Kentucky Derby pedigree profile: Slow Down Andy

December 13th, 2021

There’s nothing slow about Slow Down Andy, the latest star colt from the team of owner Reddam Racing, trainer Doug O’Neill, and jockey Mario Gutierrez.

Slow Down Andy joined the Road to the Kentucky Derby with a tenacious victory in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G2) at Los Alamitos, where he rallied from the back of a small field to prevail by a length. His talent is undeniable, but a key question remains: Does Slow Down Andy have a pedigree geared toward success in the Kentucky Derby (G1)?

Slow Down Andy hails from the second crop of Nyquist, the Reddam/O’Neill/Gutierrez standout who won the 2016 Kentucky Derby. A five-time Grade 1 winner, Nyquist matured early enough to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and was voted champion two-year-old male of 2015. His progeny have likewise displayed precocity, though pegging them as early-maturing juvenile sprinters would be inaccurate.

To the contrary, Nyquist’s best runners to date have excelled racing around two turns. Vequist, the champion two-year-old filly of 2020, won the 1 1/16-mile Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). Gretzky the Great stretched his speed to win the one-mile Summer S. (G1). Turnerloose, Team Merchants, and Lemieux have also won stakes running one mile or farther.

Nyquist’s tendency to pass on stamina is perhaps inherited from his own sire, the versatile Uncle Mo. A brilliant miler voted champion two-year-old male of 2010, Uncle Mo has sired a bevy of Grade 1 winners running long on dirt and turf.

Slow Down Andy Pedigree

Indian Charlie, 1995
Uncle Mo, 2008
Playa Maya, 2000
Nyquist, 2013
Forestry, 1996
Seeking Gabrielle, 2007
Seeking Regina, 1992
Slow Down Andy, 2019
Smart Strike, 1992
Square Eddie, 2006
Forty Gran, 1997
Edwina E, 2012
Gilded Time, 1990
Electric Daze, 2005
Electric Fable, 2000

The bottom half of Slow Down Andy’s pedigree similarly combines two-turn stamina with speed and early maturity. His dam, the twice unplaced Edwina E, has already produced the above-mentioned Nyquist colt Team Merchants, which means Slow Down Andy is a full-brother to a stakes-winning route runner.

Furthermore, Edwina E is a daughter of Square Eddie, a top-class juvenile who won the 1 1/16-mile Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and placed in the 1 1/16-mile Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at age two. At stud, he tends to pass on speed more than stamina, with seven-furlong Hopeful S. (G1) winner Ralis his most accomplished runner. But Square Eddie, in turn, is a son of noted stamina influence Smart Strike, so there’s some potential for Square Eddie to pass on more long-winded genetics.

The one potential knock on Slow Down Andy’s pedigree is the abundance of early-maturing bloodlines in the mix. Nyquist peaked during the winter and early spring of his sophomore season before fading during late spring and summer, and his progeny—from a limited sample size—have trended in a similar direction. Meanwhile, Square Eddie was never better than he was at age two, and the same can be said of Ralis.

The simplest interpretation of this data hints Slow Down Andy may peak prior to the Kentucky Derby. But if he’s able to follow Nyquist’s example and keep improving through the first Saturday in May, he’ll have every chance to give Reddam, O’Neill, and Gutierrez another Kentucky Derby victory.