We can look at post positions and odds until we are blue in the face; however, one of the best ways to determine a strength of a horse is its pedigree.
Coming from a long line of champions bodes well for Kentucky Derby contenders. Having a strong pedigree may not guarantee a victory—or money finish for that matter—but it certainly doesn't hurt.
Let's take a look at the Kentucky Derby's entire field and glance at the pedigree information and season standings for each horse set to take part in the Run for the Roses.
|2014 Kentucky Derby Field's Pedigree Info|
|1||Vicar's In Trouble||Into Mischief||Vibrant||2|
|2||Harry's Holiday||Harlan's Holiday||Daisy Mason||19|
|3||Uncle Sigh||Indian Charlie||Cradlesong||17|
|4||Danza||Street Boss||Champagne Royale||6|
|5||California Chrome||Lucky Pulpit||Love The Chase||1|
|6||Samraat||Noble Causeway||Little Indian Girl||5|
|7||We Miss Artie||Artie Schiller||Athena's Gift||10|
|8||General A Rod||Roman Ruler||Dynamite Eyes||14|
|9||Vinceremos||Pioneerof the Nile||More Than Ready||18|
|11||Dance With Fate||Two Step Salsa||Flirting With Fate||3|
|12||Chitu||Henny Hughes||Sea Gift||12|
|15||Intense Holiday||Harlan's Holiday||Intensify||8|
|16||Commanding Curve||Master Command||Mother||20|
|17||Candy Boy||Candy Ride||She's an Eleven||16|
|18||Ride On Curlin||Curlin||Magical Ride||11|
|19||Wicked Strong||Hard Spun||Moyne Abbey||4|
|20||Pablo Del Monte||Giant's Causeway||One Hot Wish||25|
Complete pedigree history for each horse can be found at KentuckyDerby.com.
The combination of strengths from the right sire and mare can produce a certified champion. For example, if a sire was a tremendous sprinter, and a mare was a great distance runner, their offspring has the chance to possess great speed as well as stamina.
Let's break down a few of this year's contenders who share that type of pedigree.
This horse is the son of D'wildcat, who won the 2002 Churchill Downs Handicap at seven furlongs and the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash at six furlongs. Wildcat Red's mother is Racene, a Miner's Mark mare who adds a great deal of stamina to the mix.
Wildcat Red's pedigree makes this horse a fantastic distance runner. A great amount of stamina is at the horse's disposal, and that showed during his sparkling finishes in the Fountain of Youth and the Hutcheson.
Ride On Curlin
Son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, Ride on Curlin has a very strong pedigree. Curlin finished third in the 2007 Kentucky Derby, but went on to win the Preakness Stakes and the Breeders' Cup Classic. He also won the 2008 Dubai World Cup. His mother is stakes-placed Magical Ride.
Ride On Curlin's pedigree should allow the horse to find a nice pace throughout the Kentucky Derby and come on strong down the final furlong.
Vinceremos is the son of 2009 Santa Anita Derby winner and Kentucky Derby runner-up Pioneerof the Nile. This sire was one of the biggest favorites heading into the Derby that year. Pioneerof the Nile's sire Empire Maker also finished second in the Derby, with Unbridled—Vinceremos' great grandsire—winning the race back in 1990. Vinceremos is out of twice-raced mare More Than Ready.
Talk about a strong Kentucky Derby pedigree. With the success of Pioneerof the Nile, Empire Maker and Unbridled at Churchill Downs, and the strong ninth post position, perhaps Vinceremos could be worthy of a gamble at 30-1 odds.