Three Sires Stand Out As Having Multiple Kentucky Derby Contenders

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TwinSpires Staff

January 12th, 2018

by Alastair Bull

It may seem early, but it’s never too soon to try to find the next Kentucky Derby winner. And with 16 races in the various Road to the Kentucky Derby tables completed, it’s worth a look to see how the pedigrees of the contenders we know about stack up.

At the moment, three sires stand out as having multiple contenders: Curlin, Medaglia d’Oro, and Tapit. None have sired a Kentucky Derby winner to date, but they are all outstanding stallions and all three have had progeny run 1 ¼ miles or further.

Curlin’s leading contenders, Good Magic and Solomini, finished first and second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). Good Magic is out of a mare by Kentucky Derby runner-up Hard Spun from a female family with stakes performances up to 1 1/8 miles. Solomini is out of Fleet Lady, a half-sister to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Midshipman; her progeny include grade two winner Fast Cookie, the dam of Belmont Stakes (G1) runner-up Frosted.

Medaglia d’Oro has three horses that look to be contenders: Bolt d’Oro, Enticed, and Montauk. Bolt d’Oro comes from a family mainly of sprinter-milers, including Zensational; Enticed is out of the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) winner It’s Tricky, and Montauk is out of Indian Vale, who won four graded stakes races at 1 1/8 miles.

Tapit, who has sired three of the past four Belmont Stakes winners, has two live contenders in Mask and Principe Guilherme. Mask is out of the stakeswinning mare Hidden Expression, a half-sister to Whitney Handicap (G1) winner Bullsbay, and Principe Guilherme is out of the Humana Distaff (G1) winner Aubby K.

The Derby pedigrees of other leading contenders is a little mixed. On the positive side, Greyvitos’s sire Malibu Moon has already sired a Derby winner in Orb, while McKinzie is by the 2007 Derby winner Street Sense. Catholic Boy’s sire More Than Ready has sired horses that can stay 1 ½ miles on turf, as has Symboli Kris S., the sire of leading Japanese contender Le Vent Se Leve. Free Drop Billy is by Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags out of a mare that has produced the 1 ½-mile winner Hawkbill.

However, on pedigree there must be doubts about Firenze Fire, whose sire is the sprinter Poseidon’s Warrior. Irish horse Mendelssohn could also be interesting: many of the leading northern hemisphere-bred performers by his sire Scat Daddy have been sprinter-milers, though he has sired many Classic winners in South America and his dam also produced Beholder, who comfortably stayed 1 ¼ miles.

If I was asked to pick the best Derby pedigree among the contenders I’d probably go for Enticed. His sire Medaglia d’Oro had great form at 1 ¼ to 1 ½ miles, and his dam It’s Tricky was high-class up to 1 ¼ miles on dirt. However, the pedigrees of horses like Good Magic, Catholic Boy, Bolt d’Oro, and Le Vent Se Leve are all highly encouraging. Ultimately, however, the Derby isn’t run on paper, and Derby players should carefully watch the way each contender races when deciding who to wager on.

(Good Magic image by