Kentucky Derby pedigree profile: Catching Freedom

January 2nd, 2024

A perfect pedigree doesn’t guarantee success in the Kentucky Derby (G1), but it doesn’t hurt. And any way you slice it, Catching Freedom is bred to excel in the Derby.

Catching Freedom joined the Road to the Kentucky Derby with a rallying victory in the 1 1/16-mile Smarty Jones S. at Oaklawn Park. Stretching out another three-sixteenths of a mile for the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby should be right in his wheelhouse.

Catching Freedom is a son of Constitution, winner of the 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby (G1) and 1 1/8-mile Donn H. (G1). A son of three-time leading North American sire Tapit out of the Distorted Humor mare Baffled, Constitution had the pedigree to shine in the spring classics and passed on that genetic makeup to his son Tiz the Law, winner of the 1 1/8-mile Belmont (G1) and runner-up in the Kentucky Derby.

Numerous other sons and daughters of Constitution have enjoyed success racing one mile or farther in the U.S. and Canada, including graded stakes winner Americanrevolution, Webslinger, Law Professor, Independence Hall, Laura’s Light, Treason, We the People, Major General, Promise Keeper, Venezuelan Hug, Breakpoint, Warrant, and Ridin With Biden. The latter two have won racing as far as 1 1/2 miles, while Breakpoint took the 1 3/4-mile San Juan Capistrano (G3).

The dam of Catching Freedom is Catch My Drift, a capable route racer who dominated the 1 1/8-mile Summer Colony S. before placing third in the 1 1/8-mile Beldame (G1). As a broodmare she’s foaled three winners from three starters; in addition to Catching Freedom, she’s the dam of 1 1/8-mile Peter Pan (G3) and 1 1/8-mile Ohio Derby (G3) runner-up Bishops Bay plus one-mile Ellis Park Derby third-place finisher Strava.

Catch My Drift, in turn, is a daughter of Pioneerof the Nile, runner-up in the Kentucky Derby and the sire of acclaimed Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. He’s also the sire of champion and Preakness (G1) runner-up Classic Empire, and the average winning distance of Pioneerof the Nile’s progeny (7.5 furlongs) is indicative of stamina.

Pioneerof the Nile is also emerging as a promising broodmare sire. Aside from Catching Freedom, Bishops Bay, and Strava, daughters of Pioneerof the Nile have foaled one-mile Beholder Mile (G1) winner A Mo Reay and seven-furlong Malibu (G1) hero Speed Boat Beach.

Only time will tell how Catching Freedom performs in the Kentucky Derby, but if he’s beaten on the first Saturday in May, his pedigree won’t be to blame.