The foals who grew up to be 2015 Kentucky Derby contenders: American Pharoah, Dortmund, Carpe Diem & more

Profile Picture: Kellie Reilly

May 1st, 2015

Last week in this space, I mentioned my upcoming feature on the Derby contenders as foals.

The great responses from various connections, from breeders to consignors, generated no fewer than four stories on, and many offered insights into the horses as individuals.

Derby favorite American Pharoah was not only a "total athlete from day one," but "the most kind horse you can own -- he's almost like a pet."

All of the other vignettes were divided into a three-part "Tales from the Crib" series.

In Part I, we learn that International Star was quite the character, as his nickname of "Captain Underpants" attests, while Danzig Moon was a lot nicer than his current reputation implies, and you probably can't guess what Mubtaahij did to get his mom mad.

Part II highlights: Dortmund was always "calm and cool, very smart and easy going," clever enough to solve the problem of how to get to his carrots. A "very mature" and "great minded" Carpe Diem kept to himself as a youngster, exuding "a ton of self-confidence." Materiality was a "gentle giant...the equivalent of a draft pick for pro football." War Story was a "pistol," and Far Right beat up on his paddock mates.

Part III features Frosted, a "more pleasant variety" of Tapit; Firing Line, the "alpha" in his baby days; why it's a good thing that Bolo is remarkably unremarkable; why Upstart boasts "Lucky" as his nickname; how Tencendur is growing up from a "real momma's boy" into a racehorse; and the close parallels between racing and the theater.

Photo of baby Mubtaahij courtesy of Haras de l'Hotellerie.