Resilience – Kentucky Derby Context

April 23rd, 2024

Resilience broke his maiden at Gulfstream Park in early January and followed with a commendable fourth in his stakes debut, a deep Risen Star (G2) at Fair Grounds. His rider felt the bay colt got a little intimidated when forced to check in the stretch and Resilience added blinkers for the Wood Memorial (G2) at Aqueduct, responding with a convincing win from just off the pace. He’s the type to dismiss at your own risk. Resilience likes to race up close with his tactical speed and appears to be discovering his best form at the right time. He’s bred to relish the added ground and has kept progressing while making his last four starts at different tracks. 

Owner: Resilience will be the first Kentucky Derby starter for Emily Bushnell and Ric Waldman. Bushnell is the daughter of breeders Pam and Martin Wygod. Waldman, a Louisville native, has managed operations at many notable stud farms, overseeing great sires Northern Dancer and Storm Cat. He started Ric Waldman Thoroughbred Consulting in 1994.

Trainer: Bill Mott won his first and only Kentucky Derby via disqualification with Country House in 2019. The South Dakota native worked as an assistant for Hall of Famer Jack Van Berg before going out on his own in 1978, and the 70-year-old New York-based conditioner has won 10 training titles at Belmont Park and nine at Saratoga. Mott became the youngest trainer (45) ever elected to the Hall of Fame in 1998, and he captured the 2010 Belmont (G1) with Drosselmeyer. He’s also won 15 Breeders’ Cup races. Mott’s first Kentucky Derby starter came in 1984 and his overall record reads 12-1-0-1. 

Jockey: Junior Alvarado made his fifth appearance in the Kentucky Derby. His first mount, and best result, came aboard Mohaymen, who finished fourth in 2016.

Breeder/Sales: Bred in Kentucky by Pam and Martin Wygod, Resilience will be their first Kentucky Derby starter as a breeder. Sadly, Martin passed away on April 12 at 84, six days after Resilience’s win in the Wood Memorial. A classmate and friend of late Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, Martin developed an affinity for horses in high school and worked at Belmont Park as a hotwalker before attending college. A pioneer in online pharmaceutical sales, the successful businessman started owning horses in 1965, and the Wygods have been influential as breeders and owners since the 1970s.

Sire: The reigning five-time leading sire in North America, Into Mischief produced back-to-back Kentucky Derby winners Authentic and Mandaloun (2020-21). By Blue Grass (G1) and Florida Derby (G1) winner Harlan’s Holiday, who finished seventh as the favorite in the 2002 Kentucky Derby, Into Mischief is responsible for eight champions/highweights and a Horse of the Year. He’s also the broodmare sire of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner White Abarrio. The 19-year-old stallion, a juvenile Grade 1 winner, stands at Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, Kentucky.

Dam: Resilience is the second foal to race from Meadowsweet, a daughter of Smart Strike, the broodmare sire of Kentucky Derby winners Mine That Bird (2009) and Rich Strike (2022). Meadowsweet hails from multiple Grade 1 turf winner Tranquility Lake and counts as half-siblings Grade 1 turf winners After Market and Courageous Cat. This is the female family of 1983 Belmont (G1) winner Caveat.

Top Brisnet Speed: 104
Top Brisnet Late Pace: 98