It just goes to prove that pedigree doesn't mean everything. Kona Gold, the 2001 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) winner, has blazing speed, yet his sire and damsire both were distance horses. Go figure.
Kona Gold is one of only 16 stakes winners sired by Java Gold, who didn't make it in the U.S. After seven seasons at Lane's End Farm in Kentucky, he was sold to stand in Germany at Gestut Ammerland. A great grandson of Ribot, Java Gold won four grade I races, two at 1 1/4 miles, the Travers and Marlboro Cup Invitational Handicap, both as a 3-year-old. Java Gold's sire, Key to the Mint, won the 12-furlong Woodward Stakes; his broodmare sire, Nijinsky II, is well known as a stamina influence in pedigrees.
Kona Gold's broodmare sire, Slew o' Gold, is a son of Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew. Slew o' Gold was a two-time winner of the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) at 1 1/2 miles. Perhaps the pedigree simply underscores the influence of Kona Gold's fourth dam, Grey Flight, as a major producer. She is the fourth dam of Kona Gold. She also is the third dam of 1995 Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) winner Inside Information. In all, the great mare Grey Flight produced nine stakes winners: Misty Morn (two-time champion), What a Pleasure (two-time leading sire), Full Flight, Misty Flight, Misty Day, Gray Phantom, Signore, Bold Queen, and Bold Princess.
Kona Gold's dam, Double Sunrise, was bred by the Chief's Crown Breeding Syndicate and was winless in three starts. Her first foal, Sundial (by Rahy), was a claimer who ground out earnings of $111,428, and her second offspring, Shotanabeeer (by Cure the Blues), managed only one win in 18 starts. Her only other foal to race, Suntee (by Lil E. Tee), showed more class, winning twice at Gulfstream Park last year.
Double Sunrise has a yearling filly by Mountain Cat named Kona Kat, and this year produced a filly by Woodman that has been named Kona Oak. Kona Gold's second dam, the Majestic Light mare How High the Moon, produced only three foals, her other two offspring both winners. Kona Gold may be able to run six furlongs in 1:07.77, which he did in last year's Sprint at Churchill Downs. But where he gets his speed from is anyone's guess.