Kentucky Derby pedigree profile: Endlessly

April 1st, 2024

Stretch-running Endlessly has been a force to reckon with on turf and synthetic, winning four stakes. In the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) on the Road to the Kentucky Derby, he stormed home over the Turfway Park Tapeta track to dominate by four lengths.

But Endlessly has never run on dirt, the surface over which the Kentucky Derby (G1) is contested at Churchill Downs. Switching surfaces for the Derby is a question mark, though Endlessly's pedigree suggests it's not an impossible obstacle to overcome.

Endlessly is a son of Oscar Performance, a speedy grass star who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), Belmont Derby (G1), Secretariat (G1), and Woodbine Mile (G1) over distances from one mile to 1 1/4 miles. That Oscar Performance excelled on turf isn’t surprising; he’s a son of grass champion and standout turf sire Kitten’s Joy out of Devine Actress, a stakes-winning daughter of champion and Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) winner Theatrical. This makes Oscar Performance a full-brother to Oscar Nominated (a graded stakes winner on turf and synthetic) and a half-brother to Award Winner, victorious in the Charles Whittingham (G2) on grass.

Now, despite his clear-cut grass breeding, Oscar Performance has sired a couple of accomplished dirt horses during his brief stud career to date. Red Carpet Ready has won the Eight Belles (G2), Forward Gal (G2), and Hurricane Bertie (G3) sprinting, and Tumbarumba took the Fred W. Hooper (G3) and Ellis Park Derby racing one mile. Furthermore, Deer District finished second in the 6 1/2-furlong Amsterdam (G2) and Oscar Eclipse won the seven-furlong Sir Shackleton S.

The rest of Endlessly’s pedigree is slanted more strongly toward dirt success. His dam is Dream Fuhrever, an unraced daughter of top-tier sprinter/miler Langfuhr. During a decorated career, Langfuhr won the Vosbugh (G1), Carter H. (G1), and Metropolitan H. (G1) over distances from seven furlongs to one mile.

Langfuhr may have been best racing around one turn, but his progeny have excelled over a wide variety of distances and surfaces. Lawyer Ron was voted 2007 champion older male after dominating the Whitney (G1) and Woodward (G1) racing 1 1/8 miles on dirt at Saratoga. Imperial Gesture cleaned up the Beldame (G1) and Gazelle (G1) over the same distance and surface at Belmont Park. Jambalaya won multiple Group 1 grass contests over distances from 1 1/4 miles to 1 3/8 miles, Interpatation upset the 1 1/2-mile Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1) on turf, Euroears nabbed the Bing Crosby (G1) dashing six furlongs on dirt, and Imperialism finished third in the 2004 Kentucky Derby.

However, as a broodmare sire Langfuhr has passed on dirt prowess with greater consistency, at least to his most accomplished descendants. His daughters have foaled classy dirt horses like 2017 Kentucky Derby runner-up Lookin At Lee, 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Proud Spell, Kentucky Oaks runner-up My Miss Sophia, 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby (G1) winner Materiality, Grade 1 winning sprinter/miler Firenze Fire, and multiple Grade 3-winning route racer Blended Citizen. The latter also won the Jeff Ruby Steaks over Turfway’s old Polytrack synthetic course.

Since Endlessly’s dam is a daughter of Langfuhr, and since Oscar Performance is siring quality dirt racers in defiance of his grass pedigree, we have to acknowledge the possibility Endlessly could prove just as effective on dirt as on turf and Tapeta.