Kentucky Derby Pedigree Profile: Finnick the Fierce

August 23rd, 2020

Finnick the Fierce might not have the most commercially popular pedigree, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be an effective contender in the Kentucky Derby (G1). Finnick the Fierce has earned a spot in the Churchill Downs starting gate by repeatedly running well against classy competition, displaying a level of durability doubtlessly inherited from the honest racehorses in his immediate lineage.

Finnick the Fierce Pedigree
Dialed In
Miss Doolittle
Finnick the Fierce
Southern Image
Southern Classic
Stutz Classic

Kentucky Derby bettors surely remember Finnick the Fierce’s sire, Dialed In. Conditioned by two-time Derby-winning trainer Nick Zito, Dialed In came to hand impressively during the winter and spring of 2011, winning the Holy Bull (G3) and Florida Derby (G1) to start as the favorite in the Kentucky Derby. A slow pace unfortunately compromised Dialed In’s chances under the Twin Spires (he finished eighth), but the one-dimensional late runner fared a bit better when rallying to finish fourth in the Preakness (G1).

As a son of the stoutly-bred 2003 Horse of the Year Mineshaft, whose long-winded progeny include Kentucky Derby runner-up Ice Box and Belmont Stakes (G1) runner-up Fly Down, Dialed In has always held the potential to pass stamina onto his progeny. Certainly he’s bestowed some long-winded genetics upon his accomplished son Gunnevera, a classy and durable campaigner who counts runner-up efforts in the 1 1/4-mile Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) and 1 1/4-mile Travers (G1) among his best races.

Dialed In is also a half-brother to stakes winner Broadway Gold, the dam of two-time Grade 3-winning router Golden Lad and Kentucky Oaks (G1) runner-up Broadway’s Alibi. Even better, Dialed In’s second dam is Eliza, voted champion 2-year-old filly of 1992 after winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). Much more than a one-hit wonder, Eliza matured well enough to win the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) and place in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and Santa Anita Derby (G1) as a 3-year-old.

Finnick the Fierce is the second foal produced by Southern Classic, who won a pair of claiming sprints from eight starts. Southern Classic, in turn, is a daughter of Southern Image, a consistent and versatile competitor who nabbed victories in the 7-furlong Malibu (G1), 1 1/4-mile Santa Anita H. (G1), and 1 3/16-mile Pimlico Special H. (G1) during a productive career.

Currently standing at stud in California for a fee of $1,500, Southern Image has primarily emerged as a sire of sprinters, including five-time Grade 3 winner Calibrachoa and the durable 10-time stakes winner Winning Image. But there have been long-winded exceptions among Southern Image’s progeny, including the Australian-bred Southern Speed, who handled 1 1/2 miles just fine to win the Turnbull (G1) on turf in his native country.

True, Finnick the Fierce isn’t a blue-blooded runner with a pedigree stuffed full of classic winners. But make no mistake, he has the breeding to be a capable and durable route performer, with the 1 1/4-mile distance of the Kentucky Derby likely falling within the upper end of his ideal distance range.