If Desert Party Romps, Street Cry Is the New Mr. P

I haven't paid too much attention to the Godolphin phenom Desert Party (profile) -- I've already made it clear who will win the 2009 Kentucky Derby! -- but he's worth a good look.

Desert Party is a good example of a Thoroughbred female family branch that has lay nearly dormant for several generations but which is showing signs of rebounding. Descending from family 3-j mare Sage Cat (Tabasco Cat - Lady Sage, by Lord Gaylord), Desert Party's dam line is modest. Sage Cat herself was a maiden special winner in her first of only two starts and she produced a couple of winners prior to Desert Party, including the minor stakes winner Elliecat.  Sage Cat's dam had two other foals including the good allowance mare Sage Fox (by Carson City)  who has in turn produced two minor Canadian stakes winners, and the hard-knocking Sage Fire, a full sister to Sage Cat. Desert Party's third dam, the unraced Real Value mare Foxcroft Finale, and his fourth dam Miss Foxcroft, did not produce black type winners. In fact, it's necessary to go back to the 1929 mare Laughing Queen -- Desert Party's eighth dam -- to find a stakes winner in his direct dam line.  (In this case, a pretty good one: she took the 1931 Selima Stakes and placed in the 1932 Alabama Stakes.)

His tail-female descent might be unimpressive, but just the fact that he's a son of Street Cry (IRE) (SRO) means Desert Party has stellar genes. After all, few stallions have such an immediate impact as Street Cry has had in his first few crops. Desert Party comes in his third crop and follows such first-crop standouts as 2007 Derby winner Street Sense (SRO) and the reigning champion older mare (and my choice for Horse of the Year) Zenyatta (profile). Street Cry has boasted multiple grade/group I winners in each of his first three crops and already has several sire sons (as we discussed a while back).

With four wins from six starts, Desert Party has an impressive bankroll of $688,467, the majority of which was actually earned in his recent second-place finish in the UAE Derby Sponsored by Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group (UAE-II). The Godolphin team's $2.1 million outlay for the colt (as a Fasig-Tipton Florida Select 2-year-old-in-training) is already looking to be a shrewd purchase and a Derby win would seal the deal. It would also keep one more impressive Street Cry son in the Darley breeding shed. And perhaps most importantly, a Desert Party win in the Derby would make it twice in his first three crops for Street Cry. Combined with his progeny's apparent mastery of all distances over all track types, it would not be an overestimation to say that Street Cry is the most likely stallion currently standing to take on the mantle of Mr. Prospector.

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