Kentucky Derby pedigree profile: Known Agenda

March 29th, 2021

It’s safe to say Known Agenda loves running long. The improving Todd Pletcher trainee will enter the Kentucky Derby (G1) with three victories at 1 1/8 miles, including a decisive score in the Florida Derby (G1).

From a breeding perspective, there is no doubt where Known Agenda’s stamina comes from.

Some pedigrees require horseplayers to analyze multiple generations of bloodlines to understand all the nuance in play. But this isn’t necessary with Known Agenda. He takes after his sire and dam. Nothing more, nothing less.

Known Agenda’s sire is the two-time Horse of the Year and Hall of Fame inductee Curlin, whose prowess over classic distances on dirt carried him to $10.5 million in earnings. A winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), Dubai World Cup (G1), and two editions of the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1), all at 1 1/4 miles, Curlin wasn’t fully developed during the spring of his sophomore season. Nevertheless, raw talent allowed the stoutly bred son of Smart Strike to win the Preakness (G1), place second in the Belmont (G1), and finish third in the Kentucky Derby (G1).

As a stallion, Curlin has proven to be a clear source of classic stamina, as the vast majority of his progeny has excelled at 1 1/8 miles and farther on dirt. Exaggerator won the 2016 Preakness and placed second in the Kentucky Derby, Palace Malice won the 2013 Belmont, Good Magic finished second in the 2018 Kentucky Derby, Ride On Curlin grabbed the runner-up spot in the 2014 Preakness, Irish War Cry came in second in the 2017 Belmont, Keen Ice came home third in the 2015 Belmont, and Tenfold was beaten less than one length when he finished third in the 2018 Preakness.

For those keeping count, Curlin has sired seven horses who have finished third or better in a spring classic, which is a remarkable string of success. And this impressive résumé doesn’t highlight Curlin’s many other long-winded dirt stars, such as Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Vino Rosso, champion three-year-old filly Stellar Wind, multiple Grade 1 winner Curalina, and recent 1 1/4-mile Santa Anita H. (G1) victor Idol.

Now, let's check out the résumé of Known Agenda’s dam, Byrama. One wouldn’t necessarily have expected Byrama to thrive running long. She is a daughter of the multiple Group 2-winning turf sprinter Byron, whose best runner — the extraordinarily durable, three-time Group 1 winner Gordon Lord Byron — was likewise best as a turf sprinter.

But although Byrama paid respects to her heritage, with multiple stakes wins sprinting on grass, her signature victory came under very different circumstances. In the Vanity H. (G1), at 1 1/8 miles over the synthetic main track at Hollywood Park (a surface known for its resemblance to dirt), Byrama cruised to victory by 3 1/2 lengths against a quality field.

Known Agenda has already replicated his sire and dam by winning a Grade 1 race over 1 1/8 miles. And, considering both Curlin and Byrama peaked at the age of four, there is still plenty of room for improvement from Known Agenda, who should only grow stronger and faster with maturity.