04/27/2016 12:10PM

Kentucky Derby pedigree profile: Exaggerator

Benoit & Associates
Santa Anita Derby winner Exaggerator is the only one of his dam's foals to win beyond a sprint distance.


Curlin – Dawn Raid, by Vindication

($110,000 purchase by Big Chief Racing at 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale)

Curlin, who is coming off a career-best season by his racing progeny in 2015, is a rising star in the North American sire ranks. The stallion will look to really break through with a Kentucky Derby winner in Exaggerator, the romping winner of the Santa Anita Derby.

Hall of Famer Curlin, of course, was honored as Horse of the Year in 2007 and 2008 and retired as North America’s leading money winner. His victories included the Dubai World Cup, Preakness Stakes, Breeders’ Cup Classic, Stephen Foster Handicap, Woodward Stakes, and two editions of the Jockey Club Gold Cup. The Breeders’ Cup victory came on a sloppy track, and Exaggerator has also excelled on wet surfaces.

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Curlin has quietly established himself as a powerful source of stamina, producing a classic horse from each of his first three crops. Palace Malice won the 2013 Belmont Stakes, Ride On Curlin was second in the 2014 Preakness, and Keen Ice was third in the 2015 Belmont. In keeping with that theme of distance ability, nine of Curlin’s 10 graded stakes winners have scored those victories at a mile or beyond.

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Curlin balances out Exaggerator’s female family, which is slanted toward speed. Exaggerator’s dam, the stakes-placed Vindication mare Dawn Raid, set a track record at Woodbine for 5 1/2 furlongs, her longest winning distance. Exaggerator is the only one of her foals to win beyond a sprint distance.

It is the family of Canadian champions Embur’s Song and Eternal Search and of Grade 1 winner Island Sand.