Sold for $1 million as a yearling, Thousand Words has always been a highly-regarded prospect. While only time will tell if he earns back his purchase price, the colt has already shown plenty of potential for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and joined the Road to the Kentucky Derby with a gutsy victory in the $200,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) on December 7.

RELATED: Thousand Words fends off Anneau d’Or in Los Alamitos Futurity

Thousand Words Pedigree
Empire Maker (2000)
Pioneerof the Nile (2006)
Star of Goshen (1994)
Thousand Words (2017)
Pomeroy (2001)
Pomeroys Pistol (2008)
Prettyatthetable (2003)

By tenaciously holding off a challenge from favored Anneau d’Or in the homestretch, Thousand Words earned 10 qualification points for the 2020 Kentucky Derby. But does he have the stamina to negotiate 1 1/4 miles on the first Saturday in May? That’s the real million-dollar question.

On the one hand, the top half of Thousand Words’ pedigree is loaded with classic stamina. Sire Pioneerof the Nile placed second in the 2009 Kentucky Derby (G1) and sired 2015 Triple Crown champion American Pharoah. Grandsire Empire Maker was runner-up in the 2003 Kentucky Derby and winner of the Belmont Stakes (G1). Great-grandsire Unbridled won the 1990 Kentucky Derby and ran second in the Preakness (G1). You can’t ask for a more Triple Crown-oriented sire line.

On the other hand, Thousand Words’ female family is stacked with sprinters—quality sprinters, yes, but sprinters nonetheless. Dam Pomeroys Pistol won three graded stakes races sprinting six to seven furlongs and was twice placed at the Grade 1 level, hardly surprising since she’s a daughter of Pomeroy, who excelled over the same distances while winning the King’s Bishop S. (G1) and Forego S. (G1). Pomeroy’s sire Boundary was likewise a graded stakes-winning sprinter, though he did sire 2008 Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown.

Pomeroys Pistol dam, Prettyatthetable, doesn’t bring much stamina to the equation either. Although she’s a daughter of Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner Point Given, Prettyatthetable’s most successful foals have all been sprinters. In addition to Pomeroys Pistol, Prettyatthetable is the dam of Wildcat Creek (twice stakes-placed sprinting six to seven furlongs) and D’cats Meow (runner-up in the six-furlong Mongo Queen S.).

Thousand Words has already shown more stamina than many of his immediate family members, successfully negotiating 1 1/16 miles in the Los Alamitos Futurity. But if Thousand Words is going to stretch out over longer distances—and remain a major player on the Road to the Kentucky Derby—his connections will have to hope their star colt takes after his sire more than his dam.

Thousand Words after winning the Los Alamitos Futurity (Benoit Photography)