Tawny Port: Kentucky Derby contender profile

Profile Picture: James Scully

May 6th, 2022

Tawny Port confirmed himself as a Kentucky Derby participant when capturing the April 16 Lexington S. (G3), his first win on a dirt track. The race didn’t come back fast, but Tawny Port does have improving form in his corner. After winning his first two starts over Turfway’s synthetic track, the dark bay Kentucky-bred finished a belated fifth when making his stakes debut in a tough spot, the Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds. He followed with a runner-up in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G2), and Tawny Port proved much the best with a one-length decision in the Lexington. The late bloomer will look to close ground from off the pace in the Kentucky Derby.

Tawny Port Speed Figures

Top Brisnet Speed: 99, Jeff Ruby Steaks

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Top Brisnet Late Pace: 99, Jeff Ruby Steaks

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Tawny Port Pedigree

Sire: Pioneerof the Nile

Runner-up in the 2009 Kentucky Derby, Pioneerof the Nile sired the first American Triple Crown winner in 37 years, American Pharoah, who swept the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont S. in 2015. He’s a son of Empire Maker, who has Messier in the Kentucky Derby field, and Pioneerof the Nile will also be represented by Pioneer of Medina in this year’s starting gate.

Dam: Livi Makenzie

Tawny Port is the first stakes scorer from Livi Makenzie, a daughter of 2000 champion two-year-old male Macho Uno. She raced primarily in sprints, recording her lone stakes win at six furlongs.

Read More: Tawny Port Pedigree Profile

Tawny Port Connections

Owner: John Fort’s Peachtree Stable

Purchased for $430,000 as a yearling, Tawny Port will be the fourth Kentucky Derby starter for John Fort’s Peachtree Stable. Their best finish came via 2001 runner-up Invisible Ink, and the Florida-based operation has been racing horses for more than 40 years.

Trainer: Brad Cox

The reigning two-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Brad Cox made quite a splash in his first Kentucky Derby appearance last year, recording a win (Mandaloun) and a third (Essential Quality). The Louisville native is readying three horses for the second go-around, as Cyberknife and Zozos will join Tawny Port in the starting gate, and Cox has trained three champions over the last two seasons (Knicks Go, Essential Quality, and Monomoy Girl).

Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.

For the seventh straight year, and eighth time overall, Ricardo Santana Jr. will have a Kentucky Derby mount. His best result came via Max Player, fifth in 2020,

Learn about all of the Kentucky Derby Contenders and the lead up to the Fastest Two Minutes in Sports here on