Large-scale horseracing events, watched by millions of spectators around the globe, feature only the fastest and most charismatic thoroughbreds. In races like the Kentucky Derby, featured horses have conquered prep races where they have earned points they could use to qualify in the Kentucky Derby. What’s more, these thoroughbreds were trained by some of the legendary trainers in the industry. Of course, top breeders in the country also contributed to the amassed wins of the horses. The Kentucky Derby is set to happen this coming May 6, and fans can’t wait to witness the “Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports.” Let’s learn more about the leading horses in the Run for the Roses and the breeders that helped them become champions.
South Gate Farm (Forte)
Located in North Canton, Ohio, the South Gate Farm is one of the most decorated breeders in American horseracing. It is owned by Amy Moore, a private lawyer and a trial attorney with the Federal Defenders of Eastern Washington and Idaho. In 2015, Judge Moore bought the South Gate Farm. Her first horse on the farm was Queen Caroline, with a price tag of $170,000. Forte was the first foal of Queen Caroline. He was sold for $110,000 to Mike Repole and Vinnie Viola.
The South Gate Farm bred Forte, the aspiring Kentucky Derby winner and the expected morning line odds favorite in the Kentucky Derby. The dark bay colt is also among the heavily wagered FanDuel contenders, along with the other thoroughbred we are going to mention here.
Chad Brown & Head of Plains Partners (Practical Move)
Chad Brown is a renowned American horse trainer who has earned Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. Some notable horses that went through his drilling were Practical Joke, Lady Eli, Good Magic, Stacelita, Big Bleu Kitten, and Awesome Feather.
Meanwhile, it’s mentioned multiple times in many articles that Head of Plains Partners is owned by Sol Kumin. The breeding farm earned a total of $614,500 in 2022. It has produced 22 firsts, 20 seconds, and 16 thirds. Popular bay gelding Staywalkin’ Dude and chestnut gelding Winter Springs are among the produced horses of Head of Plains Partners. Practical Move, who was trailing Forte in the Kentucky Derby leaderboard ranking, was bred by Chad Brown and Head of Plains Partners.
Forgotten Land Investment Inc. & Black Diamond Equine Corp. (Angel of Empire)
Forgotten Land Investment Inc. & Black Diamond Equine Corp bred Angel of Empire in Kentucky. The colt was sold for $70,000 to Albaugh Family Stable. Forgotten Land Investment Inc. also bred Gambler’s Run, Hip 473, and Map of Life. Black Diamond Equine Corp., on the other side, started as a farm that breeds Freisian horses. Later, the farm ventured into breeding runners and hosting events like horse camps, birthday parties, and equine-assisted learning.
Angel of Empire, bred by the two farms mentioned above, was a promising Kentucky Derby contestant. The bay colt has earned 154 points to qualify for the first leg of the Triple Crown Series. The thoroughbred has earned $1,026,375 in stakes earnings and continues to boost its income by racing as a three-year-old.
Gainesway Thoroughbreds Ltd. (Tapit Trice)
Tapit Trice, a gray colt Kentucky Derby aspirant, was bred by Gainesway Thoroughbreds Ltd. The horse recently won the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes in Keeneland and the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby in Tampa Bay Downs.
Gainesway Thoroughbreds Ltd. has a long history of producing remarkable stallions that have sired multiple racing champions. Some of the iconic stallions from this breeder were Drain the Clock, Karakontie, McKinzie, Olympiad, Raging Bull, Spun to Run, Tapit, Tapwrit, and Afleet Alex.
Tapit Trice was the offspring of Tapit and Danzatrice, a multiple-stakes winner. The legendary Todd Pletcher trained him and was racing for Whisper Hill Farm, LLC and Gainesway Stable.
Patricia’s Hope LLC and Sagan, Phillip (Two Phil’s)
Patricia’s Hope LLC and Sagan, Phillip has four firsts, one second, and one third in the 2022 and 2023 racing seasons. Its current earnings have reached $683,450. In 2023 alone, this breeder earned $488,000, while we are still in the year’s first quarter.
Two Phil’s, a chestnut colt number five in the Kentucky Derby leaderboard ranking, was bred by Patricia’s Hope LLC and Sagan, Phillip. Two Phil’s has a total of $643,850 stakes earnings. He recently won the Jeff Ruby Steaks at Turfway Park last March 25, 2023. The colt also finished third in the Siden Star S. last February 18, 2023, at the Fair Grounds.
Before this, Two Phil’s also placed second in the Lecomte Stakes at Fair Grounds last January 21, 2023. He raced at Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby’s venue, and placed first during the Street Sense Stakes last October 20, 2022.
While pedigree is scientifically proven to influence a horse’s racing skills, shaping specific traits like the running style and physical build, other factors like trainers and breeders also significantly contribute to a horse’s success in racing. We have mentioned the top breeders and the horses they have produced. From here, we hope you have a hint about who to back in the 2023 Kentucky Derby!