Pedigree fun facts for 2018 Preakness Stakes

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May 18th, 2018

As a follow-up to the pedigree fun facts for the Kentucky Derby (G1), Saturday’s 143rd running of the Preakness (G1) warrants a similar look - with an eye toward the prevailing sloppy conditions.

Kentucky Derby winner Justify sports a nifty inbreeding pattern to full sisters Yarn and Preach, an example of the Rasmussen Factor of duplicating superior females. Yarn appears in the top half of the pedigree, as the granddam of Johannesburg, sire of Scat Daddy. Preach is the dam of Pulpit, who sired Justify’s granddam, Magical Illusion. If you trace Justify’s matrilineal line of descent back about a century, you find Noonday, dam of intense speed vector High Time and ancestress of Hall of Famer Stymie. We could investigate his mud influences, but his Derby performance (along with a two-for-two mark on off tracks) makes that superfluous.

Champion and Derby runner-up Good Magic and lightly raced Tenfold are both by 2007 Preakness hero Curlin. Each hopes to emulate his sire in some respect. Good Magic is aiming for a reversal of Derby form with Justify, much like Curlin exacted revenge on Street Sense. Tenfold has a different Curlin angle, having been unraced at two. Curlin has already joined the club of Preakness winners to sire one, courtesy of Exaggerator (2016), who famously reveled in the slop. And just to remind us of his potency in these conditions, Curlin’s son Irish War Cry dominated Friday’s Pimlico Special (G3).

Both colts receive a further dash of Pimlico flavor from their dams’ side. Good Magic’s dam, multiple stakes winner and Grade 2-placed Glinda the Good, was fifth in the 2011 Black-Eyed Susan (G2), and her sire, Curlin’s old foe Hard Spun, was third in the Preakness. Tenfold’s dam, Temptress, is a half to Grade 3 victor Donegal Moon, who finished fourth in the 2016 Sir Barton. Tenfold’s third dam is champion turf mare Possibly Perfect, from the extended family of millionaire Eddington, hero of the 2005 Pimlico Special (G1) and third to Smarty Jones in the 2004 Preakness. Possibly Perfect is also the “aunt” of multiple Grade 1 star Coil.

Bravazo is bred on the same cross as 2013 Preakness winner Oxbow as well as 2012 Haskell (G1) victor Paynter, all by Awesome Again out of Cee’s Tizzy mares. A similar cross of Awesome Again over noted mud influence Relaunch (Cee’s Tizzy’s sire) produced Hall of Famer Ghostzapper, the broodmare sire of Justify. So there’s ample genetic material to suggest Bravazo would handle off going just fine. The Calumet homebred hails from the family numbered “A10,” an old American line that traces back to a Spanish tap-root mare imported during the colonial era (according to

Sporting Chance comes from the Relaunch/Cee’s Tizzy male line, via Hall of Famer Tiznow, who’s aiming for the Black-Eyed Susan-Preakness double after daughter Red Ruby splashed home in the fillies’ feature Friday. Thus the dynasty’s wet-track proclivities have surfaced yet again. The sire line traces back to the legendary Man o’ War, and Sporting Chance’s female line can boast additional historical significance. His dam, multiple Grade 1-placed stakes winner Wynning Ride, is a member of the 4-m family descending from celebrated matron Maggie B. B., whose offspring include 1879 Preakness victor Harold and 1881 Epsom Derby winner Iroquois.

Quip is by Distorted Humor, sire of 2003 Derby and Preakness champ Funny Cide. The WinStar patriarch supplied further evidence of his off-track influence Friday as his daughter Happy Like a Fool romped in the Miss Preakness (G3). Quip’s dam is by another mud-friendly sire in Indian Charlie, and she’s also a half-sister to Normandy Invasion. This is a different branch of the 1-c family that’s given us 1996 Derby scorer Grindstone and Pass Catcher, who upended Canonero II’s Triple Crown bid in the 1971 Belmont.

Both of Lone Sailor’s parents are inbred to Secretariat. Sire Majestic Warrior is by A.P. Indy, who is out of the Secretariat mare Weekend Surprise, and the 1973 Triple Crown legend also sired Majestic Warrior’s third dam. Lone Sailor’s dam receives her double dose through her paternal grandsire Gone West and her broodmare sire Storm Cat, both out of Secretariat mares. This female line descends from a full sister to champion filly Althea, and her broader “A4” family is responsible for a cavalcade of celebrities, from Hall of Famer Swaps to 2014 Derby and Preakness champion California Chrome. Like Justify and Sporting Chance, Lone Sailor has won on an off track.

Diamond King’s pedigree features three crosses of supersire Mr. Prospector within four generations. One appears through his male line by way of sire Quality Road, whose champion daughter Abel Tasman captured last year’s Kentucky Oaks (G1) in the slop, and two arise from his dam, the Malibu Moon mare Akron Moon. She’s inbred 3x3 to “Mr. P,” who factors as both the broodmare sire of Malibu Moon and the sire of Not for Love, responsible for her dam Akronism. Diamond King’s fourth dam, Shibumi, is a full sister to 1977 champion turf horse Johnny D., and also on the page is 1995 Santa Anita H. (G1) winner Urgent Request.

Photo of Justify at Pimlico by Cecilia Gustavsson/