Last year I wrote a piece on the dams of Kentucky Derby winners since 2000 which revealed fascinating intersections between strong damside stamina breeding in recent Derby winners and the presence of great race mares in their pedigrees. As an addendum to that post, the dam of last year’s victor Animal Kingdom, Dalicia (Acatengango-Dynamis, by Dancing Brave) absolutely validates my argument, with her German-bred sire Acatengango being a legendary stayer with seven Group 1 victories at 12-furlongs or longer; Dalicia herself was a Group 3 winner at 10-furlongs, while her second dam Diasprina (German champion juvenile filly of 1988) produced a host of winners including G2 German 1000 Guineas victress Diacada and G3 Grosser Preis von Berlin winner Desidera.
When considering which horses to include in your Kentucky Derby betting 2012, several look particularly promising solely based on their dams, including Dullahan if for no other reason other than his dam Mining My Own has already produced a Derby winner in 2009’s Mine That Bird!
Six other potential contenders whose dams where either good/great racemares themselves, or hail from a line of productive race mares—and include plenty of stamina-rich damsires in their first five generations—include (in alphabetical order):
His dam Munnaya (Nijinsky-Hiaam, by Alydar) won the 11-furlong listed English Oaks Trial, and has already produced five winners at or beyond 10-furlongs. This is also the family of champion Kamar (Key to the Mint) who produced multiple G1-winner Gorgeous, G1 Kentucky Oaks victress Seaside Attraction (dam of G1 Florida Derby winner Cape Town and champion juvenile filly Golden Attraction), and Queen’s Plate victor Key to the Moon. In addition to his second damsire Alydar, Alpha’s third damsire Key to the Mint finished second in the 1972 Jockey Club Gold Cup when it was contested at 16-furlongs (two miles), while his fourth damsire Quadrangle won the Belmont Stakes.
His G1-placed dam Untouched Talent (Storm Cat-Parade Queen, by A.P. Indy) finished second in the 8.5 furlong G2 Alcibiades in her only route attempt, but her dam Parade Queen twice won G3 events at that distance, plus finished a game runner-up in the 9-furlong G2 Rare Perfume Breeders’ Cup Handicap on turf. In addition to being by a Belmont Stakes winner (Empire Maker), Bodemeister’s second damsire is Belmont victor A.P. Indy, while his third damsire is the great 12-furlong G1 English Derby winner Roberto and his fourth damsire is English Triple Crown winner Nijinsky.
His dam Dream of Summer (Siberian Summer-Marys Dream, by Skywalker) won the G1 Apple Blossom and finished a late closing second in the 9-furlong G1 Santa Margarita Invitational in her career swansong. His second damsire Skywalker won the 10-furlong G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic, while his third damsire Properantes captured the 14-furlong G1 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap.
His unraced dam Crystal Shard (Mr. Prospector-Sulemeif, by Northern Dancer) is a full-sister to G1 Kentucky Oaks runner-up Withallprobability; her three-quarter sister produced 12-furlong Japanese Oaks winner Robe Decollete, while another half sister birthed the Japanese Triple Tiara winner Still in Love. His third dam Barely Even, runner-up to Susan’s Girl in the G1 Kentucky Oaks, produced G1 Oak Leaf victress One of a Klein. Crystal Shard was 15-years-old when she birthed Gemologist, and her dam Sulemeif was 14-years-old when she produced Crystal Shard, so it’s not surprising to find some really classic damsires in Gemologist: Mr. Prospector and Northern Dancer we see somewhat regularly, but when’s the last time Crème dela Crème or The Doge showed up in the first five generations?
Take Charge Indy
His multiple G1-winner dam Take Charge Lady (Dehere-Felicita, by Rubiano) regularly won at 9-furlongs (including twice capturing the G1 Spinster Stakes); this is also the family of G2 Lane’s End runner-up Northern Giant, G1 Jamaica runner-up Straight Story, and G2 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint victor Chamberlain Bridge.
His dam Tempo (Gone West-Terpsichorist, by Nijinsky) only raced three times, but won first out by 4 1/2 lengths going 6-furlongs. However, her dam Terpsichorist won the G2 Sheepshead Bay Handicap over 10-furlongs, the G3 Long Island Handicap at 12-furlongs, and even defeated males (including G1-placed Darby Creek Road) in the ungraded 11-furlong Rutgers Handicap. As a broodmare, she’s also produced 10-furlong G2 New York Handicap runner-up Dancing Devlette, dam of the G1 Beldame-placed Satans Quick Chick.