Kentucky Derby pedigree profile: Ramjet

March 17th, 2024

When Ramjet stormed home victorious by three lengths in the Hyacinth S. on the Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby, he delivered on a pedigree geared top and bottom toward high-level success running long on dirt.

That might come as a bit of a surprise to horseplayers who remember the racing career of Ramjet’s sire, Majestic Warrior. Two early sprint wins, including a triumph in the seven-furlong Hopeful (G1), were followed by sound defeats in the Champagne (G1), Louisiana Derby (G2), and Florida Derby (G1) running long.

As a racehorse, Majestic Warrior took after his dam, Dream Supreme, a five-time graded stakes-winning sprinter boasting wins in the Test (G1) and Ballerina H. (G1) among her career highlights. But Majestic Warrior’s sire, A.P. Indy, was a legendary stamina influence who won the 1 1/2-mile Belmont (G1) and 1 1/4-mile Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) and sired such long-winded stars as Preakness (G1) hero Bernardini, Belmont winner Rags to Riches, and Horse of the Year Mineshaft.

At stud, Majestic Warrior is taking after A.P. Indy much more than Dream Supreme. He’s best known for siring Princess of Sylmar, winner of the Kentucky Oaks (G1) and three other Grade 1 stakes over distances from 1 1/8 miles to 1 1/4 miles; Lone Rock, a marathon specialist who won the 1 1/2-mile Brooklyn (G2) and 1 5/8-mile Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (G2); and Lone Sailor, victorious in the 1 1/8-mile Oklahoma Derby (G3) and placed in 1 1/4-mile Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) and 1 1/8-mile Haskell (G1).

Similar productivity can be found in the bottom half of Ramjet’s pedigree. His dam is Nefertiti, who scored her lone victory in a 1,800-meter (about 1 1/8-mile) maiden race on dirt at Hanshin. Prior to Ramjet, she foaled In the Beginning, a son of Majestic Warrior who emulated his dam by winning a 1,800-meter maiden contest at Hanshin.

Nefertiti is a daughter of Gold Allure out of La Verita, by Unbridled’s Song. Gold Allure was a top-tier dirt router in Japan, scoring his signature victory in the 1,800-meter February (G1) on the Japan Racing Association (JRA) circuit. Plus, on the National Association of Racing (NAR) circuit, he won a trio of local Group 1 races over 2,000 meters (about 1 1/4 miles). At stud in Japan, Gold Allure has enjoyed abundant success, siring Group 1-winning dirt routers like Espoir City, Copano Rickey, Gold Dream, and Chrysoberyl. What else would you expect from a son of 1989 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness winner Sunday Silence, arguably the most influential stallion in Japanese racing history?

La Verita wasn’t quite as accomplished as Gold Allure, though she did win seven local Group 2 and Group 3 stakes on the NAR circuit over distances from 1,600 meters (about one mile) to 2,100 meters (about 1 5/16 miles). That’s hardly surprising since she’s a daughter of Unbridled’s Song, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and a phenomenally successful stallion whose progeny include long-winded U.S. champions Arrogate, Forever Unbridled, and Will Take Charge plus Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) winners Unrivaled Belle and Unbridled Elaine.

Given all of these facts, Ramjet is bred to shine racing 1 1/4 miles on dirt, and a trip to the U.S. for the Kentucky Derby looks like a viable goal.