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With the Kentucky Derby (G1) less than 8 weeks away, I’m back for my second year of analyzing some of the top contenders’ pedigrees.
This week’s subject: Concert Tour.
This undefeated Bob Baffert trainee has been sensational in all 3 career starts and will try to give owners/breeders Gary and Mary West their first official Kentucky Derby win and Baffert his record-setting seventh Run for the Roses.
Concert Tour is currently fourth in the Kentucky Derby point standings with 50 points that he earned by dominating the Rebel Stakes (G2). If Concert Tour wins the Kentucky Derby, then he’ll be the first since 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah to take both. He’d also be just the second horse since 1882 to win the Kentucky Derby as an unraced juvenile; the only other one to do it was Baffert’s Justify, the 2018 Triple Crown winner.
Most experts have Concert Tour in the top five of their Kentucky Derby rankings, including the Racing Dudes who have him as a co-number two with Essential Quality, right behind another Baffert trainee, Life Is Good.
Let’s see if Concert Tour’s pedigree has what it takes come the first Saturday in May.
Major career wins: 2006 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), 2007 Tampa Bay Derby (G3), 2007 Kentucky Derby (G1), 2007 Jim Dandy Stakes (G2), 2007 Travers Stakes (G1)
Street Sense was the first horse to ever win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and the Kentucky Derby, a feat that many figured would never happen. With a career record of 13-6-4-2 and over $4.3 million in earnings, Street Sense was part of the legendary 2007 3-year-old class that included both Curlin and Hard Spun. While he was very successful and consistent on the track, his stallion career has been hit or miss.
Sired by 2002 Dubai World Cup (G1) winner Street Cry, Street Sense’s excellent bloodlines extend back to Mr. Prospector on his sire side. His dam side can be traced back through Kentucky Derby winners Northern Dancer and Native Dancer. Despite his success and pedigree, however, Street Sense has yet to make a serious impact as a sire on the Triple Crown trail. Ocho Ocho Ocho (14th in the 2015 edition) is to date his only starter, though in recent years, his offspring been a bit unlucky with injuries. McKinzie won the 2018 San Felipe (G2) before injuries forced him to miss the entire Triple Crown trail, and just last year, Maxfield couldn’t stay healthy long enough to make the gate, despite the Kentucky Derby being pushed 3 months.
Concert Tour seems to be Street Sense’s only chance to make this year’s Kentucky Derby starting gate.
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Major career wins: None
Purse Strings wasn’t fantastic on the race track, finishing her career with a record of 12-1-6-2 while only ever running in Maiden Special Weight races, and never lived up to the $240,000 price that the Wests paid at the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale. The Wests held onto her as a broodmare prospect because she’s by elite sire Tapit, father of Essential Quality and Proxy, among others. While none of her siblings were successful, Purse Strings’ dam My Red Porsche can trace her bloodlines back several generations to the great Bold Ruler, sire of the 1973 Triple Crown champion Secretariat.
Purse Strings has foaled three horses, two who’ve raced; both won. Concert Tour is by far the more successful of the two with already over $750k in earnings, but his older half-brother Catholic Guilt (by Hard Spun) broke his maiden at Oaklawn Park the day after Concert Tour romped in the Rebel. Purse Strings also has an unnamed colt sired by Lookin At Lucky and was bred this year to American Freedom. She might not be visiting the very top stallions, but with Concert Tour’s success, she’s a broodmare to watch in the near future.
Overall, Concert Tour looks like the total package and is a serious contender for the Kentucky Derby. He’s already shown in his short 3-race career that he has a versatile running style, and after what he did in the Rebel, he answered any doubts about his ability to handle two turns. Concert Tour’s next start will likely be the Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park, where he should be the favorite, and if he wins, then Baffert could have the two top betting choices in the Kentucky Derby (along with Life Is Good). Bob Baffert did this in 2015 with American Pharoah and Dortmund, who finished first and third, respectively.
Let me know what you think!
Vinny Blond is a New York-based handicapper who is one half of Real Dynasty Picks. Follow him on Twitter @PicksByDynasty.
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