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Kentucky Derby Contenders Pedigree Analysis: Proxy
Proxy (Credit: Hodges Photography)

Kentucky Derby Contenders Pedigree Analysis: Proxy

With the Kentucky Derby (G1) less than 6 weeks away, I’m back for my second year of analyzing some of the top contenders’ pedigrees.

This week’s subject: Proxy

A Godolphin homebred with a career record of 5-2-3-0 and $187,700 earned so far, he’s yet to win a Kentucky Derby (G1) prep race but seems to be knocking on the door of such an accomplishment. Trainer Mike Stidham is currently without a major Derby prep win in his career.

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Kentucky Derby Ranking

Proxy is currently fourth in the Kentucky Derby point standings with 24. He earned those finishing a close second in both the Lecomte Stakes (G3) and theRisen Star Stakes (G2) at Fair Grounds, the latter of which was won by last week’s subject, Mandaloun.

Most people have Proxy on their Kentucky Derby contenders radar, but until he proves that he can win a graded stakes, he most likely won’t be seen among the top 5. If Proxy wins the 2021 Kentucky Derby, he’ll be just the second horse to do so after finishing second in the Risen Star; Country House was second back in 2019

Let’s see if Proxy’s pedigree has what it takes come the first Saturday in May.

Sire Profile

Tapit

Major career wins: 2003 Laurel Futurity (G3), 2004 Wood Memorial (G1)

Tapit had a short yet successful racing career that is often overlooked due to his tremendous success as a stallion. His career record of 6-3-0-0 included the 2004 Wood Memorial (G1), and while his 2004 Run for the Roses didn’t go nearly as well (he finished a distant ninth to Smarty Jones), his career as a stallion has more than made up for it.

With a bloodline that includes Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew and the breed-shaping Mr. Prospector on both the sire and the dam sides of the family, it’s no surprise how impactful Tapit became as a stallion. Currently standing at Gainsway for $185,000, Tapit has sired 27 Grade 1 winners and had over 30 yearlings sell for at least $1 million at auction.

While the best that his sons have done in the Kentucky Derby was Tacitus’ third in 2019, he’s the grandsire of the 2020 runner-up Tiz the Law, and Tapit’s greatest Triple Crown impact has come in the Belmont Stakes (G1). Since 2014, Tapit-sired horses have a record of 10-3-2-2 in the Belmont, with wins coming from Tonalist (2014), Creator (2015), and Tapwrit (2017).

With all of Tapit’s success as a sire, it seems like only a matter of time before he finally sires a Kentucky Derby winner. Could Proxy be the one? 

Dam Profile

Panty Raid  

Major career wins: 2007 Black-Eyed Susan (G2), 2007 American Oaks Invitational (G1), 2007 Juddemonte Spinster (G1).

Panty Raid finished her racing career with a record of 10-5-1-1 that included 3 graded stakes wins, and of those, 2 were Grade 1s at 1 1/8 and 1 1/4 miles.  Not only was she able to run at a high level, but she did so at the classic distance, a positive sign for Proxy’s backers. While her bloodline doesn’t jump off the page at first glance, it’s sneaky good for aspiring routers.

Her sire Include was a multiple graded stakes victor in the 2001 New Orleans Handicap (G2) at 1 1/8 miles and the 2001 Pimlico Special (G1) at 1 3/16 miles. Her full sister St. John’s River retired with a record of 10-2-5-2, highlighted by winning the 2011 Delaware Oaks (G2) and finishing second in the 2011 Kentucky Oaks (G1).

As a broodmare, Panty Raid has had eight foals and five that raced. Of those who made a starting gate, four found victory, including multiple turf stakes winner Micheline (the 2019 Sorority, the 2020 Honey Ryder, and the 2020 Dueling Ground Oaks). Panty Raid has yet to have a foal win a dirt stakes, a bit concerning considering the number of foals she’s produced, but Proxy has been close twice. Stamina is not an issue for her foals, as Proxy and Micheline have shown.

Panty Raid was bred to Frosted in 2021, a positive sign that Godolphin is continuing to breed her to one of their newer top stallions.

Proxy (blue silks) finishes second in the Lecomte while racing between Midnight Bourbon (1) and Mandaloun (Credit: Hodges Photography)

Overall, I think Proxy is one of those horses who may get up for a piece in the Kentucky Derby, but from what we’ve seen so far, I’m not sure he’s good enough to win. There’s still plenty of time for him to improve, which his pedigree suggests he should continue to do, so if he stays healthy, he has the potential to make a lot of noise in this crop.

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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