Pedigree profile: Newgrange

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

January 3rd, 2022

Sometimes, bettors can examine a racehorse pedigree and immediately conclude, “Yes—this horse is bred to excel in the Triple Crown.” Such is the case with Newgrange, winner of the Sham S. (G3) on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.

Granted, Newgrange’s sire—Violence—hasn’t been a source of Triple Crown types so far. Winner of the 1 1/16-mile CashCall Futurity (G1), Violence retired with an injury prior to the Kentucky Derby, and his progeny at stud have largely excelled as sprinters. His best U.S. runners to date include Dr. Schivel, No Parole, and Volatile, all Grade 1 winners dashing six to seven furlongs.

But there’s no reason to think Violence can’t sire long-winded types under the right circumstances. His progeny have enjoyed success running long in Argentina, with Dandy Del Barrio nabbing the Gran Premio Estrellas Classic (G1) over 1 1/4 miles on dirt. And Violence himself is a son of Medaglia d’Oro, a multiple Grade 1-winning router known as a stamina influence. Medaglia d’Oro’s many Grade and Group 1 winners include 2009 Horse of the Year and Preakness S. (G1) heroine Rachel Alexandra, as well as Hong Kong Horse of the Year Golden Sixty.

Even if you view Violence as a source of speed more than stamina, Newgrange can count on the bottom half of his pedigree to provide all his stamina needs. His dam, the unraced mare Bella Chianti, is a daughter of 1 1/2-mile Belmont S. (G1) winner Empire Maker. Runner-up in the 2003 Kentucky Derby, Empire Maker had all the stamina you could ask for and routinely passed it on at stud, with Kentucky Derby runners-up Pioneerof the Nile (2009) and Bodemeister (2012) among his best runners.

Both Pioneerof the Nile and Bodemeister have found success at stud, with Pioneerof the Nile siring 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and Bodemeister turning out 2017 Kentucky Derby hero Always Dreaming. When you consider how Empire Maker’s sire (Unbridled) won the 1990 Kentucky Derby, it’s clear this male line has what it takes to churn out classic types.

Empire Maker is also enjoying success as a broodmare sire. In 2021, his accomplished daughter Brooch made headlines as the dam of Haskell S. (G1) winner Mandaloun, second across the finish line in the Kentucky Derby.

Mandaloun is a son of Into Mischief, a speedy sprinter/miler who—like Violence—counted the CashCall Futurity as his signature triumph. The crosses of Into Mischief with Empire Maker and Violence with Empire Maker are similar in a lot of respects, so it’s not unrealistic to think Newgrange can follow Mandaloun’s example and parlay a speed-over-stamina pedigree into a strong Triple Crown showing.