Kentucky Derby Pedigree Profile: Dream Shake

April 19th, 2021

For some horses, the Kentucky Derby (G1) is the race they were born to pursue. Their bloodlines have been carefully mixed and matched in search of glory running 1 1/4 miles, on dirt, on the first Saturday in May.

But other horses have backup plans built into their pedigrees, and Dream Shake is a perfect example.

The Santa Anita Derby (G1) third-place finisher boasts a versatile pedigree, which suggests he can succeed over a wide variety of distances and surfaces. Whether he wins or loses the Kentucky Derby, Dream Shake will have no shortage of potential career paths in the months or years following the Run for the Roses.

Dream Shake’s sire, Twirling Candy, never met a race condition he couldn’t handle. His signature victory came in the Malibu (G1), at seven furlongs on dirt, which he won in the blazing time of 1:19.70. But Twirling Candy also nabbed the 1 1/8-mile Del Mar Derby (G2) on turf and the 1 1/8-mile Californian (G2) on synthetic. He also placing second by a head in the 1 1/4-mile Pacific Classic (G1) over synthetic.

Twirling Candy’s sire, Candy Ride, was similarly versatile. A Group 1-winning miler in his native Argentina, Candy Ride proved equally effective running long on dirt in the U.S., where he dominated the Pacific Classic on dirt in the track-record time of 1:59.11. Candy Ride tends to pass this versatility on to his progeny, as he has sired major winners across all surfaces and distances, and Twirling Candy is following the same path.

Twirling Candy’s stud record is an eye-catching display of adaptability. Concrete Rose won the 1 1/4-mile Belmont Oaks (G1) on turf, Gift Box won the 1 1/4-mile Santa Anita H. (G1) on dirt, Finley’sluckycharm and Collusion Illusion won Grade 1 races sprinting on dirt, Morticia was a multiple Grade 3 winner sprinting on turf, and One Bad Boy became a Canadian classic winner when he nabbed the 1 1/4-mile Queen’s Plate over the synthetic track at Woodbine.

As a son of Twirling Candy, Dream Shake has the potential to excel under a wide variety of conditions, but the dark bay colt received another dose of versatility from the bottom half of his family. His dam, the allowance-caliber dirt sprinter Even Song, is a daughter of Street Cry, out of Brownie Points, a mating with the potential to produce virtually any type of racehorse.

Consider the following:

  • Street Cry won the Dubai World Cup (G1) at 1 1/4 miles on dirt. A resounding success at stud, he is a stamina influence best known for siring Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Zenyatta, and 25-time Group 1 winner Winx. Street Sense was best on dirt, Zenyatta achieved her biggest wins on synthetic, and Winx was a turf star.
  • As a broodmare sire, Street Cry is responsible for 1 1/4-mile Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Vino Rosso (a dirt star), 2 1/4-mile Doncaster Cup (G2) winner Spanish Mission, one-mile Doncaster Mile (G1) winner Cascadian, and nine-time graded stakes winner Are You Kidding Me, who achieved seven graded victories between 1 1/16 miles and 1 1/4 miles on synthetic.
  • Brownie Points won eight stakes over distances ranging from seven furlongs to 1 1/8 miles, on both dirt and turf, most notably the Ouija Board Distaff H. (G3) on grass. She also finished second behind Zenyatta in the 1 1/16-mile Apple Blossom H. (G1) on dirt.
  • Brownie Points has proven even more successful as a broodmare. In addition to Even Song, she has produced the six-time graded stakes winner Synchrony, Honeybee (G3) heroine Chocolate Kisses, and HBPA S. winner Point System. You guessed it though—Synchrony was best on turf, Chocolate Kisses excelled on dirt, and Point System secured her signature win on synthetic.

All this is a long-winded way of reiterating our opening statement — Dream Shake has the potential to excel under any and all conditions. If we had to venture a guess, we might predict Dream Shake will find his sweet spot racing seven furlongs to 1 1/16 miles on dirt.

But there’s no way to know for certain. By the end of 2021, Dream Shake could be an elite dirt sprinter, a terrific long-distance turf star, or even a Kentucky Derby winner. Your guess is as good as ours!