Curlin’s Derby Trifecta

 Posted by at 9:54 pm  Breeding
Apr 102018

Curlin has become one of the top sires in the World and his prominence was on display this past weekend when two of his offspring, two-year old champion Good Magic and up and comer Vino Rosso both won major Derby preps in the Bluegrass Stakes and the Wood Memorial. Curlin has another son, the talented but immature Solomini who is currently ranked 19th in the Kentucky Derby standings who races this coming weekend in the Arkansas Derby. As it looks like Curlin will be sending a trifecta of horses to America’s biggest race, I thought we might take the time to look at the pedigree of these runners to see what is working in real life. 

I’m going to start with Solomini because he has the most SIM friendly pedigree being out of a Storm Cat mare. Curlin x Storm Cat is quite popular and effective in the SIM. Solomini was something of a bargain (relatively speaking) selling for $270,000 which isn’t too bad considering you are getting a Curlin out of a Storm Cat. Solomini’s only inbreeding is 5×4 to Northern Dancer. Following his dams down the line we see Avenue of Flags, a son of Seattle Slew and the great Roberto and finally Prince John. That is a lot of stamina on the backend of Solomini so we should expect he will excel at long distances, possibly being a Belmont threat, if a Tapit doesn’t win it again (Marconi?). Solomini’s mom, Surf Song, was unremarkable being unraced in her career, however she has been a steady if not spectacular broodmare producing 5 winners from 9 runners. Solomini was the first time she has been matched with Curlin so his AEI is doing quite well here outperforming the likes of Medaglia d’Oro, Tiznow, FuPeg, Street Sense and Elusive Quality. 

Solomini’s second dam is where we start to see some star power. Fleet Lady won a couple G2 and was the CA bred three-year old filly of the year. She has produced two-year old champion Midshipman and G2 winner Fast Cookie who is the dam of G1 winner and stallion Frosted along with several other black type runners. Solomini is already quite talented and well bred and you don’t have to do much with his pedigree to inspire some ideas for Curlin. If you don’t want to use Storm Cat you could use one of his many sons (which would give 5×5 inbreeding to Northern Dancer). Seattle Slew has a plethora of sons who could fill the DDS role or you could dive in his best son A.P. Indy and use him or his many sons. Moving either Roberto or Prince John up to the DDS spot would be intriguing. 

Vino Rosso was sold for $410,000, like Solomini in 2016. He too has a ton of stamina on his back end being out of Street Cry mare then into Touch Gold and Lear Fan (a son of Roberto).  This served him well as he made a strong move in the Wood, cruised past horses, then put away Enticed after a brief challenge to cross the line clearly the best. Vino is the first winner of two foals from his dam Mythical Bride. Like Solomini, Vino is blessed with a magnificent second dam. Flaming Heart has produced 6 winners from 7 named foals including G2 winner (and 2nd in the Belmont) stallion Commisioner (by AP Indy) and G3 winner (and 2nd in the Breeder’s Cup Sprint) Laugh Track (by Distorted Humor). Those of you taking notes already have a blueprint on which type of mares to use with these future stallions I would wager. Touch Gold of course won the Belmont Stakes so Vino has a Belmont winner and a 2nd in the Belmont in his female line. 

Vino Rosso is inbred 3×4 to Mr. Prospector and 3×4 to Deputy Minister. He is bred over a Mr. P line mare and you’ll want to look for the grandsons of Mr. P for Curlin as his sons create the close 3×3 inbreeding. Of note and mentioned earlier is that Roberto shows up prominently in his pedigree as well.  If you were basing a horse on his pedigree in the SIM someone with Northern Dancer as their DS might be interesting in the DDS slot. Curlin only has one strain of Northern Dancer in his pedigree in the 5th generation. Other options may be dirt inclined sons of Danzig which should also prove suitable. 

Finally we come to the your 2017 Breeder’s Cup Juvy winner, Good Magic. He rebounded from a lackluster Fountain of Youth to win the Bluegrass. He was number one on most Derby lists heading into the year and may be close to that position again. BC Juvy winners have had a tendency to get hurt recently and not make it to the Derby – Uncle Mo, Texas Red, Classic Empire and War Pass for example. Nyquist and Street Sense did break the trend however and win both the Juvy and the Kentucky Derby. Good Magic is out of the cleverly named mare Glinda the Good. Her first two runners are both winners, her third is a two-year old by Speightstown. She is a Hard Spun mare and below that is Miswaki so for those paying attention, Good Magic is bred on a reverse of the cross I described above, Danzig line son in the DS spot and Mr. P in the DDS. Hard Spun was a game horse who always gave a lot of effort on the track. He has the misfortune of being born the same year as Curlin (along with Street Sense and Scat Daddy) so he faced a lot of competition on the Derby Trail. He finished 2nd in the Kentucky Derby and the Haskell, would run 3rd in the Preakness and 2nd again in the Breeder’s Cup Classic. Hard Spun would get his G1 in the King’s Bishop. He was a G1 quality horse from 7 to 10 furlongs and has just now started to find his groove in the breeding shed currently standing at #8 on the NA Sires list. 

Like the other two, Good Magic benefits from a spectacular second dam, the Miswaki mare Magical Flash. Magical Flash is dam to no less than 5 daughters whom have earned over $200,000. In addition Magical Flash is 1/2 sister to multiple G1 winner Magical Maiden and G2 winner Magical Mile who set a 5 furlong track record at Hollywood Park. Good Magic would appear to have an edge in speed in his pedigree over Solomini and Vino Rosso who have a bit more stamina. The prospective Curlin SIM breeder can experiment with both types of influences with confidence as, like in real life, the Hill n Dale stallion has risen to the top of both the SIM and real world sire lists. Of course another adage the SIM breeder can learn from these three horses is breed to good families. All of them are powered by a significant 2nd dam (the DDS in the SIM). Good Magic has three lines of Northern Dancer in his pedigree and two lines of Mr. Prospector so the breeder need not be scared off by mixing in those popular bloodlines. Good luck on your attempts to emulate this trio of Derby horses and good luck to them and Curlin in Kentucky this May. 

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  7 Responses to “Curlin’s Derby Trifecta”

  1. By the way your article was well written and very informative.

  2. Too bad we could visit the Scat Daddy derby superfecta.
    Breeders really seemed to figure him out, such a shame.

  3. Lots of good info..thanks. Although my sim results with Curlin have been disappointing, he was a monster IRL. This article is giving me the courage to try him again.

    (I’m sorry, I just couldn’t resist asking you….Where is Arrogate now? (gone and forgotten)…Should never again be compared to the mighty Pharoah…They don’t even belong in the same sentence)

    • If Arrogate does not succeed at stud then he is going to be forgotten, someone might bring up his remarkable stretch to compare him to another horse (as they are doing now with Justify) but his accomplishments will not last in popular memory. AP of course will be immortal because of his Triple Crown. However, if Arrogate excels at stud and AP does not, then Arrogate might end up being viewed like A.P. Indy while AP could end up like Affirmed.

      • I’ve been watching these wonderful animals for nearly 50 years and seen some great ones. What you do in classics and what you do in the shed may add to the resume but it comes down to what you do on the track. Horses like John Henry, Forego, Ruffian, Zenyatta, Rachel Alexandra, Winning Colors, Holy Bull, Cigar ect ect …. All of these horses never won a classic but their exceptional ability will always remain in my memories. The two horses that haunt my memories are Go For Wand and Dubai Millennium.The later for her great heart while being tragical injured dueling the great Bayakoa and another fine mare in Gorgeous. That race was one for the ages only to end tragically. Dubai Millennium just may have been one of those horses that happens once in a life. I would have enjoyed seeing his story play out.