Kentucky Derby pedigree profile: Lord Miles

April 10th, 2023

Few bettors expected Lord Miles to win the Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct, but the pace-tracking colt defied expectations to prevail by a nose at 59-1, stamping his ticket to the 2023 Kentucky Derby (G1).

The victory by Lord Miles may have come as a surprise on the day, but there was nothing in his pedigree to suggest the 1 1/8-mile Wood Memorial was an illogical target. To the contrary, Lord Miles is bred to relish running long on dirt.

Lord Miles Pedigree
Smart Strike
Sherriff's Deputy
Lord Miles
Majestic Warrior
Lady Esme
Come a Callin

Lord Miles is a son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin, winner of such prestigious prizes as the Preakness (G1), Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), and Dubai World Cup (G1). Curlin was an elite performer over classic distances, and his progeny have largely followed suit. He’s the sire of Preakness winner Exaggerator, Belmont (G1) hero Palace Malice, and champions Vino Rosso, Malathaat, Nest, Good Magic, and Stellar Wind, all Grade 1 winners running long on dirt.

In addition, Curlin has sired Kentucky Derby runner-up Good Magic, Preakness runner-up Ride On Curlin, Belmont runner-up Irish War Cry, Preakness third-place finisher Tenfold, and Belmont third-place finisher Keen Ice. Among current North American stallions, Curlin is as reliable a source of classic stamina as you’ll find.

The bottom half of Lord Miles’s pedigree is also encouraging. He’s the first foal produced by the unraced mare Lady Esme, a daughter of Majestic Warrior out of the Dixie Union mare Come a Callin. Dixie Union, for the record, is the sire of Belmont winner Union Rags and the dam sire of Travers (G1) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) winner Code of Honor, Metropolitan H. (G1) hero Mor Spirit, and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner New Year’s Day. The latter is the sire of champion three-year-old male Maximum Security, who crossed the wire first in the 2019 Kentucky Derby, only to get disqualified for causing interference.

Getting back to Majestic Warrior, he might seem like an improbable source of stamina, considering his signature victory came in the seven-furlong Hopeful (G1) at age two. But Majestic Warrior is a son of Belmont winner and renowned stamina influence A.P. Indy, and his dam is Dream Supreme, a multiple Grade 1-winning sprinter who counts the stoutly bred Dwyer (G1) and Super Derby (G1) winner Seeking the Gold as her sire.

The stamina in Majestic Warrior’s pedigree has been showing up in his sons and daughters. He’s best known as the sire of Kentucky Oaks winner Princess of Sylmar, but he’s also responsible for Oklahoma Derby (G3) winner Lone Sailor (who placed multiple times at the Grade 1 level racing 1 1/8 miles or farther) and standout stayer Lone Rock (winner of five stakes racing 1 1/2 miles to 1 3/4 miles).

Other sons of Majestic Warrior include Japan’s 1,600-meter (about one-mile) February (G1) runner-up Best Warrior and two-time Japanese Group 3 winner Sunrise Hope, who scored his biggest wins over 1,800 meters and 1,900 meters (about 1 1/8 miles and 1 3/16 miles).

Meanwhile, daughters of Majestic Warrior have foaled Robert B. Lewis (G3) winner Newgate, recent Arkansas Derby (G1) participant Two Eagles River, and 1 1/8-mile Keeneland allowance winner Tiz Rye Time, to name a few.

Lord Miles may have been an unexpected Wood Memorial winner, but further success running long on dirt won’t surprise anyone. Not with such a classic-oriented pedigree in tow.