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2016 Kentucky Derby Pedigrees: Brody’s Cause

By Kellie Reilly

Brody’s Cause gives renowned international sire Giant’s Causeway a second prospective starter in the 2016 Kentucky Derby (G1), after Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner Destin.

Here (slightly updated) is what I wrote about Giant’s Causeway, the “Iron Horse,” in Destin’s pedigree profile:

Giant’s Causeway ranks as one of Aidan O’Brien’s all-time great champions, racking up an amazing five Group 1 wins in a row during a hectic summer in 2000. Two of them came over a mile, the St James’s Palace (G1) and Sussex (G1), and the rest around 1 1/4 miles, the Eclipse (G1), Juddmonte International (G1), and Irish Champion (G1). Known for his power and implacable will to fight, Giant’s Causeway bumped into an even more relentless foe in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) – Tiznow.

Perennially one of the world’s leading sires, Giant’s Causeway gets high-class performers on turf (e.g., Shamardal), synthetic (Heatseeker), and dirt (Eskendereya, First Samurai, Giant Oak, and Carpe Diem, who turned the same Breeders’ Futurity [G1]/Blue Grass [G1] double as Brody’s Cause). He’s just as influential as a broodmare sire, as illustrated by fellow Derby contender Gun Runner.

Given his success, it’s something of a gap on his resume that Giant’s Causeway has yet to sire a U.S. classic winner. That may be partly attributable to bad luck, since Eskendereya shaped as a dominant Kentucky Derby favorite prior to his career-ending injury.

Turf influences are present in the female line of Brody’s Cause as well, suggesting that he warrants another shot on that surface in the future.

Brody’s Cause is out of $353,362-earner Sweet Breanna, runner-up in both the Woodbine Oaks and Bison City (two-thirds of Canada’s Triple Tiara) in 2006. Her first foal, Midnight Sweetie, has won on both dirt and turf and placed in last December’s Tiffany Lass at Fair Grounds.

Sweet Breanna is by Sahm, whose claim to fame has more to do with his pedigree than his performance on the racecourse. The 1998 Knickerbocker H. (G2) winner is a son of Mr. Prospector and the great mare Salsabil, who beat the boys in the 1990 Irish Derby (G1) after landing the 1000 Guineas (G1) and Epsom Oaks (G1) in her own division.

It’s fitting that Sahm’s two best performers have been fillies, multiple Group 1-winning miler Sahpresa and 2008 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf scorer Maram. His best son is Irish Group 2 victor Mustameet.

Sweet Breanna was produced by Sweet Roberta, a 10-length winner of the 1989 Selima (G2) who was second to the ill-fated Go for Wand in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). Sweet Roberta is also the dam of turf stakes winner Jah and English stakes-placed Elshabiba. Her other descendants include Duke of Venice, winner of the two-mile Queen’s Vase (G3) at Royal Ascot in 2004, and 2012 Spiral (G3) hero Went the Day Well, fourth in the Kentucky Derby.

As her name implies, Sweet Roberta is a daughter of Roberto, the 1972 Epsom Derby (G1) winner whose influence has been felt around the globe, and reinforces the versatility of the gene pool. Aside from appearing as the paternal grandsire of 2006 Kentucky Derby star Barbaro, Roberto also factors in the pedigree of Giant’s Causeway. Thus Brody’s Cause is inbred 4×3 to Roberto.

Sweet Roberta’s dam (the third dam of Brody’s Cause) is by another equal-opportunity influence in Majestic Light, himself a major winner on both dirt and turf.

The fourth dam of Brody’s Cause is multiple Grade 3-placed Quick Cure, perhaps best remembered for producing Grade 1-winning sire Cure the Blues.

But Quick Cure provides another fascinating dimension to the ancestry of Brody’s Cause. By the immortal Dr. Fager, she is out of Speedwell, the 1963 Prioress winner and a close relative of 1973 Triple Crown legend Secretariat. Speedwell is a Bold Ruler half-sister to Somethingroyal, and Secretariat is by Bold Ruler out of Somethingroyal.

Secretariat himself appears elsewhere in the pedigree (via Giant’s Causeway’s sire Storm Cat). By doubling up on Secretariat and his three-quarter sister Speedwell, Brody’s Cause bears the Rasmussen Factor of inbreeding to a superior female.

The sixth dam of Brody’s Cause is Imperatrice, winner of the 1941 Test and Fall Highweight H. Tracing the matrilineal line further, one finds 1927 Irish Oaks and Park Hill heroine *Cinq a Sept. 

Pedigree information courtesy of Brisnet.

Photo courtesy of Keeneland/Coady Photography.