Reversal of Fortune

When the gates opened for Saturday’s Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II), Buddy’s Saint was the favorite for the Kentucky Derby. But after a disastrous trip a he passed the baton to runaway winner Eskendereya.
From the only crop of Horse of the Year Saint Liam, out of a mare by Blushing John, Buddy’s Saint (TrueNicks A++) is bred on the Halo/Blushing Groom cross. Somewhat ironically, the reverse of that cross appears in Eskedereya, as his sire, Giant's Causeway (TrueNicks,SRO) , is out of a mare by Rahy (by Blushing Groom out of a Halo mare). Eskendereya is something of a landmark horse for his sire and one sure thing is that if he arrives at the Derby starting gate fit and well, he won’t fail for want of stamina. His first four dams are by Seattle Slew, Alydar, Northern Dancer and Ribot, two who were classic winners at 1½ miles, one who who was only narrowly beaten in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) at the same distance, and another who won the Kentucky Derby. That, however, doesn’t come close to explaining how intriguing this pedigree is. Giant’s Causeway is Northern Dancer line horse linebred 5 x 6 to Almahmoud, granddam of Northern Dancer and Halo. Eskendereya’s third dam, Stellar Odyssey – a half-sister to Cannonade, winner of the 100th Kentucky Derby, and to the dam of Derby and Belmont runner-up Stephan’s Odyssey – is by Northern Dancer out of a half-sister to Halo, so has Almahmoud 3 x 3.
Still with the Storm Cat sire line, one of last year’s top two-year-olds D’ Funnybone, returned to his best form to capture the Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II). He’s by the Forest Wildcat son D'wildcat (TrueNicks,SRO) , who started his career in Canada, before moving to Florida. Forest Wildcat is out of a mare by Bold Native, a genetic relative to Mr. Prospector, and the broad Forest Wildcat/Mr. Prospector has been a good one. D’ Funnybone is bred on a version of this cross, as his dam is by Woodman. He looks primarily a sprinter/miler type, but does have classic antecedents in the female line, as his granddam is by Roberto out of Chain Bracelet, a grade one winning daughter of Lyphard. The fourth dam, Chain, is half-sister to the dams of Swale, winner of the Kentucky Derby and Belmont, and Forty Niner, Champion Two-Year-Old, and runner-up (to Winning Colors) in the Derby.
A few weeks ago we commented that Mineshaft (TrueNicks,SRO) looked well worth considering at his 2010 stud fee. Given he victory in the Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) the 2003 Horse of the Year might have made our point, and come up with the horse his fans have been waiting for in Discreetly Mine (TrueNicks A), who had good form in grade I company last year. Like Eskendereya, Disctreetly Mine should stay as far as he is asked. A half-brother to the brilliant Discreet Cat (TrueNicks,SRO) (who won at up to nine furlongs), he is out of the Alabama Stakes (gr. I) victress Pretty Discreet. His granddam, Pretty Persuasive, is by Believe It (third to Affirmed and Alydar in the Derby) and is a sister to Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) heroine, Buryyourbelief. There is another classic connection in the next generation, as Discreetly Mine’s fourth dam, Christmas Wishes, is a sister to Cool Mood, granddam of Canadian Triple Crown winners Izvestia and With Approval, and of Touch Gold (TrueNicks,SRO) , who foiled Silver Charm’s Triple Crown bid in the Belmont Stakes.

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