2016 Kentucky Derby Pedigrees: Destin

March 17th, 2016

Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner Destin is a full brother to 2012 Triple Crown trail veteran Creative Cause, who was among the leading members of his generation at two and three.

The siblings have different profiles. While Destin has taken a little longer to show his class, Creative Cause shouted it from his brilliant debut as a juvenile in July 2011. Creative Cause followed up immediately with a victory over I’ll Have Another in the Best Pal (G2) and later dominated the Norfolk (G1). He placed in his other starts that season, elevated to second in the Del Mar Futurity (G1) and finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1).

Creative Cause continued his sparkling form in the next spring’s preps. After beating Bodemeister in the San Felipe (G2), he just missed to I’ll Have Another in the Santa Anita Derby (G1). Those performances should have put him into the thick of contention in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1), but unfortunately, Creative Cause didn’t run up to form in either. Fifth at Churchill Downs and a distant third at Pimlico, he retired to Airdrie Stud with a record of 10-4-2-3, $1,039,000. He's now a very promising freshman sire whose first foals will hit the track this season.

In light of Creative Cause’s terrific juvenile campaign, it was logical that his parents should meet again in the spring of 2012, and Destin is the happy result.

Both Destin and Creative Cause are exceptional in being the product of two millionaires – “Iron Horse” Giant’s Causeway and the Grade 1-winning mare Dream of Summer.

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, Carpe Diem, and current Derby hopeful Brody’s Cause, who was up the track behind Destin at Tampa). He’s just as influential as a broodmare sire, as illustrated by fellow Derby contender Gun Runner.

Dream of Summer, who transmitted her gray color to her famous sons, started out as a sprinter. But after capturing the A Gleam (G2) and Rancho Bernardo (G3), the California-bred began to carry her speed over a route. She earned her landmark victory with a game front-running display in the Apple Blossom (G1), romped in the Gardenia (G3), and placed twice in the Santa Margarita (G1), the first time by an agonizing nose. Dream of Summer won half of her 20 career starts, and placed a total of seven times, while bankrolling $1,191,150 during her admirable career.

By far the best offspring of her sire, Dream of Summer is by Siberian Summer, the 1993 Strub (G1) winner who is also responsible for 2004 Delaware H. (G2) heroine Summer Wind Dancer. Siberian Summer’s daughters have produced Grade 3 scorer My Happy Face and Los Alamitos track record-setter Soi Phet. Although neither fashionable nor outrageously successful, Siberian Summer springs from fine bloodlines himself, and actually hails from the same male line as Uncle Mo.

Dream of Summer is out of an unraced mare by 1986 Breeders’ Cup Classic (and 1985 Santa Anita Derby) winner Skywalker. Her second dam (and Destin’s third dam) is multiple stakes scorer Proper Mary, by the long-winded Properantes, who landed the marathon San Juan Capistrano (G1) in 1977. 

The immediate female line isn’t terribly memorable, but further back, it traces to Maid of Erin. A half-sister to noted sire Voter, Maid of Erin produced leading sire Celt.

Pedigree information (products 105E & 750, respectively) courtesy of Brisnet.com.

Destin photo courtesy S V Photography.