam, the Indian Ridge mare Sun Shower, descends from 1976 Irish One Thousand Guineas (G1) and Yorkshire Oaks (G1) heroine Sarah Siddons. Interestingly, further back in the female line, one finds American roots dating back to the antebellum period. Lancaster Bomber's sixth dam is American-bred Fantan, his seventh dam is inbred to Domino's great son Commando, and if you keep following the sequence ever deeper into the 19th century, his 15th dam Bay Flower is a full sister to Preakness!  Winner of Pimlico's inaugural Dinner Party S. (now known as the Dixie), Preakness was honored by having a race named after him, which became the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown.

Lookin at Lucky photo by Harold Roth/