Kentucky Derby pedigree profile: Wildatlanticstorm

December 19th, 2022

A perfect ground-saving trip carried Wildatlanticstorm to an upset victory in the Remington Springboard Mile S. on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. It was a sharp victory accomplished in a fast time, but does Wildatlanticstorm have the pedigree to factor in the Kentucky Derby (G1)?

Wildatlanticstorm is son of pensioned stallion Stormy Atlantic. Back in the 1990s, Stormy Atlantic proved his worth as a talented if not graded stakes-caliber dirt sprinter, counting the 5 1/2-furlong Havre de Grace S. and the six-furlong Damitrius S. as his biggest wins.

At stud, Stormy Atlantic has passed on his signature speed, with his progeny winning at an average distance of 6.6 furlongs. That’s not to say Stormy Atlantic has proven incapable of siring high-class route runners; Up With the Birds won the 1 1/2-mile Breeders S. (a Canadian classic) and the 1 1/8-mile Jamaica H. (G1), while Get Stormy won the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (G1) and Gulfstream Park Turf H. (G1) racing 1 1/8 miles.

But sprinters and milers are more common among Stormy Atlantic’s progeny, with two-time Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) winner Stormy Liberal ranking as his most accomplished runner. And while Stormy Atlantic was a dirt horse, his foals have proven superior on turf, with Matriarch (G1) winner Stormy Lucy, Woodbine Mile (G1) hero El Tormenta, and Nearctic (G1) winner Next Question ranking among his other Grade 1 winners on grass.

Now, it’s not unheard of Stormy Atlantic to sire a Kentucky Derby type; his son Stormello won the Norfolk (G2) on dirt and competed in the 2007 Kentucky Derby. But it’s worth noting Stormello achieved his signature victory in the Hollywood Futurity (G1) over a synthetic track.

More speed and turf influences can be found in the bottom half of Wildantlaticstorm’s pedigree. His dam, Imsortaspecial, secured three of her four victories on grass. And much like Stormy Atlantic, Imsortaspecial preferred racing less than one mile, winning over distances from five furlongs to 7 1/2 furlongs.

On the bright side, Imsortaspecial is a daughter of Big Brown, winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness (G1) during a championship three-year-old campaign. Many of Big Brown’s foals have proven best on dirt, chief among them Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner and Kentucky Derby third-place finisher Dortmund. But then again, Big Brown won the Monmouth S. on grass and counts Somelikeithotbrown (a three-time graded winner on turf) as his second-best foal, so you can argue Big Brown is yet another source of possible turf prowess in Wildatlanticstorm’s pedigree.

Of course, pedigrees aren’t everything, and the promise Wildatlanticstorm has shown on dirt lends credence to the notion he is defying the overarching themes of his breeding. But strong turf and speed influences are definitely prominent in Wildatlanticstorm bloodlines, so he’ll have options for switching surfaces and/or cutting back in distance if his Kentucky Derby bid comes up short.