Each day of Kentucky Derby week, bloodstock editor Joe Nevills is taking a look at the pedigrees of four Kentucky Derby contenders and how those pedigrees might factor into their ability to succeed at a mile and a quarter. We're now into the top eight contenders based on points earned on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. With the defection of favorite Omaha Beach, we'll start today with the new morning line favorite, the Bob Baffert-trained Game Winner.
Candy Ride x Indyan Giving, by A.P. Indy
Candy Ride was a turf star in his native Argentina, taking a pair of Group 1 races at a mile. He then moved to Southern California where he proved his mettle on both surfaces, winning the G1 Pacific Classic at a mile and a quarter on the dirt, and the G2 American Handicap at a mile and an eighth on the grass.
Those looking for Candy Ride's classic credentials as a sire need look no further than 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner, who finished third in the Kentucky Derby, and went on to win six G1 races, including the Breeders' Cup Classic and the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes. Champion Shared Belief was also a Pacific Classic winner at the same distance as his sire.
Indyan Giving is an unraced daughter of A.P. Indy. Her sire A.P. Indy, is a winner of the Belmont Stakes and Breeders' Cup Classic, and is well-decorated as a progenitor of distance runners.
The only other runner out of Indyan Giving is Flagstaff, a son of Speightstown who broke his maiden at Santa Anita going 5 ½ furlongs.
New Year's Day x Lil Indy, by Anasheed
New Year's Day raced three times before his career was cut short by injury, but he made it count, breaking his maiden going a mile on the former synthetic surface at Del Mar, then winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at a mile and a sixteenth. His sire, Street Cry, gave us 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, Horse of the Year Zenyatta, and Australian superstar Winx.
Backing up Maximum Security among New Year's Day's runners is Bourbon Resolution, who won the G3 Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland at a mile and an eighth, and Yesterday's News, who is G1-placed at a mile and a sixteenth.
Lil Indy, by Anasheed, graduated in a Delaware Park maiden claimer at 5 ½ furlongs, and later won a Penn National claimer on the dirt. Anasheed was G3-placed at a mile and currently stands in Russia.
Before Maximum Security, Lil Indy's most successful runner was Prince Tito, a Pioneerof the Nile gelding who has four career victories, two each at a mile and seven furlongs in South Florida. Coastal Highway, a full-brother to Maximum Security, won for the first time in a one-mile Lone Star Park maiden claimer, and later took a pair of claiming races going a mile on the Remington Park turf.
By My Standards
Goldencents x A Jealous Woman, by Muqtarib
Goldencents is a two-time Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile winner, but he stretched out to a mile and an eighth to take the G1 Santa Anita Derby and punch his own ticket to the Kentucky Derby.
By My Standards hails from the first crop of Goldencents, whose average progeny winning distance of 6.34 furlongs is low for a Derby sire. However, that number stands to fluctuate as his foals mature into the handicap ranks and start competing at longer distances. By My Standards is his sire's first graded stakes winner.
A Jealous Woman was her best self as a turf miler, winning the Swingtime Stakes and Megahertz Stakes and finishing second in the G2 Goldikova Stakes under those conditions. She is the highest-earning foal by Muqtarib, who the G2 Richmond Stakes in England, going about six furlongs on the turf.
The dam's only other runner Holy Ghost, by Ghostzapper, who won a Santa Anita maiden claimer in his 10th career start, going a mile on the turf.
Quality Road x Ghost Dancing, by Silver Ghost
Quality Road set the track record for a mile and an eighth at Gulfstream Park on two separate occasions, first in the G1 Florida Derby, then in the G1 Donn Handicap. He won the G1 Woodward Stakes at the same distance.
He has been successful passing on that two-turn ability to his foals, spearheaded by Pegasus World Cup winner City of Light and Kentucky Oaks winner Abel Tasman. Caledonia Road triumphed in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at a mile and a sixteenth, while Salty prevailed at the same distance in the G1 La Troienne Stakes. Kentucky Oaks contender Bellafina also won the G1 Santa Anita Oaks at that distance.
Quality Road's average progeny winning distance of 7.36 furlongs is above average for a Derby sire.
Ghost Dancing, by Silver Ghost won the Oakley Stakes at Colonial Downs, going 5 ½ furlongs on the turf. That race was actually an anomaly for the mare, whose other four career wins came between six and 6 ½ furlongs on the dirt.
The mare's biggest earner to date is Ascend, by Candy Ride, who took the 1 ¼-mile G1 Manhattan Handicap, and the one-mile Henry S. Clark Stakes, both on turf. Moro Tap, a son of Tapit, is G3-placed at a mile and a half on the turf, while Quasar Power, by Tale of the Cat, was a maiden winner at seven furlongs over Woodbine's all-weather main track.
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