Kentucky Derby 2009 -- Early Pedigree Picks

We're now two months away from Derby Day.  Here are a few of the runners I've been watching this year, hoping they'll make it to the Run for the Roses:

  • Square Eddie (pedigree) is a spectacularly consistent colt. The Canadian-bred chestnut son of Smart Strike (SRO) has been in the money six times from seven starts, from 5 to 8.5 furlongs.  The 2008 winner of the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) has raced on seven different tracks and in two countries.  Square Eddie has the same Native Dancer inbreeding pattern that's common to horses bred on the cross of Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer lines.  What's interesting here, though, is the duplication of Smartaire.  This blue hen from American family A13 produced both Smarten and Quadratic, two useful sires of the 1980s, in addition to 1979 juvenile champion filly Smart Angle.  Square Eddie is bred on the same cross of Smart Strike over Northern Dancer as Curlin (SRO), who excelled as a 3-year-old.
  • Mr. Hot Stuff (pedigree) combines maybe the hottest sire of the decade (Tiznow (SRO)) with a damsire that's proven to come up with the big horse (I commented on Turkoman here).  No big shock that Mr. Hot Stuff needed a bit more time to mature -- he was unplaced in three starts at 2 -- but he has hit 3 with a vengeance.  He's taken a maiden special at a mile and placed at 8.5 furlongs.  His most recent effort came Feb. 28 with a solid third in the 9-furlong Sham Stakes (gr. III).  If he's anything like his full brother -- multiple grade I winner Colonel John -- his best is yet to come. (Their dam, Sweet Damsel, produced a 2007 full sister, by the way... wouldn't you like to have her in your breeding shed one day!)
  • Big Drama (pedigree) is a Florida homebred who had a legendary juvenile campaign.  After placing in his first out, the Montbrook son went on a tear, racking up five wins (four of them stakes) to close the year, including the Boyd Gaming's Delta Jackpot (gr. III) at 8.5 furlongs.  Big Drama has duplications of his sire's sire line and broodmare sire line -- Tom Fool and Nearctic.  His dam introduces the rarely-seen Hyperborean (son of Icecapade) as her damsire, and is herself inbred to full siblings Cap and Bells and Dunce.

Who's on your list?


Leave a Comment:


West Side Bernie, from the 3rd generation back is a very intriguing and unusual mix of inbreeding.

03 Mar 2009 7:24 PM

The Pamplemlousse really impressed me last Saturday when he accelerated in the stretch and got away from Pletcher's horse.  This was a 1 1/8 race and he wasn't even breathing hard.

03 Mar 2009 7:42 PM

Patena's pedigree screams a mile and a quarter.  This horse is live, especially under Dutrow.

03 Mar 2009 8:35 PM

Mr. Hot Stuff, Friesan Fire, and Chocolate Candy are my pedigree picks. You've said enough about Mr. Hot Stuff, Friesan Fire's got Australian blood, and Chocolate Candy's got a hot sire and a spectacularly-bred dam. Hopefully they'll all make it to the starting gate on the first Saturday of May.

03 Mar 2009 10:00 PM
August Song

Friesan Fire had been my selection up to this past weekend. But Quality Road appears to be an absolute freak. He was drawing away from the field and John said that the horse felt and got stronger the farther in the race they went. With the Strawberry Road dam sire, I have no doubt about Quality Road's ability to stretch out. He is a huge strapping horse, very intelligent, and appears to do things with utter ease. The Fountain of Youth was supposed to be a very contentious race with a talented field, and he destroyed it. Three starts and two 100+ Beyers, freaky. You couldn't ask for a better trainer than Jimmy Jerkens, a chip off the old block.

04 Mar 2009 3:47 AM
Fanofthephipps stable

Any updates on the 3yo colts from the Phipps Stable, 1)Colors Flying who is by A.P.Indy out of Champion Storm Flag Flying.2?Can Ya Try, who is by Giants Causeway out of Possibility by A.P.Indy. 3)Captiva Pass, who is by El Prado out of Country Hideaway by Seeking the Gold. or 4)Profitable, who is by A.P.Indy out of Finders Fee by Storm Cat..???

  • Scot's reply:  You must love Personal Ensign!  And A.P. Indy over Storm Cat!  Let's see... Colors Flying (pedigree) is unraced; Jayeff B Stables' Can Ya Try (pedigree) had a first outing Feb. 22, unplaced; Captiva Pass (pedigree) and Profitable (pedigree) are also unraced.  Based on their racing records, they're unlikely to be prepped for the Derby... but based on pedigree, they're all knockouts!
04 Mar 2009 4:59 AM
Blue Blue Sea

I'm with Arliss on Chocolate Candy - concerns are there, of course (CA raced horse, synthetics), but that pedigree is nothing to sneeze at. Hope he'll make and turn out a winner, been a few years since I picked the KY Derb winner.

04 Mar 2009 7:15 AM

Mr Hot Stuff has the pedigree for stamina and speed to run all day, and if he gets his head screwed on straight for the Santa Anita Derby,he could certainly be dangerous.  From the write ups after the Sham,The Mousse was very winded in the winner's circle, and Mr Hot Stuff decided to run too late in the race,then had plenty in his tank, and finally had to be pulled up by an outrider. I think he will develop into an excellent race horse,and besides-he has a great name!  

04 Mar 2009 8:31 AM


You obviosely didn't see Pamplemousse after the race in the winner's circle. HE WAS EXHAUSTED and could barely catch his breath. BEWARE - I'm a big believer in Gallop Outs - he pulled up shortly after the race.

04 Mar 2009 9:02 AM
Ann in Lexington

The Citrus Dude is by Kafwain out of a Rubiano mare - Can you say 'sprinter/miler?' Good milers can stretch to 9f on class; great milers (like Northern Dancer) can stretch to 10f on class. Is Grapefruit Guy a great miler? You decide.

  • Scot's reply:  *grin*  For those of you who didn't already know, "le pamplemousse" is French for "grapefruit."
04 Mar 2009 10:44 AM

Yes The Mousse was huffing and puffing in the winners circle after The Sham. Will have to see how he does in The Santa Anita Derby to see if he stays on top of my list. Friesan Fire has been my choice since last fall. With A.P. Indy as sire he should go the distance.

04 Mar 2009 10:55 AM

What are everyone's thoughts about Dunkirk and Old Fashioned?

04 Mar 2009 11:55 AM

The Pamp was huffing and puffing in the winners circle, which after the fractions he set, i'm not surpised. He is bred to be a fabulous miler, but i think if you can get him to rate he'll be able to stretch out. He was luck he ran up against such a weak field, and that his only competion wasn't ready. MHS is a late bloomer, who was jumped from maiden to stakes, and TTP only arrived with two days to prep for the race. I don't think Pamp can run those fractions and hope to have a prayer against POTN, Chocolate Candy, or SB. POTN had a horrific trip in the RB lewis, ran slower a slower splits, and still came home almost 3 seconds faster if you do the math. The pamp if he's gonna go against top notch Derby horses need to learn to relax and rate, or else he won't be able to stretch out to 10f.

04 Mar 2009 12:19 PM


    Old Fashioned is on top of my Derby list. I know he closed slow, but he didn't need to use everything in the first race back. I expect a big improvement in the rebel, then an easy win in the AK Derby. Jones is a fantastic trainer, with a horse like OF he may just have found his winner. Dunkirk could be something special. My only thing is i think he'll have to be an absolute Feak and monster to win the Derby. The reason why is because he has had to overcome so much in his first two races already, then their gonna run him in a tough FL Derby field. I think he'll burn himself out. I know ppl talk about Curlin and BB, but both of them had relitively easy starts before the Derby, allowing them enough energy to win the Derby. BB i know had a very fast FL Derby, but because of the fact his previous races had been much easier and the 5 weeks rest he recieve made the differenc. Dunkirk will have 5 weeks, but he will not benifit from 2 or 3 easy races beforehand. BTW I do hope he pulls it off. In my mind if he does he'd be one of the greatest to ever win a derby if he did.

04 Mar 2009 12:28 PM

I don't know if any pedrigree these days actually screams 1 1/4, but some indicate that they should be able to handle the distance. The questions is as always, how fast? Papa Clem with Neartic and Hail to Reason looks really intersting, actually Nowhere to Hide is intruiging looking back to Seattle Slew and Seeking the Gold but he has to step up soon, Flying Pegasus, Quality Road, Imperial Council each should go well at the Derby distance. I only wish Free Country had fired better in Tampa as I really like the A.P Indy over Wild Again angle. Finally, General Quarters in my opinion fits very well with the top 3 YO's this year based on performance and pedigree.

04 Mar 2009 1:45 PM

What is going on with any offspring of Point Given? I really love this horse.

04 Mar 2009 2:20 PM

Kafwain's mother's side (Swazis' Moment) actually has some stamina.  Hatchetman used to battle it out with Forego and I think there is some Quack in there as well.  It still seems pretty loaded with the Damascus line. The Pamps dad had a pretty good run in the Preakness and the Pamp reminds me of WAR PASS or Recapturetheglory.  High cruising speed with similar fractions throughout...but the last 1/8 just killed them.  This horse would look great at a mile on the turf.  Perhaps the next Lure.

04 Mar 2009 5:58 PM

It's very good to see Florida's champion 2YO colt of last season, Big Drama featured.  His 3YO debut is greatly anticipated and could be a game changer.  Anyway he will need to step up to the plate, big time, to stam his class against Quality Road, Dunkirk, Old Fashioned and "The Mousse".  

04 Mar 2009 6:58 PM


    I agree with you completely. I do however think if they can get him to rate he could get 1 1/4. After all that was War Pass's downfall, his inability to rate. If this horse shows that new demension, i think he'll be very tough to beat.

04 Mar 2009 10:34 PM

Baffert is quietly confident about POTN.  The way he bitches and moans about the synthetics, he could have shipped POTN anywhere and probably won.  Instead he has decided to keep him where he wins. He may run a "rabbit" in the Santa Anita Derby just to make sure the Pamp is really running.  Throw Chocolate Candy in there where he closed well on POTN at 1 1/16 and we have 2 real good tests for POTN.  Now add 16-18 more horses, all of them in the way, and we have the Kentucky Derby.

05 Mar 2009 1:02 AM
Fanof thephipps Stable

Thanks for the updates on the Phipps Stable 3yos. I did not know they sold Can Ya Try to Jayeff B?Wow. There is one last Phipps 3yo Colt who I also believe is Unraced as well and that is Bimini who is by Seeking the Gold out of Cat Cay by Pleasant Colony from the family of the Great Easy Goer. Also, I know the Phipps Mare Furlough produced Happy Hunting,any new foals from her to run?

  • Scot's reply:  It looks like Colts Neck Stables actually owns the Phipps-bred mare Possibility (dam of Can Ya Try) -- it is listed as the breeder of Can Ya Try plus the mare's 2007 Storm Cat colt and 2008 Distorted Humor filly. ... You're correct, Bimini (pedigree) is unraced. Interesting pedigree, with Seeking the Gold bred on the same Raise A Native/Buckpasser cross as Cadillacing (Bimini's second dam and full sister to Easy Goer, from La Troienne's family 1-x). ... As for Furlough, her grade III winning 2001 colt Happy Hunting might be as good as it gets.  There's a 2003 full sister that won an allowance race in 2007, but only one other runner from six foals of racing age thus far.  Furlough does have some hope for the future, though:  a 2006 Elusive Quality filly and colts by Pulpit (2007) and Elusive Quality (2008).
05 Mar 2009 4:35 AM
The Five-Cross Files

Larry Jones has two standout colts vying for a spot in the 2009 Kentucky Derby. Friesan Fire and Old Fashioned are worthy favorites -- and this just might be the year for Jones to take the big prize.

05 Mar 2009 10:45 AM
Fanofthephipps Stable

Thanks, I would love to know where you get your info., this info is not on the pedigreequery website. Thanks again, Id love to keep track of all the Phipps Mares and their babys.

  • Scot's reply:  Access to data -- a benefit of working for the Blood-Horse!  :-)
05 Mar 2009 10:51 AM

Well at least I nailed one of my pedigree picks - Friesan Fire is literally on fire!

14 Mar 2009 8:37 PM
Lindy Edwards

do you know WHY the 2007 colt out of Possibility by Storm Cat was taken out of the Keenland sale? Who owns him Where is he and has he started? Also,was Possibility

ever sold at a publice auction??

Just curious

  • Scot's reply:  I don't believe Keeneland releases scratch/out reasons.  I believe you're referring to "I Might" who was a fairly late colt (27 April) and probably won't hit the track for a while yet.  Possibility has never been sold at public auction, but a couple other daughters of Personal Ensign have.
03 May 2009 12:09 AM

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