One of the biggest horse races in North America is the Kentucky Derby. There are over 300 horses eligible but only 20 get to start based on their earnings and points earned during a series of races in what is known as The Road to The Kentucky Derby. According to the race website the current top 20 are as listed below. There are some interesting pedigrees among the leading contenders to date.
A look back at the past winners since 2000 shows an interesting trend in the pedigrees. Thorobred breeders generally favour a pedigree with as little inbreeding as possible and indeed with the possibile exception of 2000 winner Fusaichi Pegasus, that has been evident in recent history but interestingly the last five winners have had significant maternal inbreeding. Last year the winner was Orb by Malibu Moon. Orb was inbred maternally to Mr Prospector 3x4. The year before Ill Have Another shows maternal inbreeding to Northern Dancer 5x5. Both of these winners were outcrossed on sire line. In 2011 Animal Kingdom had a pedigree more typical of past winners with virtually no duplications in six generations other than a 4x4 double of Lyphard (Northern Dancer) from his second dam to the dam of his grandsire Candy Stripes. The 2010 winner Super Saver was double inbred to Nasrullah (Nearco) while Mine That Bird in 2009 was 4x4 to Northern Dancer (grandson of Nearco) maternally.
In recent times there has been a spate of big winners that show maternal doubles to Northern Dancer and /or Mr Prospector. I have noted the ones on the current list that have that pedigree feature.
1. We Miss Artie by Artie Schiller. Raise A Native (sire of Mr Prospector) 5x(4x5)
2. Samraat by Noble Causeway Raise A Native 5x6, dam inbred to Raise A Native 5x5
3. Hoppertunity by Any Given Saturday Danzig (Northern Dancer) 3x4, dam 4x3 Northern Dancer
4. Chitu by Henny Hughes
5. Intense Holiday by Harlans Holiday Raise A Native 5x6
6. Midnight Hawk by Midnight Lute
7. Wildcat Red by D`Wildcat Nasrullah 6x6, Raise A Native 4x5
8. Ring Weekend by Tapit Fappiano (Mr Prospector) 4x3, sire 3x4 to Mr Prospector
9. California Chrome by Lucky Pulpit Mr Prospector 4x3, dam inbred to Northern Dancer 4x5
10. Tapiture by Tapit Raise A Native 6x6, sire 3x4 to Mr Prospector
11. Albano by Istan
12. Uncle Sigh by Indian Charlie Northern Dancer (Nearctic) 5x4
13, Vinceremos by Pioneerof The Nile Bold Ruler (Nasrullah) 5x5
14. Vicars In Trouble by Into Mischief Icecapade (Nearctic) 5x4
15. Harrys Holiday by Harlans Holiday
16.General A Rod by Roman Ruler Danzig (Northern Dancer) 4x4
17. Ride On Curlin by Curlin Northern Dancer 5x4
18. Havana by Dunkirk
19 Cairo Prince by Pioneerof The Nile
20. Kristo by Distorted Humor Northern Dancer 4x4, dam is 6x6 Nearco
Looks like 14 - 6 in favour of the current Derby pattern of maternal inbreeding.
Over the next month the top ones will compete in a number of Derby races in Florida, Arkansas, Louisiana, California and the Wood Memorial in New York. The current list could change dramatically in the two weeks based on the results of these Derby Prep races.
The pedigrees can be viewed on PM Online Globerunner