Close menu
Kentucky Derby Contenders Pedigree Analysis: Known Agenda
Known Agenda winning the Florida Derby (Credit: Coglianese Photos / Derbe Glass)

Kentucky Derby Contenders Pedigree Analysis: Known Agenda

With the Kentucky Derby (G1) less than 5 weeks away, I’m back for my second year of analyzing some of the top contenders’ pedigrees.

This week’s subject: Known Agenda

The St. Elias Stable homebred currently sports a career record of 6-3-1-1 under trainer Todd Pletcher. Known Agenda has already earned over $500,000, and since adding blinkers, he’s been a perfect 2-for-2.

Kentucky Derby Ranking

Known Agenda is currently third in the Kentucky Derby point standings with 102 points, with 100 of those earned for winning the Florida Derby (G1). After terrible performances in the Remsen Stakes (G2) and the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3), many wrote off Known Agenda as a serious Kentucky Derby contender. However, after adding blinkers and cruising to an 1-length win in an allowance race, Pletcher took another shot to earn his way into the Kentucky Derby stating gate and he delivered. 

Now with 2 strong wins in a row, Known Agenda has entered the conversation, but let’s see if Known Agenda’s pedigree has what it takes come the first Saturday in May.

Sire Profile


Major career wins: 2007 Rebel Stakes (G3), 2007 Arkansas Derby (G2), 2007 Preakness Stakes (G1), 2007 Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes (G1), 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), 2008 Dubai World Cup (G1), 2008 Stephen Foster Handicap (G1), 2008 Woodward Stakes (G1), 2008 Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes (G1)

Finishing with a career record of 16-11-2-2 and over $10 million in earnings, Curlin can be summed up in one word: Brilliant. He’s one of only six horses to ever win at least one leg of the Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup Classic in the same year (along with A. P. Indy, American Pharoah, Authentic, Unbridled, and Sunday Silence). While Curlin failed to win the Kentucky Derby in 2007 (finishing third to Street Sense, sire of Concert Tour), he won his next 5 starts while going 1 1/4 miles and ended his career with a record of 7-5-0-1 at the distance. Yet as dominating as Curlin was while racing, he’s done just as well as a stallion.

With a bloodline that includes the great Mr. Prospector on his sire side and Deputy Minister on his dam side, it is no surprise that Curlin has had major success as a stallion, especially in the Triple Crown races. Since his first crop in 2012, Curlin has sired 8 Kentucky Derby starters, and while none have won, both Exaggerator (2016) and Good Magic (2018) finished second.

Curlin has sired winners of both the Preakness (G1) and Belmont (G1), with Exaggerator winning the 2016 Preakness and Palace Malice taking the Belmont in 2013. Including Exaggerator and Palace Malice, Curlin has sired 12 different G1 winners, including 2019 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Vino Rosso and Keen Ice, the only horse to defeat Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in 2015 (the Travers Stakes [G1]).

While Known Agenda appears to be Curlin’s only chance to add the Kentucky Derby to his already impressive stallion resume, it seems unlikely that he will be his last chance.

Dam Profile


Major career wins: 2013 Vanity Handicap (G1)

Byrama finished her racing career with a record of 29-5-7-0 which was highlighted by winning the 2013 Vanity Handicap over a synthetic track at the now-closed Hollywood Park. During her career, she only made 1 start on dirt, and all 5 wins came on either turf or synthetic. At first glance, North American racing fans are likely unfamiliar with this English-bred’s pedigree, but familiar names and bloodlines appear upon a closer look. Her sire Byron’s bloodlines include both Mr. Prospector and Northern Dancer, and her dam Aymara also descends from Mr. Prospector. Based on her racing career and her bloodlines, her foals could handle the Kentucky Derby distance of 1 1/4 miles.

As a broodmare, Byrama has not found any success outside of Known Agenda. Of her 5 total foals, 3 have raced, but only Known Agenda has won. St. Elias Stable kept Known Agenda and another foal, Play the Kid, who was sired by Tapit. The other foals sold at auction, but for only a combined $88k, which compared to other broodmares of 2021 Kentucky Derby contenders is on the low end.

In 2021, Byrama bred to Kitten’s Joy, one of North America’s leading turf sires.   

Known Agenda winning the Florida Derby (Credit: Coglianese Photos)

Overall, I think Known Agenda is on the outside looking in of my Kentucky Derby win contender bubble. His running style of making one big move and grinding away at the leaders is a running style that has not done well in recent runnings of the Kentucky Derby. He’s peaking at the right time, though, so depending on how the Blue Grass Stakes (G2), Santa Anita Derby (G1), and the Wood Memorial (G2) go this weekend, he could easily become elevated to a win contender.

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.

Join the Inner Circle

Sign up for exclusive 10% discount on orders, plus be the first to access our daily free and premium horse racing picks, articles, podcasts, and more!

Sign Up