Society Man – Kentucky Derby Context

April 17th, 2024

After winning a maiden race the fourth time out in mid-March, Society Man earned a spot in the Kentucky Derby (G1) field by finishing second in the Wood Memorial (G2) at 106-1 odds. The chestnut gelding had been more of a confirmed late runner in previous starts, but he worked out an ideal stalking trip just off the early leaders and surged wide into second in upper stretch of the Wood, holding his positioning to the wire while never threatening the winner. Society Man has yet to win at two turns, but he will bring improving form to the Kentucky Derby. However, the Wood wasn’t the deepest prep and Society Man will be asked to back up a surprising result while stepping up in class.

Owner: West Paces Racing (Larry Connolly), Danny Gargan, and GMP Stables are poised to make their first appearance as Kentucky Derby owners. West Paces Racing also will be represented by Fountain of Youth (G2) winner Dornoch in this year’s Run for the Roses.

Trainer: A Louisville native, Danny Gargan will make his second Kentucky Derby appearance, finishing 14th with Tax in 2019. His father, Danny Gargan, won the 1973 Kentucky Oaks aboard Bag of Tunes, and Gargan worked as an assistant trainer and jockey agent before launching his training career in 2013. He also has Dornoch in the 20-horse field for the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 4.

Jockey: Luis Rivera Jr. has been up for the last two starts and if he retains the assignment, Society Man will be his first Kentucky Derby start.

Breeder/Sales: Bred in Kentucky by SF Bloodstock (Gavin Murphy), who co-owned 2020 Kentucky Derby winner Authentic, Society Man will be the first Kentucky Derby starter as a breeder. The gelding sold for $85,000 as a yearling at the Keeneland September sale.

Sire: After being named champion two-year-old male in 2017, Good Magic finished second in the Kentucky Derby to eventual Triple Crown winner Justify. Good Magic earned a measure of revenge at stud, siring 2023 Kentucky Derby winner Mage from his first crop, and he’s back with two runners this year, Society Man and Dornoch, a full brother to Mage. Good Magic is by two-time Horse of the Year and Hall of Famer Curlin, who finished third in the 2007 Kentucky Derby and won the Preakness, and Good Magic hails from a mare by 2007 Kentucky Derby runner-up Hard Spun.

Dam: Society Man is the first stakes-placed runner from the mare You Cheated, a daughter of multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire Colonel John, who finished sixth in the 2008 Kentucky Derby and was purchased by South Korean breeding interests in 2016. 

Top Brisnet Speed: 102
Top Brisnet Late Pace: 95