02/19/2015 12:52PM

Kentucky Derby pedigree profiles: Upstart

Barbara D. Livingston
New York-bred Upstart is the first winner out of an unraced mare.

Flatter - Party Silks, by Touch Gold
(Bred in New York by Mrs. Gerald A. Nielsen; $130,000 purchase by Ralph M. Evans at 2013 Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sale)

The New York-bred Upstart has not missed the board in five starts, with three of those coming in graded stakes. A stakes winner and multiple Grade 1-placed as a juvenile, this son of Flatter broke through with an eye-catching 5 1/2-length score in the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes in January, going 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream Park.

Upstart is the first winner from two starters out of his dam, the unraced Touch Gold mare Party Silks, so one must go back an additional generation for clues to his distance prowess. Second dam Intend to Win, by Housebuster, scored all of her wins at seven furlongs or shorter but also was stakes-placed at a mile. The productive broodmare has nine winners from as many starters, and all have won at a mile or longer, topped by Beyond Empire and Oaks Victoria, both winners at 1 1/8 miles. The most accomplished of the group is Josh’s Madelyn, the winner of the Grade 2 Raven Run Stakes at seven furlongs but also graded stakes-placed going two turns.

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Upstart’s third dam, the stakes winner Intently, never won beyond seven furlongs. Her top runners include Gone for Real, a graded stakes winner routing on turf, and Crafty Buzz, a stakes winner sprinting on dirt.

Flatter, a son of A.P. Indy, won 4 of 6 career starts up to 1 1/8 miles. The full brother to graded stakes winner and sire Congrats also was graded stakes-placed at 1 3/16 miles, finishing third in the Grade 2 Washington Park Handicap.

Some of Flatter’s top progeny have displayed both brilliance and the ability to carry it over a distance – such as the millionaire Flat Out, a two-time winner of the Jockey Club Gold Cup but also a multiple graded stakes winner at a mile, including the Grade 1 Cigar Mile. However, the average winning distance of Flatter’s progeny is slightly less than seven furlongs, and indeed, some of his other top runners have excelled at sprint distances – such as graded stakes-winning female sprinters Tar Heel Mom and Taris.

The consistent Upstart could continue to have a productive campaign throughout the Derby prep season. However, considering the ceiling of some of his close relatives, he may find the added furlong of the Derby itself to be a bit beyond his scope.