Pedigree profile: Contrail

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

October 21st, 2020

What happens when you cross the best racehorse Japan has ever produced with a mare from an elite American family? You wind up with Contrail, a powerful winner of the 2020 Tokyo Yushun (G1, Japanese Derby).

Contrail Pedigree
Sunday Silence
Deep Impact
Wind In Her Hair
Unbridled's Song

Contrail’s three-length drubbing of the Tokyo Yushun brought to mind memories of his sire, the late, great Deep Impact. Certainly there are physical similarities—Deep Impact wasn’t a large horse, tipping the scales at less than 1,000 pounds, and Contrail is only marginally heavier.

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But size didn’t stop Deep Impact from sweeping the 2005 Japanese Triple Crown. A seven-time Group 1 winner over distances ranging from 1 1/4 miles to 2 miles, Deep Impact has been busily extending the legacy of his own sire, 1989 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner and legendary Japanese stallion Sunday Silence. Indeed, Deep Impact has been a sensation at stud, topping Japan’s stallion rankings every year since 2012 while siring such standout stars as Japanese Fillies Triple Crown winner Gentildonna and 2000 Guineas (G1) winner Saxon Warrior.

Contrail is the fifth son of Deep Impact to prevail in the Tokyo Yushun, a testament to Deep Impact’s ability to consistently sire long-winded classic types. Though in the case of Contrail, he’s actually receiving a double dose of quality through his dam, Rhodochrosite.

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As a racehorse, Rhodochrosite was thoroughly unremarkable, failing to win in seven starts. Her first two foals to hit the track weren’t much better, displaying durability more than talent. But dig into Rhodochrosite’s bloodlines, and you’ll find plenty of talent and potential lurking just out of sight.

Rhodochrosite is a daughter of Unbridled’s Song, victorious in the 1995 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and the sire of six Breeders’ Cup winners: Arrogate (Classic, G1), Forever Unbridled, Unbridled Elaine, and Unrivaled Belle (Distaff, G1), Liam’s Map (Dirt Mile, G1), and Midshipman (Juvenile, G1).

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Unbridled’s Song’s most successful progeny thrived running a mile or farther, and similar tendencies can be found in the racing profile and pedigree of Rhodochrosite’s dam, Folklore. A daughter of two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Tiznow, Folklore was voted champion 2-year-old filly of 2005 after capping off a successful summer/fall campaign with a comfortable victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1).

Taking all of these factors together, it’s easy to see why Contrail has emerged as a rising star on the Japanese racing scene. Talent, class, and stamina reside in every corner of Contrail’s elite pedigree, and it’s entirely possible his best performances are still to come.

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