Kentucky Derby pedigree profile: Curly Jack

September 19th, 2022

In 2018, reigning champion two-year-old male Good Magic ran a gallant race in the Kentucky Derby (G1), finishing second behind Triple Crown winner Justify. Perhaps Good Magic’s son Curly Jack can go one better in 2023.

Hailing from the first crop of foals sired by Good Magic, Curly Jack joined the Road to the Kentucky Derby with a stretch-running victory in the Iroquois S. (G3) at Churchill Downs, showcasing a clear affinity for the Derby’s host track.

There’s a lot to like about Curly Jack’s pedigree from a Kentucky Derby perspective. Good Magic is a son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, a source of stamina who counts Preakness S. (G1) winner Exaggerator and Belmont S. (G1) hero Palace Malice among his many classic-winning or classic-placed progeny. And Good Magic’s dam is the multiple stakes-winning route racer Glinda the Good, a daughter of Kentucky Derby runner-up Hard Spun.

Clearly the top half of Curly Jack’s pedigree is geared toward classic success, and the bottom half also holds promise. Curly Jack is the fourth winner and sixth starter produced by Connie and Michael, a Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) participant who placed at the highest level when finishing second in the 1 1/16-mile Mother Goose S. (G1).

Connie and Michael, in turn, is a daughter of Roman Ruler, a four-time graded stakes winner who scored his signature victory in the 1 1/8-mile Haskell H. (G1). As a stallion, Roman Ruler achieved fame through his son Ruler On Ice, upset winner of the 1 1/2-mile Belmont S. (G1).

Roman Ruler hasn’t set the world on fire as a broodmare sire, but he hails from Triple Crown-oriented bloodlines (sire Fusaichi Pegasus won the Kentucky Derby), and Roman Ruler is eligible to pass on both speed and stamina through his daughters. The fact Connie and Michael did her best work running slightly longer than one mile suggests she offers miler speed to counterbalance the abundant stamina in Good Magic’s pedigree.

By winning a graded stakes at the age of two, Curly Jack is following in the early-maturing footsteps of Good Magic. But we’ll have to wait for the first Saturday in May to find out if Curly Jack’s ideal Kentucky Derby pedigree can lead to victory where his sire finished second-best.