Young Guns for Kentucky in 2015

Cairo Prince (TrueNicks) (Pioneerof the Nile—Holy Bubbette, by Holy Bull; Airdrie Stud) established himself as one of the winter favorites for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), with three juvenile starts bringing wins in a maiden at Belmont Park and the Nashua Stakes (gr. II), and a close second to Honor Code (with Wicked Strong third) in the Remsen Stakes (gr. II). He confirmed his standing with a first-up victory in the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. II) at 3, but suffered what turned out to be a career-ending ankle injury after a fourth in the Florida Derby (gr. I). The first son of red-hot second-season stallion Pioneerof the Nile (TrueNicks) to stud in Kentucky, Cairo Prince is out of the stakes-winning Holy Bull mare Holy Bubbette and is a three-quarter brother to that mare's juvenile grade I-placed daughter Nonna Mia. His third dam is three-quarters related to Northern Dancer, but overall this is a pedigree with a lot of outcross potential.

Cross Traffic (TrueNicks) (Unbridled's Song—Stop Traffic, by Cure the Blues; Spendthrift Farm) could have very easily gone undefeated in his first five of six lifetime starts. He was beaten just a head by battle-hardened veteran in the Westchester Stakes (gr. III) on only his third lifetime start, and then was caught in the final stride in the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) after a bold attempt to lead throughout. The overdue major win came next time out with another brave front-running performance to defeat a stellar field in the Whitney Invitational Stakes (gr. I). Like Cairo Prince, an Unbridled line horse who is an effective outcross for a considerable segment of the population, Cross Traffic is out of the two-time grade I winner Stop Traffic.

Fed Biz (TrueNicks) (Giant's Causeway—Spunoutacontrol, by Wild Again; WinStar Farm) proved very versatile in terms of both distance and surface, with high-class form from seven to nine furlongs, and on dirt, turf, and all-weather surfaces. He garnered four stakes wins, including scores in the Pat O'Brien Stakes (gr. II), San Diego Handicap (gr. II)—setting new track marks for seven furlongs and 8.5 furlongs—and the San Fernando Stakes (gr. II), and was also multiple grade I-placed. With strong claims to be regarded as the fastest son of three-time leading sire Giant's Causeway (TrueNicks), Fed Biz comes from a family that appears to have a considerable affinity for Giant's Causeway's sire, Storm Cat: his stakes-winning and multiple stakes-producing dam is a half sister to Storm Cat's son Tale of the Cat (TrueNicks) and to Myth, the dam of Johannesburg. We'll also not that his granddam is a sister to grade I winner Preach, the dam of Pulpit.

Goldencents (TrueNicks) (Into Mischief—Golden Works, by Banker's Gold; Spendthrift Farm) starts his stud career alongside his breakout sire. First or second in 14 of 18 career starts, Goldencents ran second in the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) and captured the Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes (gr. II) at 2. He did take the Sham Stakes (gr. III) and Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) early in the year at 3, but subsequently distinguished himself as a sprinter/miler with wicked front-end speed, which parlayed into back-to-back victories in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) and a track-record breaking score in the seven-furlong Pat O'Brien Stakes (gr. II). Goldencents' great-grandsire Harlan, and grandsire Harlan's Holiday, both died prematurely, but with Into Mischief (TrueNicks) and Goldencents, they do have a shot at founding their own distinct branch of the Storm Cat sire line.

Itsmyluckyday (TrueNicks) (Lawyer Ron—Viva La Slew, by Doneraile Court; Spendthrift Farm) retires with the unique distinction of being the only colt in his crop to record multiple stakes wins at 2, 3, and 4. Those tallies came from 5 1/2 to nine furlongs, the highlight being a win in this year's Woodward Stakes (gr. I). Itsmyluckyday also captured seven other black-type races, including the Salvator Mile (gr. III) and Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III), while his placings include the the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), Florida Derby (gr. I), and Whitney Stakes (gr. I). Itsmyluckyday is a son of champion older horse Lawyer Ron (by the Danzig horse Langfuhr (TrueNicks)), who sired just two crops but has 11 stakes winners from 142 foals and four other graded scorers, including Itsmyluckyday's fellow grade I winner Drill (TrueNicks).

Magician (TrueNicks) (Galileo—Absolutelyfabulous, by Mozart; Ashford Stud) had a remarkable 3-year-old campaign in which he won three of four starts, taking the Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) at a mile, the Dee Stakes (Eng-III) at 10 1/2 furlongs, and the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) at 1 1/2 miles. By the all-conquering Galileo (TrueNicks)—who already has six sons who have sired group or graded winners—Magician is out of a stakes-winning sprinter who is a daughter of Danehill's champion sprinter Mozart, and so bred on the version of the phenomenal Galileo/Danehill cross that has also produced the highly successful sire Teofilo, as well as Frankel. Magician's second dam is a half sister to a pair of champion 2-year-olds, both by Galileo's sire, Sadler's Wells.

Mucho Macho Man (TrueNicks) (Macho Uno—Ponche de Leona, by Ponche; Adena Springs) is the most likely candidate to extend the Himyar line through the first quarter of the 21st century. A grandson of Holy Bull and a son of champion 2-year-old Macho Uno (TrueNicks), Mucho Macho Man had high-class form every year from 2 to 6, but was particularly formidable as a 5-year-old when he captured the Awesome Again Stakes (gr. I) and Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I). He captured five other stakes events, three graded, and among his placings are a second in another renewal of the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) and a third in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).

Noble Mission (TrueNicks) (Galileo—Kind by Danehill: Lane's End), comes bearing some lofty credentials: A brother to the mighty Frankel, he arrives as a newly-crowned European champion older horse. Although he won group and stakes races at 3 and 4, a switch to front-running tactics, allowing him to use his high-cruising speed—something that should serve him well as a sire in the U.S.—saw him emerge as an extremely formidable performer this term. Noble Mission's 2014 haul brought five wins, all in group events, and two seconds in seven starts. His successes included the Tattersalls Gold Cup (Eng-I), Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (Fr-I), and Champion Stakes (Eng-I). Like Magician, he's a Galileo with plenty of speed in the distaff side of the pedigree, as his dam was a stakes winner and group-placed performer sprinting.

Shakin It Up (TrueNicks) (Midnight Lute—Silver Bullet Moon, by Vindication; Spendthrift Farm) was a West Coast star, capturing the Malibu Stakes (gr. I), San Vicente Stakes (gr. II), and Strub Stakes (gr. II). He's the leading son of champion sprinter, two-time Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) captor, and successful young sire Midnight Lute (TrueNicks). The dam, a daughter of Hall of Famer Silverbulletday, is a three-quarter sister to juvenile stakes winner Crisis of Spirit, and a half sister to the dam Midnight Lute's graded winner Govenor Charlie.

Strong Mandate (TrueNicks) (Tiznow—Clear Mandate, by Deputy Minister; Three Chimneys) is a classically-bred colt who displayed a sprinter's speed at 2, beating Tapiture over 6 1/2 furlongs to break his maiden and taking the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) in runaway style. He also ended the year with a good third to New Year's Day in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I). Out of the three-time grade I winner Clear Mandate, Strong Mandate is a half brother to two other stakes winners, including the grade I sire Full Mandate.

Verrazano (TrueNicks) (More Than Ready—Enchanted Rock, by Giant's Causeway; Ashford Stud) was capable of the spectacular on his day, notably when taking the Haskell Invitational Stakes (gr. I) by nearly 10 lengths while running the fastest Beyer Speed Figure of the term by a 3-year-old. Verrazano's other triumphs at 3 included the Pegasus Stakes (gr. III), Tampa Bay Derby (gr. II), and Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I). Verrazano was tried in Europe this year, and on his first two starts placed in a pair of group I events at a mile, splitting Toronado and Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) runner-up Anodin in the Queen Anne Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot, giving the impression that he might have gone close had more use been made of him earlier on. The leading U.S. son of his sire, who also had grade I-winning 2-year-old Daredevil in 2014, Verrazano is a half brother to grade II scorer El Padrino.

Will Take Charge (TrueNicks) (Unbridled's Song—Take Charge Lady, by Dehere; Three Chimneys) reigned as champion 3-year-old colt of 2013 after victories in the Smarty Jones Stakes, Rebel Stakes (gr. II), Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II), Travers Stakes (gr. I), Clark Handicap (gr. I), and a nose second to Mucho Macho Man in Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I). Remaining in training at 4, Will Take Charge added a win in the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) and four grade I placings, three of them seconds. The leading son of his sire, Will Take Charge is a half brother to the Florida Derby (gr. I) captor Take Charge Indy, and to the dam of this year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) filly heroine, Take Charge Brandi. The dam is the prolific Take Charge Lady, successful in eight graded stakes, three grade I.

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