04/12/2017 8:46AM

Kentucky Derby pedigree analysis: Irap

Keeneland/Coady Photography
Irap upsets the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland at 31-1.


Tiznow-Silken Cat, by Storm Cat

(Bred in Kentucky by Aaron and Marie Jones; $300,000 purchase by Dennis O’Neill at 2016 OBS March sale of 2-year-olds in training)

Tiznow is the most prominent stallion continuing the Man o’ War line at stud, tracing his male line directly back to the great racehorse. This year, which marks the centennial anniversary of Man o’ War’s birth, Tiznow will represent the line in the Kentucky Derby with Irap.

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Irap won his maiden in dramatic fashion and at an opportune time in the Grade 2 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland, as the 100 points he earned for his victory guarantee him a berth in the Kentucky Derby.

Tiznow is the only horse to capture two editions of the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Following in his form, most of his best runners have excelled around two turns, including 2008 Belmont Stakes winner Da’ Tara. He is also the sire of Dubai World Cup winner Well Armed, Santa Anita Derby and Travers Stakes winner Colonel John, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner and champion Folklore, Whitney Handicap winners Tiznow and Bullsbay, and Grade 1 route winners Gemologist, Tiz Miz Sue, and Tough Tiz’s Sis.

Irap is the final foal out of Canadian champion juvenile filly Silken Cat, providing a quality bookend to the Storm Cat mare’s career. Her first foal was Speightstown, who won the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Sprint to secure a divisional Eclipse Award. In total, Silken Cat produced three winners from seven starters.

Although Irap’s immediate female family is slanted toward speed, there is also stamina farther back in the pedigree – and Speightstown is the latest champion from a family that has been producing stellar runners for decades and in a variety of locales. This is the extended family of Horse of the Year and Preakness winner Hill Prince, champion First Landing, Irish St. Leger winner Petite Ile, Venezuelan Triple Crown winner Catire Bello, and Grade 1 winners Cherokee Colony, Crusader Sword, Mani Bhavan, and Turk Passer.

– Nicole Russo