Kentucky Derby pedigree profile: Derma Sotogake

March 27th, 2023

A combination of speed and stamina carried Derma Sotogake to a runaway victory in the UAE Derby (G2) at Meydan. Setting the pace did nothing to tire the Japanese-bred colt, who kicked away impressively down the homestretch of the 1,900-meter Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifier to win by 5 1/2 lengths.

It isn’t surprising to see Derma Sotogake display both speed and stamina. His pedigree contains both in roughly equal measures, suggesting he’s a threat to win the 2023 Kentucky Derby (G1).

Derma Sotogake Pedigree Sample Header Two
Mind Your Biscuits
Derma Sotogake
Neo Universe
Amour Poesie
Happy Request

The top half of Derma Sotogake’s pedigree is the source of his speed. His sire is Mind Your Biscuits, a two-time winner of the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) sprinting 1,200 meters. And Mind Your Biscuits is a son of Posse, a three-time graded stakes-winning sprinter known for siring champion male sprinter Kodiak Kowboy and Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Caleb’s Posse.

But Mind Your Biscuits was more than a pure sprinter. He stretched his speed over 1 1/8 miles to win the Lukas Classic (G3) and finish second in the Whitney (G1). And his best runners in Japan are showing a tendency to excel running 1,600 meters (about one mile) or farther, so rather than turning into a sire of sprinters, Mind Your Biscuits seems to be passing on some stamina.

That bodes well for Derma Sotogake, and it should be further noted that the bottom half of Derma Sotogake’s pedigree is loaded with stamina. Dam Amour Poesie scored her signature victory racing 2,100 meters and also won twice over 1,800 meters. She is a daughter of Neo Universe, a son of Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Sunday Silence and an elite route racer who won the Tokyo Yushun (G1, Japanese Derby) racing 2,400 meters and the Satsuki Sho (G1, Japanese 2,000 Guineas) over 2,000 meters.

Prior to Derma Sotogake, Amour Poesie foaled Pop Francais, a two-time winner racing 1,800 meters on dirt. Meanwhile, Neo Universe is best known as the sire of Victoire Pisa, a versatile runner who won the Satsuki Sho and 2,500-meter Arima Kinen (G1) on turf and the 2,000-meter Dubai World Cup (G1) on synthetic during a decorated career.

Neo Universe’s daughters have foaled such noteworthy named as 1,600-meter NHK Mile Cup (G1) winner Aerolithe and the talented dirt racer Le Vent Se Leve, victorious in the 1,800-meter Champions Cup (G1) and 2,000-meter Japan Dirt Derby.

Only time will tell if Derma Sotogake can wheel back six weeks after the UAE Derby and win the Kentucky Derby in his North American debut. But the subsequent effort of fellow Japanese sophomore Mandarin Hero to push Practical Move close in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) is encouraging on a form basis. If he falls short on the first Saturday in May, his pedigree won’t be to blame.