Congratulations to all the connections of Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom!!!!!!!
Four of the 19 runners in yesterday’s Kentucky Derby did hail from the Storm Cat male line. Shackleford (by Forestry, by Storm Cat) set the pace and held on well to finish fourth. Santiva (by Giant’s Causeway, by Storm Cat) finished sixth. Decisive Moment (by With Distinction, by Storm Cat) finished 14th. Twinspired (hy Harlan’s Holiday, by Harlan, by Storm Cat) finished 17th.
Favored Dialed In (out of a Storm Cat mare) finished eighth. This has nothing to do with male lines, but I threw that in there for lagniappe.
The fractions for the race were :23.24, :48.63, 1:13.40, 1:37.49, and the final time was 2:02.04. I mention this in order to point out that the fractions for four and six furlongs were incredibly slow by Derby standards (and on a fast track too).
You have to go back to Tim Tam in 1958 to find a six-furlong fraction slower than 1:13. It was 1:13 1/5 that year on a muddy track, and the final time was 2:05.
You have to go back to Jet Pilot in 1947 to find second and third fractions slower than 2011. The corresponding fractions in 1947 were :49 and 1:14 2/5, and the final time was 2:06 4/5 on a track rated slow.
Kudos to Shackleford for holding well after setting the pace yesterday, but it was about the softest pace ever seen in the Kentucky Derby (at least for the past 60+ years). The pace yesterday was more typical of a race on turf or artificial than on dirt, and it was definitely not typical of the Kentucky Derby.
I mention this because Animal Kingdom had never run a race on dirt before yesterday. The same was true of some other entrants. There was a lot of commentary about this, about dirt versus artificial, who would or would not like the surface yesterday at Churchill Downs. The pace yesterday was more typical of a race on artificial or turf than dirt, which might have helped those horses who had never run on dirt before.
For the record, Animal Kingdom is by Leroidesanimaux out of Dalicia, by Acatenango. The sire is by Candy Stripes, by Blushing Groom. Leroidesanimaux was bred in Brazil but was a champion turf male here in North America. He was more of a miler than a long-distance turf horse.
The dam was a Group Three winner in Germany, where she was bred, and Animal Kingdom is her first foal. If you have never heard of Acatenango, do not feel too bad about it. In point of fact though Acatenango was a really good sire. You might even say that he was Germany’s version of Storm Cat or A.P. Indy.