Ren Carothers’ Pedigree Play: Sirelines and ‘The Kingmaker’

Ren Carothers’ Pedigree Play: Sirelines and ‘The Kingmaker’

Our #Pedigeek “Term of the Week” is:


First, just let me write about how incredibly frustrating it is to think the horse I’m going to feature is going to be a nice price on the morning line, only for it to come out and he’s, surprise, the 2-1 morning-line favorite. Oof! That typed, I am hoping, come post time, we will see this colt enter the starting gate offering a bit more value.

Yes, I’m writing about the Ian Wilkes first-time starter Bourbon Resolve in Saturday’s opening race at Saratoga Race Course. Of course, no 2-year-old is a lock. So, play if you feel the odds suit you. Wilkes is not known as a trainer who looks for his horses to win first out, but this boy has a pedigree which is hard to ignore, which may well explain the oddsmaker installing him at a short price.

Northern Dancer, a dual Hall of Famer, was Canadian champion 2-year-old male in 1963 and the 1964 champion 3-year-old male both in the United States and Canada, where he was also named Horse of the Year. His many wins included the first two legs of our U.S. Triple Crown (setting a track record in the Kentucky Derby), in addition to the Queen’s Plate. He would come to be called “the Kingmaker” as a stallion, and is represented in both the direct sireline and broodmare sireline of Bourbon Resolve.

Bourbon Resolve’s sire (father), Hard Spun, is by Northern Dancer’s blistering-fast son Danzig. Bourbon Resolve’s dam (mother), All Mettle, is by Touch Gold, which makes Touch Gold his broodmare sire (maternal grandfather). Touch Gold’s own father, Deputy Minister, was champion 2-year-old male both in the United States and Canada. Deputy Minister’s sire, Vice Regent, was a son of Northern Dancer, and a full-brother (same sire, same dam) to 1968 Canadian champion 2-year-old male and Horse of the Year Viceregal.

There is another instance of Northern Dancer within five generations of Bourbon Resolve’s pedigree apart from the direct sire and broodmare sirelines, as Touch Gold’s maternal grandmother, Cool Mood, is one of Northern Dancer’s daughters. But, again, this article focuses on the direct male lines, so, to re-illustrate:

Bourbon Resolve’s father, Hard Spun, is by Danzig, by Northern Dancer. Bourbon Resolve’s mother, All Mettle, is by Touch Gold, by Deputy Minister, by Vice Regent, by Northern Dancer.

I would also be remiss not to mention a few other pedigree notes, as this boy did drop the hammer at $200,000 as a yearling for good reason. His mother is a half-sibling (same dam, different sire) to multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire Dads Caps, who won two editions of the Carter Handicap. She is also a half-sibling to another multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire in Paulassilverlining, whose wins include the Madison and Humana Distaff Stakes. Both Dads Caps and Paulassilverlining are also by stallions representing Northern Dancer sirelines. The former is by Discreet Cat, by Forestry, by Storm Cat, by Storm Bird, by Northern Dancer. The latter is by Ghostzapper, by Awesome Again, by Deputy Minister, by Vice Regent, by Northern Dancer.

The ”Kingmaker” indeed …

Saturday, July 30

Saratoga Race Course, Race 1, Maiden Special Weight, 2-year-olds, 5 1/2 furlongs, 1:05 p.m. ET

#6 Bourbon Resolve

Trainer: Ian Wilkes

Jockey: Dylan Davis