Pedigree Profile: Ram

May 10th, 2021

From claimer to Triple Crown contender, Ram has made great progress for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

His pedigree has surely played a role. The improving chestnut sold for $375,000 as a yearling, at least in part because he’s bred top and bottom to be a high-class prospect.

Ram is a son of American Pharoah, the 2015 Triple Crown winner who is off to a hot start at stud. The leading first-crop sire of 2019, American Pharoah has already produced more than a dozen stakes winners, including Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1) winner Four Wheel Drive and Grade 1-winning turf stars Harvey’s Lil Goil and Van Gogh.

But although American Pharoah initially garnered a reputation for siring turf horses, recent developments have proven he is capable of siring high-class dirt runners. In 2021, American Pharoah is responsible for February S. (G1) winner Cafe Pharoah, Santa Margarita S. (G2) heroine As Time Goes By, Santa Monica S. (G2) winner Merneith, and Ladies H. winner Thankful. Along the way, American Pharoah’s progeny have shown a wide variety of distance preferences, with significant stakes wins at distances from 5 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/4 miles.

The bottom half of Ram’s pedigree brings similar adaptability to the mix. Just look at his dam, the unraced mare Miner’s Secret.

Her first four foals include Godolphin Mile (G2) winner Coal Front, a five-time graded stakes-winning sprinter/miler on dirt; Conquest Titan, winner of the seven-furlong Swynford S. on synthetic and runner-up in the 1 1/16-mile Holy Bull (G2) on dirt; Laafy, a four-time turf winner over distances from 1 1/4 miles to 1 3/4 miles; and Special Lady, a maiden winner sprinting on synthetic.

Miner’s Secret is a daughter of 2003 Horse of the Year Mineshaft, out of the Kingmambo mare Madam Lagonza. Mineshaft was stellar at classic distances on dirt. He won the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1), Woodward S. (G1), Suburban H. (G1), and Pimlico Special H. (G1) over distances from 1 1/8 miles to 1 1/4 miles. Madam Lagonza never raced, but she has proven productive as a broodmare, with foals like stakes winners Admiral Alex and Woodlander. The latter was a two-time Grade 3 winner racing up to 1 1/4 miles on turf, while Admiral Alex scored his signature win over 1 1/8 miles on dirt.

Mineshaft has carved out a solid stud career to accompany his accomplished racing résumé. Clark H. (G1) winner Effinex and triple Grade 1 winner It’s Tricky rank among his most accomplished foals, but Mineshaft is also responsible for Kentucky Derby (G1) runner-up Nehro and Belmont (G1) runner-up Fly Down, which reiterates his ability to sire long-winded classic types. Mineshaft’s daughters have foaled Kentucky Oaks (G1) winner Cathryn Sophia and champion two-year-old filly Vequist, to name just a couple.

From a pedigree perspective, there’s no reason to think Ram can’t develop into a stakes-caliber racehorse. The only question is which surface he will ultimately prefer. Although his victories so far have come on dirt, there are enough turf influences in his lineage to suggest grass racing could also be in his future.