View Full Version : Kentucky Derby Sire Lines Over The Years.

03-05-2017, 01:37 PM
The way I've gone about understanding the landscape of pedigree is simple. Get sire stats. Trace root families. Do pedigrees of sire/damsire of Triple Crown races back to 1979 and the Derby back to 1900. Purpose being to attempt to understand how sire lines change and why they out etc etc. Fill in informational blanks later. I know we have some big pedigree buffs that can fill in some of those blanks for me. So here were some random thoughts yesterday.

Looking through my folder on the Kentuck Derby, leafing through the winners I noticed basic things. In the first decade of the 20th century the Leamington sire line(traces back to Eclipse) had 5 winners;

1900-Lieut. Gibson

1901-His Eminence

1906-Sir Huon'

1907-Pink Star

1908-Stone Street

Then was never heard from again.

From 1900-1929 the Voltigeur line had the most wins with 7. But more on that later.

21 of the 30 winners traced back to Eclipse. Hence the Eclipse awards as he was the dominant root sire of his time.

03-05-2017, 01:48 PM
But 1 line stood out. There were 2 early winners that traced back to West Australian which did NOT go back to Eclipse but all the way back Godolphin Arabian(1724), an import. Western Australian was the 1st English Triple Crown winner. His son Australian was imported to the US as a weanling in 1858.

This line had these Derby winners;

1917-Omar Khayam


1925-Flying Ebony

1929-Clyde Van Deusen

1937-War Admiral

Obviously that last one makes you think of this line's most famous son Man O War. Samuel D Riddle skipped the Derby because he thought it was too much for a 3yo then he won the Preakness and Belmont.

Why is this fascinating to me? Tiznow.

Tiznow is the classiest representative that traces all the way back to this sire line.

What is most amazing to me about this line is it's complete autonomy from the 2 dominant sire lines in our time(Phalaris) and prior(Eclipse). To escape those 2 dominant forces entirely for now almost 300 years and still be putting out competitors at a high level is amazing. But for Derby winners it has eluded them.

03-05-2017, 02:04 PM
From 1930 to 1965 the sire lines that dominated were;

Bay Ronald-10 winners





All these lines ran back to Eclipse.

Isinglass also had to older winners from this time period, here were all

1914-Old Rosebud

1919-Sir Barton(1st Triple Crown winner)

1931-Twenty Grand


1936-Bold Venture

1941-Whirlaway(Triple Crown Winner)

1946-Assault(Triple Crown Winner)

1947-Jet Pilot


1965-Lucky Debonair

Then this one disappeared forever.

The Teddy Line had 8 winners

1930-Gallant Fox(Triple Crown Winner)

1935-Omaha(Triple Crown Winner)(son of Gallant Fox)



1945-Hoop Jr

1948-Citation(Triple Crown winner)

1952-Hill Gail

1957-Iron Liege

Then was never heard from again.

03-05-2017, 02:14 PM
Beginning in 1939 to 1963 10 Derby winners came from the Bay Ronald line. It was the most dominant of the period. Especially from 1949 to 1963 where the line produced 8 winners.




1953-Dark Star




1959-Tomy Lee(GB)



Then this one also disappeared forever.

Starting with 1958 with Tim Tam the Phalaris line popped up. But with Northern Dancer in 1964 winning the Derby the Phalaris line was here to stay winning 113 derbies from 1964 to 1978. This was the modern era.

03-05-2017, 02:21 PM
But there has been one stubborn, fail to die sire line that started in 1905 and still pops up on occasion although the last being in 1994. But the sheer fact that nearly every time an oddball derby winner rears it's head, that doesn't fit into the cookie cutter Phalaris line(3 sons of Nearco-Nasrullah, Nearctic, Royal Charger, and the Native Dancer line) it nearly always traces back to the Voltigeur line which is the last remnant of the Eclipse line in the modern era. This line was impote here through his son Billet in 1869 who was America's leading sire in 1883.




1916-Geaorge Smith

1920-Paul Jones

1926-Bubbling Over

1928-Reigh Count

1932-Burgoo King

1943-Count Fleet(Triple Crown winner)

1951-Count Turf

1971-Canonero II

1981-Pleasant Colony

1982-Gato del Sol

1994-Go For Gin

03-05-2017, 02:30 PM
In fact since 1971 only 5 Derby winners have not fit into the Phalaris mold. 3 of those 4 went back to the Voltigeur line. Only Giacomo was the true oddball. His line went back to eclipse. With none of the other intervening sires. This was Holy Bull's line obviously to as his sire.

03-05-2017, 02:39 PM
What's next?

My theory is the Nasrullah line replacing the Raise A Native line. In the last 6 years 4 of the Derby winners wnet back to this line.

2011-Animal Kingdom


2014-California Chrome


Orb and CC went through AP Indy which was a resurrection of the Bold Ruler line whose sire was Nasrulla. Seatlle Slew and Secretariat both had the same sire and damsire lines. Which were the sire and damsire of AP Indy.

Animand Kingdom and Nyquist went straight back to Nasrullah through Blushing Groom and Grey Sovereign, which IMO are better producing turf sires which you will probably recognize through these sires;

Blushing Groom

Fantastic Light
Rainbow Quest
War Pass

Grey Sovereign

Mizzen Mast
In Excess(ire)
Lasting Approva;
Siberian Summer
Talking Man

03-05-2017, 03:03 PM
Cincyhorsleplayer said that his theory is that the nasrullah sire line will replace the raise a native sire line.
That is pure conjecture based on only 6 years of data

03-05-2017, 03:05 PM
The Voltigeur line was what I was talking about. Cannot edit now. Starting with Agile and ending lastly with Go For Gin.

Also that was 13 Derbies from 64-78. Not 113 obviously!

03-05-2017, 03:06 PM
Cincyhorsleplayer said that his theory is that the nasrullah sire line will replace the raise a native sire line.
That is pure conjecture based on only 6 years of data

Yes it is. The whole exercise of this for me was just for background depth. We are bettors. This is my bet. What's yours?

03-05-2017, 08:17 PM
Cincyhorsleplayer said that his theory is that the nasrullah sire line will replace the raise a native sire line.
That is pure conjecture based on only 6 years of data

Sorry buddy, I was heading out the door earlier. Wasn't trying to be a prick!:)

I just see the talent coming out of the AP Indy line and think Tapit will get more TC race wins. We've seen 2 non AP Indy lines tracing to Nasrullah get Derby wins. I think Uncle Mo will contribute to that in the future. Looking back (around 2013)I think it was looking at AP Indy's pedigree and at the time Tapit becoming a big deal that caused me to think that line could make a Bold Ruler line like run for Derby winners. Plus knowing that other lines do die out. I just think that has the potential to be the next big Derby line.

Anyway was just thinking out loud! Having my coffee this morning and looking at the notes on my desk from yesterday thought I'd share it and was hoping to get some input on it all from posters like yourself and a couple others that I know are big pedigree junkies and outshine my knowledge!