The year was 1937. The race was The Kentucky Derby. The horse was War Admiral. In 2:03.20 minutes, he would capture the Run for the Roses, the last time a Godolphin Arabian direct-sire line horse would win the Derby. Since then, Darley Arabian linked horses have won each and every year. Last year, an article on this site talked about the history of the Triple Crown and many other major US races in terms of pedigree. If you haven’t read it yet, I urge you to read it, as the article not only gives a great, and often forgotten, history lesson, but also shows how the industry has handpicked a sire line to stay, while two other equally important lines die out (read the article here: https://horseracingstation.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/pedigree-nation-tiz-an-important-sire/).
In the past few years, there hasn’t been any horse that has stepped up as a 3 year old from the Godolphin Arabian sire-line, let alone one that has potential to go to the Derby. For the most part, Godolphin Arabian’s are better at distance, a reason why most appear in the Belmont Stakes. However, on Saturday at Santa Anita, Elvis Trujillo and Peter Miller put one mathematical horse on the map, Calculator. This son of In Summation, a Grade 3 winner, won the Sham Stakes in incredible fashion. A runner-up in to American Pharaoh in the Front Runner Stakes and Del Mar Futurity, both Grade 1’s, Calculator proved himself on Saturday. His stock went up after that win. While the Sham isn’t a big race for Derby contenders, the race he is heading to next, the Robert B. Lewis Stakes is. Past winners include Candy Boy, I’ll Have Another, Caracortado, and Pioneerof The Nile, horses that achieved success in their career.
This year’s Derby is setting up to be a great race, with some amazing contenders. While there may not be a lot of standouts, there are those from last year that left a lasting impression. But keep an eye on Calculator, whether he is your pick or not. History could me made this year; even just making it to the gate would be an achievement. We will continue to watch this horse as we move closer to the first Saturday in May.