Kentucky Derby pedigree profile: Rattle N Roll

October 11th, 2021

When Rattle N Roll joined the Road to the Kentucky Derby with a powerful 4 1/4-length romp in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1), racing fans were left with an interesting question to ponder—does he have the pedigree to handle the Kentucky Derby’s testing 1 1/4-mile distance?

At first glance, one might conclude Rattle N Roll is bred more like a miler than a classic type. The chestnut colt hails from the first crop of foals sired by Connect, who achieved his signature victory in the Cigar Mile H. (G1). Furthermore, Rattle N Roll’s damsire is Johannesburg, a brilliant two-year-old who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) before failing to progress as a three-year-old.

But dig a little deeper, and you’ll find there’s a lot more to Rattle N Roll’s pedigree than first meets the eye. Connect, for example, was much more than a miler—he also won the 1 1/8-mile Pennsylvania Derby (G2), defeating a deep field led by future Horse of the Year Gun Runner and classic winners Nyquist and Exaggerator. And as a son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin (an established stamina influence), Connect has the pedigree to pass on long-winded genetics at stud.

Indeed, Connect’s progeny have already shown an affinity for route racing, with 1 1/16-mile Pocahontas S. (G3) winner Hidden Connection among his other noteworthy runners so far.

The bottom half of Rattle N Roll’s pedigree is also stouter than it first appears. Dam Jazz Tune broke her maiden racing one mile at Parx Racing, and Jazz Tune is a half-sister to Rap Tale, who won the one-mile Brookmeade S. on turf. Both Jazz Tune and Rap Tale were produced by Rap and Dance, whose sire—Pleasant Tap—placed third in the 1990 Kentucky Derby before going on to earn 1992 champion older male honors. Rap and Dance herself hails from a productive female family, with Grade 1-winning routers Another Review and No Review among her half-siblings.

Getting back to Johannesburg, he achieved some level of success at stud in the U.S., with 1 1/8-mile Florida Derby (G1) hero Scat Daddy ranking as his best-known runner. A two-time Grade 1 winner, Scat Daddy enjoyed a meteoric (but all-too-brief) stud career, with 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify standing as the best of Scat Daddy’s many Grade and Group 1 winners.

So by taking an all-encompassing view of Rattle N Roll’s pedigree, it seems safe to conclude the Kenny McPeek trainee is bred to handle the distance of the Kentucky Derby. This stands to become even more apparent if Connect’s stamina-focused stud record keeps progressing along its currently promising trajectory.