03/22/2017 10:50AM

Kentucky Derby pedigree analysis: Malagacy

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Malagacy won the 1 1/16-mile Rebel despite his sprint-oriented pedigree.

Malagacy

Shackleford-Classiest Gem, by Dehere

(Bred in Kentucky by John Trumbulovic; $190,000 purchase by Steven W. Young, as agent, at 2016 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training)

Malagacy established his place among Todd Pletcher’s arsenal of Triple Crown hopefuls last weekend, stepping up to stakes company and stretching out around two turns to win the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park. He outran some of the distance limitations suggested by his immediate family in the 1 1/16-mile race.

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Malagacy is from the first crop of Shackleford, a durable and gritty runner. A Forestry horse, Shackleford had the speed to win the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap at a mile and the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes going seven furlongs, beating champion sprinter Amazombie. However, he also could carry that speed, holding off Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom to take the 2011 Preakness Stakes and capping his career with a victory in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap at 1 1/8 miles.

Shackleford tied for the third-most individual winners among freshman sires last year. Malagacy is his second graded stakes winner, joining Wellabled, who won the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Futurity at seven furlongs on Polytrack.

Malagacy is the fifth winner from seven starters out of the unraced Classiest Gem, whose foals have done their best work at sprint distances. Only Malagacy and Yanbian Express, who won at a mile and 70 yards, have won at longer distances. Classy Gem was stakes-placed as a juvenile but never won beyond seven furlongs. Fortune Diva and Watts Impossible scored their longest wins at six furlongs and 5 1/2 furlongs.

Classiest Gem is a half-sister to the versatile Canadian champion Impossible Time, who won stakes from six furlongs to 1 1/16 miles on both turf and synthetic surfaces.

Broodmare sire Dehere is represented by the likes of Take Charge Lady, the dam of champion Will Take Charge and Grade 1 winner Take Charge Indy. He also sired the dams of champion Midnight Lute; Grade 1 winners Graydar, So Many Ways, and Tamarando; and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner More Than Real.

– Nicole Russo