Kentucky Derby pedigree profile: Major General

September 20th, 2021

The first horse to strike on the 2021-2022 Road to the Kentucky Derby was Major General, who displayed an affinity for Churchill Downs and battled to a tenacious victory in the Iroquois S. (G3).

It’s easy to understand the source of Major General’s speed and talent. The dark bay colt boasts an elite pedigree, geared top and bottom toward success in the spring classics, which stamps the Todd Pletcher trainee as a key player for the 2022 Triple Crown.

Major General’s sire, Constitution, has proven capable as a racehorse and stallion. On track, the son of three-time leading sire Tapit won the Florida Derby (G1) and Donn H. (G1) at 1 1/8 miles. At stud, he has already sired a classic winner, Tiz the Law, who won the 2020 Belmont S. (G1) and was runner-up in the Kentucky Derby (G1).

Constitution’s emerging reputation as a sire of classic types is surely owed in part to his own elite pedigree. Tapit is renowned as the sire of Belmont winners Tonalist (2014), Creator (2016), Tapwrit (2017), and Essential Quality (2021). Constitution’s dam, Baffled, is daughter of Distorted Humor, the sire of 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness S. (G1) winner Funny Cide and 2010 Belmont victor Drosselmeyer.

The dam side of Major General’s pedigree is equally flashy. He is the first foal produced by No Mo Lemons, an unraced daughter of champion two-year-old Uncle Mo. The latter won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) during a productive racing career and has risen to even greater heights at stud, with champion juvenile and 2016 Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist among the best of his many Grade 1 winners.

No Mo Lemons' dam is Lemon Lady, a daughter of Belmont winner Lemon Drop Kid and previously the dam of two-time stakes-winning juvenile sprinter Lemon Juice.

Lemon Lady hails from a productive family. Her siblings including the following horses.

  • Multiple Choice, a three-time Grade 3-winning sprinter.
  • Proposal, the dam of stakes winners Inspired, Elope, Initiation, and Silver City. The latter made some noise on the 2009 Kentucky Derby trail, with a second in the Southwest S. (G3).
  • Lady Godiva, the dam of multiple graded stakes winner Leofric, who won the 1 1/8-mile Clark H. (G1) at Churchill Downs.

It’s clear Major General boasts a pedigree that combines speed, early-maturing bloodlines, and classic stamina. Only time will tell if Major General can achieve glory on the first Saturday in May, but one thing seems certain — his breeding won’t be an issue.