As the Kentucky Derby (G1) trail begins to heat up, we’ll spotlight the pedigrees of leading contenders. And in light of his commanding victory in last Saturday’s Holy Bull (G2), our first subject in this series is undefeated Mohaymen.

You don’t have to be a pedigree maven to figure out that he’s a blueblood – his $2.2 million sales price as a yearling at Keeneland September is a pretty big hint. But more than just being fashionable, Mohaymen sports a well-constructed pedigree.

Mohaymen is by the white-hot Tapit, who commands a $300,000 stud fee. Representing the male line of 1977 Triple Crown legend Seattle Slew, through his Hall of Fame son A.P. Indy and grandson Pulpit, Tapit has broken the North American single-season earnings record with his progeny in both 2014 and 2015. He was recently hailed as America’s answer to Galileo by none other than Bill Oppenheim in TDN.

Although he has sired such champions as Untapable, Stardom Bound and Hansen, and additional Breeders’ Cup winners Tapitsfly and Tapizar, his classic-performing colts Tonalist and Frosted have enhanced his profile as a potential Derby sire. Tonalist captured the 2014 Belmont S. (G1), the 2015 Cigar Mile (G1), and the past two runnings of the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1). Wood Memorial (G1) winner Frosted, second to American Pharoah in the 2015 Belmont, trounced Meydan’s Maktoum Challenge Round 2 (G2) and rates a top contender for the Dubai World Cup (G1).

[Update: For more on Tapit, see the pedigree profiles of his other Derby contenders, Lani and Creator.]

Mohaymen is out of the multiple Grade 2-winning Justwhistledixie, who was unlucky not to have produced two sons on the Derby trail. Her first foal, 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) hero New Year’s Day, suffered a career-ending injury just prior to his third birthday.

Interestingly, Justwhistledixie spent most of her career with Kiaran McLaughlin, also the trainer of Mohaymen. She often competed in one-turn events, but did successfully handle her lone attempt at 1 1/8 miles in the 2009 Bonnie Miss (G2) at Gulfstream Park. That capped a five-race winning streak including the Love Affair and Ruthless at Aqueduct as well as the Davona Dale (G2) in her Gulfstream debut. Her skein was snapped when she was a closing second in the Acorn (G1). Later second in the Top Flight (G2) off a layoff for Bill Mott, Justwhistledixie retired with a record of 12-5-2-2, $449,427.

Justwhistledixie is by Dixie Union, a top 2-year-old of 1999 who went on to win the 2000 Haskell Invitational (G1) and Malibu (G1). Aside from siring 2012 Belmont victor Union Rags, Canadian classic winner Dixie Strike, and 2013 Arkansas Derby (G1) hero Overanalyze, Dixie Union is beginning to emerge as a broodmare sire. His daughters are responsible for fellow Kentucky Derby hopeful Mor Spirit, multiple Grade 1-placed Wonder Gal and high-class English juvenile filly Besharah.

While the other notable performers in the immediate family are more speed-oriented (e.g., Justwhistledixie’s half-brothers Chace City and Bakken, and further relatives Penny’s Reshoot, Smooth Air, and Overdriven), there’s a potent pedigree pattern at work.

Mohaymen is inbred to the redoubtable Relaunch and his full sister Moon Glitter (thereby providing the Rasmussen Factor of inbreeding to a superior female in their dam, Foggy Note). Moreover, Tapit and Dixie Union have similar influences: Tapit is bred on the Seattle Slew/Mr. Prospector-line cross that also appears in Dixie Union’s dam. So Mohaymen is also inbred to “Slew” and Mr. P., in addition to the ubiquitous Northern Dancer.

Tracing the female line further back, Mohaymen descends from the same ancestress as Derby winners Orb (2013) and Fusaichi Pegasus (2000) and the brilliant filly Ruffian.

 

 

Pedigree information courtesy of Brisnet.com (products 105E and 750, respectively)

Photo courtesy Adam Coglianese Photography