Ten years ago, a talented racehorse named Uncle Mo burst onto the scene, winning the Champagne (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) to emerge as the champion 2-year-old male of 2010.
An illness prevented Uncle Mo from vying for victory in the 2011 Kentucky Derby, but he’s left his mark on the race as a sire. His first crop of foals yielded 2016 Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist, and given the abundance of classy 3-year-olds Uncle Mo has sired in the years since, a second Derby winner could be just around the corner.
The latest speedy sophomore sired by Uncle Mo is Caracaro, improving runner-up in the Peter Pan (G3) and Travers (G1). Like many of Uncle Mo’s best progeny (including fellow 2019-20 Road to the Kentucky Derby veterans King Guillermo, Modernist, and Uncle Chuck), Caracaro has thrived running long on dirt. Since Uncle Mo was most successful as a miler, this tendency could be considered surprising; on the other hand, falling ill right before the spring classics upset Uncle Mo’s entire 3-year-old campaign, and he never got a fair chance to prove his worth over longer trips.
The damside of Caracaro’s pedigree likewise offers some deceptively strong bloodlines. Caracaro is the first foal produced by Peace Time, a daughter of Grade 2-winning sprinter War Front. At stud, War Front has been a rousing success in both North America and Europe, siring a bevy of sprinters, milers, turf horses, and early-maturing juveniles.
But while these types represent the majority of War Front’s top runners, he’s also responsible for Preakness (G1) winner War of Will and Arkansas Derby (G1) victor Omaha Beach, proving War Front has the versatility to sire classic types as well. The popular stallion has displayed a similar ability as a broodmare sire; from limited opportunities to date (his oldest daughters are just 13 years old), War Front has already been represented by 2019 Belmont Stakes (G1) third-place finisher Joevia.
Even if you view War Front as something less than a prime source of stamina, it might not matter since Peace Time’s dam is Santa Catarina, a classy route runner who placed in the Kentucky Oaks (G1), Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), and Frizette (G1) during a productive career. Santa Catarina, in turn, is a daughter of the stoutly-bred 1990 Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled, whose male-line descendants include Belmont Stakes (G1) victor Empire Maker, Kentucky Derby runner-up Pioneerof the Nile, and Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.
Taking all these elements together, Caracaro’s pedigree represents a mixture of miler speed and classic stamina, typically a perfect combination for success in the Kentucky Derby.