02/05/2015 4:40PM

Kentucky Derby pedigree profiles: Firing Line

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Benoit & Associates
Firing Line (center) finished a close second in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity in December.

Firing Line
Line of David – Sister Girl Blues, by Hold for Gold
(Bred in Kentucky by Clearsky Farms; $240,000 purchase by Ben McElroy, agent, at 2014 Keeneland April 2-year-olds in training sale)

Firing Line acquitted himself well in his stakes debut and first attempt around two turns, finishing second by a head to unbeaten Dortmund in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity on Dec. 20. Now targeting another showdown with Dortmund in the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes this Saturday, the colt’s pedigree suggests his best days are still ahead of him. Both sire Line of David and dam Sister Girl Blues blossomed at age 3 or later.

Firing Line is from the first crop of Line of David, who got good at the right time, winning his maiden in February of his 3-year-old season and rattling off three straight wins at a mile or longer, culminating with the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby, before running unplaced in the Kentucky Derby, his final career start. The son of Lion Heart – a brilliant individual who carried his speed well enough to finish second in the Kentucky Derby – had only 30 starters from his first crop and finished 11th by earnings in a deep group of freshman sires for 2014. However, his runners have encouragingly begun to blossom in recent months. Firing Line’s Los Alamitos Futurity placing came in his third career start, in December. Meanwhile, Cross the Line won his maiden in December in his first try at a mile, and then won the California Derby at 1 1/16 miles in January. A pair of other runners by Line of David were stakes-placed in December and January.

:: MORE COVERAGE: Derby Watch Top 20 | Road to the Derby ::

Sister Girl Blues debuted at age 3 and scored both of her wins over three racing seasons at a mile or longer. She was multiple graded stakes-placed, highlighted by a runner-up effort behind champion Azeri in the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap at 1 1/8 miles. Her only other runner to date is the sprinter Jalouzi, similarly late-blooming.

Out of the Conquistador Cielo mare Sister Girl, a winner at six furlongs, Sister Girl Blues is a half-sister to Mint Lane, winner of a pair of route stakes, including the Grade 2 Dwyer Stakes.

There’s an extreme amount of class deep in Firing Line’s family. His fourth dam, the unraced Forli mare Forlis Key, is a half-sister to Kentucky Oaks winner and blue hen Seaside Attraction, Canadian classic winner and champion Key to the Moon, and multiple Grade 1 winner Gorgeous. Another two generations back, the sixth dam is champion Square Angel, whose foals include Grade 1 winner Love Smitten, dam of European champion Swain. Recent standouts on the track with roots in this family include multiple Grade 1 winners Alpha, Turbulent Descent, and Flashing.

Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
Distance will be this horses undoing if he gets to the derby.sire LINE OF DAVID was a notch below in a sub par crop of 3 yos .and his sire LION HEART did not really get 1 1/4 MILES although he was amongst the very best of his crop. This horses last race at los alamitos was a good race but in my opinion he was not nearly as impressive as DORTMUND who rallied wide against a speed bias.altough many feel he was best in that race and unlucky to loose i disagree. 20/1 or higher in the derby represents is true value.
tommy More than 1 year ago
Il bet firing line when he's 50-1 at kentucky derby!!
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
Tommy - better make sure Bejarano never lays hand on you. He'lll beat you to a pulp for casting as[ersions his way!
Vince Piscitelli More than 1 year ago
You never know Tommy. Often this Derby is fixed for the fans. if the juice is a go, Vince says plunge in Firing Line even at 5/2. Vince P
Slyder More than 1 year ago
Gary Stevens will pilot this horse as far as it can take him. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he and Dortmund battle for supremacy all season long.
Lawrence MacSelwiney More than 1 year ago
As talented as Bejarano is, he is the reason Firing Line didn't win The Los Al Derby. The dude can't go to the left hand. I don't get it.
Lawrence MacSelwiney More than 1 year ago
Best one armed jockey I have ever seen.
k More than 1 year ago
Not sure why he gets the good mounts. He never goes to the whip left handed. I think the jock change will help.
tommy More than 1 year ago
Firing line when last time. Dortmund was lucky to get the decision. They should at least called it a dead heat if they couldn't make it out!!! Anyway I'm not betting this race because Dortmund is 4-5 and firing line is 7-5. Stay out of this race if you are smart. If not, lose your money like the other idiots on here
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If not, lose your money like the other idiots on here? you are on here
Joe Rockhold More than 1 year ago
Never been a fan of Bejarano