In case you haven’t gotten the memo, Gold Street is a mudlark with a strong affinity for wet tracks. The Steve Asmussen-trained colt joined the Road to the Kentucky Derby with a gate-to-wire triumph in the $150,000 Smarty Jones S.on Jan. 24 at Oaklawn Park, which marked his third consecutive victory over a wet track.
Should Gold Street make his way to the Churchill Downs starting gate for the Kentucky Derby, his connections won’t have to worry about the weather—in fact, they’ll probably be hoping for rain on the first Saturday in May. The bigger concern is whether Gold Street has the stamina to negotiate the Derby’s testing 1 1/4-mile distance.
Gold Street’s sire, Street Boss, was a two-time Grade 1-winning sprinter who has proven versatile at stud. Although the average winning distance of his foals is just 6.6 furlongs, Street Boss has sired several high-level winners running 1 1/8 miles on dirt, including Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Cathryn Sophia, Kentucky Derby third-place finisher Danza, and Sunland Derby (G3) winner Hence. On grass his foals have stretched out even farther, with Decked Out winning the 1 1/4-mile American Oaks (G1) and Rapper Dragon claiming the 1 1/4-mile Hong Kong Derby.
The bottom half of Gold Street’s pedigree leans in similar directions. Dam Morakami was a stakes-placed sprinter, but as a broodmare she’s passed on a bit more stamina. Morakami’s daughter Over Thinking (by Overanalyze) was beaten a neck in the 1 3/8-mile CTT and TOC S. on grass at Del Mar, while her son Oh Marvelous (by Bluegrass Cat) placed third in the Longacres Mile H. (G3) traversing a mile at Emerald Downs.
Perhaps some of this stamina is coming from Morakami’s sire, 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus. Across the board his best foals have excelled running 1 1/8 miles to 1 1/2 miles, including Belmont Stakes (G1) runner-up Andromeda’s Hero, Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) runner-up Champ Pegasus, Haskell Invitational (G1) winner Roman Ruler, and Blue Grass S. (G1) winner Bandini.
Fusaichi Pegasus hasn’t made a huge impact as a broodmare sire, though a few of his daughters have produced capable routers in North America, such as Kentucky Derby starters Flameaway and We Miss Artie. But arguably more noteworthy than the distance proclivities of Fusaichi Pegasus’ descendants has been their tendency to thrive across all surfaces. Despite his own success on dirt, Fusaichi Pegasus has been responsible for an abundance of high-level grass horses around the globe, particularly in Australia.
In short, there’s no reason to doubt Gold Street’s ability to handle route distances up to 1 1/8 miles—his breeding is stouter than it appears at first glance. Negotiating the final furlong of the Kentucky Derby will be a different ballgame, but if the classics don’t work out, Gold Street could always give grass a try. Considering his sire, dam, and damsire are all responsible for classy runners on the lawn, Gold Street might well prove better on turf than on dirt.