10/29/2014 2:27PM

Pedigree analysis: Coolmore shipper intriguing longshot in Juvenile

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Barbara D. Livingston
Carpe Diem is likely to inherit favoritism for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Given the choice between starting Coolmore colorbearer The Great War in either the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile or the Juvenile Turf, the partnership selected the former. It’s by far the taller order for the colt, a minor stakes winner in Europe who has raced exclusively on turf and never beyond 6 1/2 furlongs. Still, The Great War has a dirt-leaning pedigree with enough stamina influences to make him an intriguing longshot in a Juvenile field that lost favored American Pharoah to lameness on Tuesday, leaving a wide-open group of colts with some major distance questions.

The Great War’s immediate family is tilted toward speed, as dam Guide, by the late Pulpit, scored her only win at seven furlongs, and only one of her foals has won around two turns. Stamina influences come from the extended family, as Guide is a full sister to Laity, a stakes winner at 1 1/16 miles; and to Leave, whose son Departing has won or placed in eight stakes at a mile or longer, most notably winning the Super Derby and West Virginia Derby at nine furlongs. Guide is also a half-sister to Trip, a Grade 3 winner at 1 1/16 miles; and to Joke, dam of Grade 1-winning sprinter Zensational and second dam of recent Long Branch Stakes winner Irish You Well.

The Great War is by popular young commercial sire War Front. That son of Danzig is often billed as a turf or synthetic sire, but his top runners have shown versatility, led by multiple Group 1 winner Declaration of War, who finished third in the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic for Coolmore in his first try on dirt. The average winning distance of his foals is 7.2 furlongs. Nicking War Front over a Pulpit mare has produced 14 winners from 16 starters, including graded stakes winners Departing, Diamond Bachelor, and Native Bombshell.

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War Front will also be represented in the Juvenile by Souper Colossal, who turned heads with a blazing half-mile work in 45.57 seconds Monday. The colt’s female family suggests he can carry that speed; however, much of the family’s success has come on turf.

With two-time Grade 1 winner American Pharoah scratched, Juvenile favoritism is likely to fall to Carpe Diem, winner of the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity going 1 1/16 miles at Keeneland; or to stablemate Daredevil, winner of the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes going a one-turn mile at Belmont. Of these two, Carpe Diem has the edge from a pedigree standpoint. The colt, by perennial leading sire Giant’s Causeway, is out of the Unbridled mare Rebridled Dreams, a stakes winner around two turns and the dam of Futurity winner J.B.’s Thunder.

Daredevil is by More Than Ready, whose best runners have excelled on turf. The colt’s sprinter dam, Chasethewildwind, also produced Albertus Maximus, who won the Donn Handicap at nine furlongs and took the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile; and Chasethegold, who was Grade 3-placed sprinting on turf. Second dam Race the Wild Wind was a Grade 1 winner around two turns; she is the dam of a pair of group stakes-winning sprinters and is the second dam of Grade 1 Forego winner Here Comes Ben. Daredevil’s best distance is likely about a mile, and turf may be in his future.

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Calculator, the best runner to date by the brilliantly fast In Summation, finished second to American Pharoah in his last two outings. Several of Calculator’s immediate relatives, such as Grade 3 winner Atticus Kristy, did their best work sprinting. He gets an important font of stamina from his extended female family, as his second dam is a half-sister to With Every Wish, dam of classic producer Oatsee.

Breeders’ Futurity runner-up Mr. Z is well equipped for two turns. The Malibu Moon colt comes from the family of several notable routers – albeit on turf – including Canadian Horse of the Year Chief Bearhart.