Each day of Kentucky Derby week, I'll take 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'll work our way up the leaderboard, with any late additions being added as they're announced.
Win Win Win
Hat Trick x Miss Smarty Pants, by Smarty Jones
Hat Trick is a Japanese bred son of Sunday Silence, who became one of his Asia's top turf milers, winning the G1 Mile Championship in Japan and the G1 Hong Kong Mile. Sunday Silence provides plenty of classic credentials, as a winner of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Breeders' Cup Classic.
Hat Trick's best runners have typically come on the grass, led by his highest-earning U.S.-based runner, Tricky Escape, who won the G3 Robert G. Dick Memorial Stakes at 1 3/8 miles on the turf, among other G3 scores. Howe Great is also a G3 winner at a mile and an eighth. Internationally, his offspring are headed up by Dabirsim, who was named Europe's champion 2-year-old and French Horse of the year with a sprint-heavy campaign.
Miss Smarty Pants, by Smarty Jones, raced just three times, breaking her maiden at seven furlongs on the dirt. Smarty Jones won the 2005 Derby and Preakness, while second dam Devotion Unbridled was a stakes winner at a mile and a sixteenth.
The first two runners by Miss Smarty Pants are both by Congrats. Mr. Smarty Pants was a maiden winner at seven furlongs, while Smarty Smart won a maiden claimer at six furlongs.
First Samurai x Pun, by Pulpit
First Samurai was quick off the mark with wins in the G1 Champagne Stakes at a mile and G1 Hopeful Stakes at seven furlongs. He came back at three to win the G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at a mile and an eighth.
His foals boast an average winning distance of 6.87 furlongs, which is middling for a sire in the Derby. His top runner is Lea, who started his career on the grass and scored in the G3 Commonwealth Turf Stakes at 1 1/16 miles. He moved to the main track as an older horse, winning the 1 1/8-mile G1 Donn Handicap and two editions of the one-mile G3 Hal's Hope Handicap.
Pun is an unraced daughter of Pulpit, herself out of the Phone Trick mare Joke, who won a pair of stakes races at six furlongs. Joke is also the dam of multiple G1-winning sprinter Zensational.
Prior to Cutting Humor's arrival, Pun was best known as the dam of the Broken Vow colt Irish You Well, who was a stakes winner at 1 1/16 miles, and multiple graded-placed at a mile and an eighth. Farce, by Political Force, was a two-time winner going a mile or longer on the turf.
Arch x Toll, by Giant's Causeway
Arch had no problem getting a route of ground, winning the G1 Super Derby at a mile and a quarter, and the G3 Fayette Stakes at 1 3/16 miles.
That talent was passed on to his foals in a big way, highlighted by Breeders' Cup Classic winner Blame. Other high-end two-turn horses of note include Pine Island, Hymn Book, Archarcharch, and Instilled Regard. The latter ran fourth in last year's Derby.
Toll, by Giant's Causeway broke her maiden at a mile on the Polytrack at Arlington, then won at 6 ½ furlongs over the same surface. Giant's Causeway, is himself a prominent sire of distance horses.
Tax is the only one of Toll's foals to surpass $33,000 in earnings. His full-brother Inflate won a Belterra Park maiden claimer going a mile and 70 yards in his lone career score, while Tariff, by Pulpit, graduated in his 25th career start taking a maiden claimer at Mahoning Valley at the same distance as Inflate.
Long Range Toddy
Take Charge Indy x Pleasant Song, by Unbridled's Song
Take Charge Indy adeptly handled two turns like a prototypical son of A.P. Indy, winning the G1 Florida Derby at a mile and an eighth, and the G2 Alysheba Stakes at a mile and a sixteenth.
Despite being exported to Korea before his first runners turned three, Take Charge Indy has quickly proven that he can get a runner into a Triple Crown race. He sent Noble Indy to last year's Derby off a win in the G2 Louisiana Derby going a mile and an eighth, while a win in the seven-furlong G3 Forward Gal Stakes got Take Charge Paula to the Kentucky Oaks.
Pleasant Song, by Unbridled's Song, broke her maiden going a mile and a sixteenth on the turf, and later picked up a pair of turf scores at a mile on the Kentucky circuit.
Her next-highest earner behind Long Range Toddy is Unbridled Eagle, by Mineshaft, who scored as a maiden at seven furlongs and later stretched out to take a Churchill Downs claiming race at a mile and a sixteenth. Rooster Cruiser, by Yes It's True, won a Churchill maiden claimer at a mile, later scoring for a tag at the same track at a mile and a sixteenth.
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