Each day, we will look all over the country to discover a horse running that has a pedigree worth noting. We will not always pick a stakes race. In fact, we may even try to find a horse running in a claiming race that may just have a pedigree worth noting. And, you may argue that there is a horse running on that day that deserves to be noted more than the one that we have selected. If so, then submit your horse and your arguments. We may print your selection and your short bio. We hope to engage conversation.
Today’s Selection: It would have been easier today to have stopped at the Spa, ole’ Saratoga, and picked out one of several key horses that will be featured today. After all, in the 4th race at Saratoga – a 11/8-mile allowance race for 3YOs & Up which have never won $10,000 once other than Maiden, you have two incredibly-bred colts getting ready to square off against each other. There is Emancipation, who is a full brother to Kentucky Derby winner Orb, and there is Fayeq, a half-brother to the great race mare Rachel Alexandra. To be honest, you don’t get too many pedigrees better than those two, especially in one race. But, to be honest, too, that would have been too easy. Instead, we kept looking. And, I am happy to say that I found an interesting colt that is worth digging a little deeper into his background. That 3YO is named Douglas Road.
Owner: Riverdee Stable
Breeder: William B. Harrigan
Sold at Public Auction: Did not meet the reserve price set on two different occasions. The first time came in 2015 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, when consigned by Lane’s End Farm. He was brought home for $37,000. The second time came at the OBS Open Sale in June 2016, when consigned by Wavertree Stables. He was brought home again for $39,000.
Trainer: Arnaud Delacour
Jockey: Daniel Centeno
Sire: The Factor, who stands at one of the world’s top stallion farms in Lane’s End in Versailles, KY, was a brilliant racehorse and is off to a good career at stud. The won of War Front raced 13 times, winning 6 with two seconds and earnings of nearly $1 million. After breaking his maiden as a 2YO at Santa Anita, he quickly turned into a fast 3YO that was put on the Kentucky Derby trail. He won the G2 San Vicente. He won the G2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park. It was his third victory in a row for the colt, trainer Bob Baffert and owners Fog City Stable and George Bolton. Derby Fever was high. But after finishing a disappointing 7th in the Arkansas Derby, won by Archarcharch, The Factor went to the sidelines. He didn’t appear again until August, when he won the G1 Pat O’Brien Handicap at Del Mar, going 7F. After finishing 8th to Caleb’s Posse in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Churchill Downs, The Factor returned to California and finished his 3YO season with a win in the G1 Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita. At 4, The Factor ran just four times, winning the G2 San Carlos Stakes, with seconds in both the G1 Triple Bend and the G1 Bing Crosby. But after that race in July 2012, it was the end of the line on the track. He was sold to stand at stud at Lane’s End. His first crop of 2YOs made it to the track in 2016, and was led by Noted and Quoted, who won the G1 Chandelier Stakes. His top 3YOs this year include Illinois Derby winner Multiplier, Northern Spur Stakes winner Cistron, Cincinnati Trophy Stakes winner Delphinia, TaWee Stakes winner Youngest Daughter. The newest one to add to that list later this summer just may be the ultra-fast Douglas Road.
Dam: Board Battle, by Seeking the Gold, was trained by Shug McGaughey for Stuart Janney and the Phipps Family Stables and only ran once. That race was at Keeneland on April 10, 2008 – when the track had the unfortunate experience of racing on Polytrack. She finished 8th that day, but truly was beaten only about 7 lengths. After that, Board Battle never made it back to the races, but did have a spot in the broodmare band. And, that career has been rather non-distinguishable, as well. To date, she is the dam of 6 foals. To her credit, five of them have raced and she has produced three winners already. But none of her offspring have been awe-inspiring. At least, not to date. The winners include Roksana, a filly by Eskendereya, who has earned nearly $90,000; Battle Bridge, a colt by Arch who has earned over $50,000; and now, there is Douglas Road – who just may be the one to set this pedigree back on fire.
Second Dam: Proxy Statement, by A.P. Indy, is the first black type winner that we come to, currently, in the family. And, she was a good one. She had three wins at 2 and 3 and earned over $105,000. Her most impressive run, though, came in the G2 Demoiselle Stakes, when she third to Smok’n Frolic and Lady Shari on Nov. 24, 2001. While Proxy Statement didn’t throw any stakes winners herself, she was a half-sister to the mare Manoa, who was a Graded Stakes Placed winner of over $260,000 and the mare Search Party, who was a Graded Stakes Placed winner of over $258,000. And, this is where the family gets really, really good. Both of those mares have gone on to be very productive mares in their own right, as well. Manoa is the dam of the fantastic race filly Carriage Trail, who set a new track record for 11/18 miles at Keeneland when winning the G1 Spinster Stakes. She also won the G3 Doubledogdare Stakes at Keeneland, as well, and totaled nearly $800,000 in career earnings. Search Party, not to be outdone, is the dam of Criminologist, who won the G3 Cardinal Handiap at Churchill Downs, the G3 Noble Damsel Handicap at Belmont Park, the G3 Athenia Handicap at Belmont Park and the G3 Beaugay Handicap at Aqueduct. She also set a new course record in the Perfect Sting Stakes at Saratoga, covering 11/8 miles in 1:45.61. She won over $554,000.
Third Dam: Deputation, by the great Deputy Minister, was everything you could ever hope for or want in a filly. She could run with some of the best, winning the G3 Tempted Stakes, the Pimlico Distaff Handicap and the Maryland Million Oaks on her way to earning well over $500,000. And, she could mother. She matched up with Seeking the Gold (note, the same sire of Board Battle) to produce both Manoa and Search Party. So, the return to sender has been a deep vein of producing runners.
Point of Interest: This family is very live today, too. You see Criminologist just so happens to be the dam of Inspector Lynley, a son of Lemon Drop Kid who is still owned and raced by the same connections of Stuart Janney III and the Phipps Stable. He won the G3 Tampa Bay Stakes to begin 2017, but has since run 8th in the G1 Maker’s Mark Mile at Keeneland and just ran fifth in an allowance race going 1 mile on the grass at Belmont Park. Ironically, he finished ahead of Mohaymen, another “Pedigree of the Day” horse of ours, that day. Inspector Lynley, still only 4 years old, has now had 3 wins, 3 seconds and 2 thirds in 14 lifetime starts and carved out $374,699 in purses won.
Racing Notes: Douglas Road will be making his third career start today when he faces 7 others in the 5th race at Delaware Park. He made his career debut on April 21 of this year, running in a MSW event going 11/16 miles over the Keeneland grass course. Sent off at $8.30 to 1 odds that day, Douglas Road broke from the far outside post in a field of 11. He was able to make his way up to third early on, but he was hung wide the entire way, but still managed to make a nice closing run to finish third, just two lengths behind the highly touted Kitten’s Karma, who is a perfect 2-for-2 this year for trainer Ian Wilkes and owner Sierra Farm. He came back in June to win his first effort against winners at Churchill Downs. After that first race, breeder-owner-trainer Bill Harrigan was finally able to do what he could not do at public auction. He was able to sell Douglas Road. After his race in April, the colt showed up in the barn of the gifted trainer Arnaud Delacour for Riverdee Stable. And, he showed up in the winner’s circle, too. This time Douglas Road wasted no time and no doubt from the beginning. Sent off as the 2-1 favorite, Douglas Road flashed his father’s speed, rushed to the front and was never seriously challenged, cruising to an easy 11/2 length victory over two horses that came right back to win – General Patton, and Brookline.
Ultimate Fact: If Douglas Park continues to progress, and there really is no reason why he shouldn’t, he can bring this female family and the The Factor into prominence real quickly. And, considering The Factor’s speed, that’s the way he handled things on the track, as well. Today may be a real opportunity for the entire family to take a giant leap forward.