Pedigree profile: Arabian Knight

January 30th, 2023

An impressive victory from Arabian Knight in the Southwest (G3) at Oaklawn Park has launched the $2.3 million auction acquisition thoroughly into the Triple Crown picture, even if he’s currently ineligible to compete in the Kentucky Derby (G1).

Arabian Knight is 2-for-2 following his gate-to-wire Southwest win, in which he trounced a deep field (including Gun Runner S. winner Jace’s Road) by 5 1/2 lengths. Arabian Knight is trained by Bob Baffert, who is suspended from starting horses in the 2023 Kentucky Derby, so Arabian Knight failed to earn any of the Road to the Kentucky Derby qualification points up for grabs in the Southwest. But races like the Preakness (G1) and Belmont (G1) are obvious spring targets for the talented colt.

The excitement surrounding Arabian Knight stems not only from his ability, but from his pedigree. The bay colt is a son of Uncle Mo, the champion two-year-old male of 2010 and one of North America’s leading sires. Uncle Mo’s first crop of foals produced 2016 Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist, and last year his son Mo Donegal claimed victory in the Belmont.

Uncle Mo’s progeny win at a lofty average distance of 7.5 furlongs, cementing the star stallion as a source of stamina. But Uncle Mo is also capable of passing on speed, with Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) hero Golden Pal and Forego (G1) winner Yaupon ranking among his numerous Grade 1 winners. Speed combined with stamina is a formidable combination in the Kentucky Derby, and the fact Uncle Mo passes on both is an encouraging sign for Arabian Knight.

The bottom half of Arabian Knight’s pedigree is similarly promising. His dam, Borealis Night, failed to crack the trifecta in her lone start, but she’s a daughter of Astrology out of a mare by Forestry. Astrology won the Iroquois (G3) as a juvenile and later achieved a classic placing when third in the Preakness, while Forestry is best known for siring Preakness winner Shackleford.

For good measure, Astrology is a son of A.P. Indy, a Belmont winner and Horse of the Year renowned for passing on stamina to his many long-winded Grade 1 winners, like Preakness hero Bernardini and Belmont heroine Rags to Riches. And Forestry, though a sprinter/miler himself, is the dam sire of Nyquist plus Dubai World Cup (G1) winner Country Grammer.

In short, Arabian Knight boasts a beautiful pedigree geared toward success over classic distances. Only time will tell how his spring campaign plays out, but one thing seems certain, his pedigree won’t hold him back.