Wertheimer et Frere’s homebred Spinoff finished a close second in the Louisiana Derby (G2) to earn his spot in the starting gate of the Kentucky Derby (G1) on May 4. The Todd Pletcher trainee was the last sophomore to gain a berth after garnering 40 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby series.
Spinoff has run well in each of his four lifetime appearances. The chestnut owns two wins with a pair of placings, having run third in the Saratoga Special Stakes (G2) in his juvenile finale.
The improving contender was bred in the Bluegrass State and is by excellent sire Hard Spun, who finished runner-up in the 2007 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). The son of Danzig has been a sire who has passed on brilliance and stamina to many of his offspring, and he accounts for at least 70 stakes winners from nine crops to have raced.
Spinoff’s first dam is the Gone West mare Zaftig, who was a dominant heroine of the 2008 Acorn Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park. The gray concluded her six-race career with a third-place finish in the second running of the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.
Zaftig counts herself as a half-sister to 2012 Mother Goose Stakes (G1) queen Zo Impressive, who was also second-best in that year’s Acorn and Coaching Club American Oaks (G1). She, like Spinoff, is by Hard Spun.
The second dam of Spinoff also achieved Grade 1 glory. The Cozzene mare Zoftig bagged the 2000 Selene Stakes (G1) at Woodbine while also finishing second by a nose in the Ashland Stakes (G1) at Keeneland.
Gone West has been among the leading global broodmare sires for years. His daughters have produced in excess of 140 stakes winners, with earnings eclipsing $83 million in total. They have produced Grade and Group 1 winners across the globe, with at least eight individual champions among them.
Spinoff has improved his BRIS Speed number in every lifetime performance (82-89-93-102), but he does have two major obstacles to overcome in my opinion. First, he has run just twice since August, which could leave him a bit short for the first leg of the Triple Crown. Secondly, his regular rider, John Velazquez, has opted to ride one of his foes for the Run for the Roses.
Nonetheless, Spinoff has the pedigree and, perhaps, the ability, to succeed running 1 1/4 miles at Churchill Downs on May 4.
PHOTO: Spinoff finishes second in the Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds (c) Hodges Photography/Lou Hodges Jr.