(Originally from the March 9, 2013 issue of The Blood-Horse)
by Anne Peters
On Feb. 7, Darley announced the retirement of Quiet American, its 27-year-old son of Fappiano. Ten days later Quiet American's great-grandson Shakin It Up put himself on the classic trail with a win in the San Vicente Stakes (gr. II) going seven furlongs at Santa Anita Park. Only time will tell if Shakin It Up makes it into the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), but what does his pedigree suggest?
Quiet American's branch of the Mr. Prospector male line has produced more American classic winners than any other so far. These include Unbridled, Grindstone, Birdstone , Mine That Bird, Summer Bird, Empire Maker, Victory Gallop, and Quiet American's son Real Quiet, the grandsire of Shakin It Up.
Owned by Mike Pegram and trained by Bob Baffert, the same team racing Shakin It Up (with partner Dennis Cardoza), Real Quiet was champion 3-year-old male of 1998, and won that year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) before losing the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) by a nose to another Fappiano grandson, Victory Gallop (by Cryptoclearance). This is still the closest anyone has come to a Triple Crown since Affirmed won the series in 1978.
Real Quiet's dam, Really Blue, was a daughter of Believe It (third in the '78 Derby and Preakness to Affirmed and Alydar), a good-racing son of In Reality, so Real Quiet was bred similarly to Unbridled, a direct son of Fappiano whose second dam was by In Reality. Going to stud in Kentucky, Real Quiet was unfortunately not a solid commercial success. His breakout year was 2007 with the top older filly Pussycat Doll, and a new star named Midnight Lute , the sire of Shakin It Up. Both Pussycat Doll and Midnight Lute were owned or co-owned by Pegram. Real Quiet was moved to Pennsylvania in 2008 and died there in a freak paddock accident in September 2010.
Midnight Lute, the Eclipse Award-winning male sprinter in 2007, won back-to-back runnings of the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) in 2007-08 and retired to Hill 'n' Dale Farms in Kentucky in 2009. He never won beyond seven furlongs, but his connections insist his stamina limitations were due to a recurring throat problem, and his pedigree suggests they're right. His sire won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, which should be enough. His dam, the unraced Candytuft, was by 1993's champion 2-year-old male Dehere, who was really brilliant when he was right but bled in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I; won by Brocco) and broke down prepping for the Florida Derby (gr. I). His longest successful trip was the Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) at 1 1/6 miles.
Candytuft's dam was Bolt From the Blue, who won a division of the La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. IIIT), run at about 12 furlongs at Calder. Her sire, Blue Times, was a good router on dirt and turf, and was by Olden Times, who won the Met Mile and San Juan Capistrano handicaps. Bolt From the Blue's dam was Berkut, winner of the Premio Baggio over 10 furlongs in Italy, and sired by the great Epsom Derby/Arc winner Sea-Bird II. The next dam, Midnight Lute's fourth dam, was Feria II, winner of the Italian Oaks and St. Leger Italiano, so stamina clearly runs along Midnight Lute's female line.
Midnight Lute's first crop debuted last year, and he ended the year in seventh place on the freshman sire list by progeny earnings, with 11 winners including the filly Midnight Ballet. Winner of the Sharp Cat Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park last year, Midnight Ballet is out of an Unbridled's Song mare, so is inbred 4x4 to Fappiano.
Shakin It Up is Midnight Lute's second stakes winner and is a homebred for Pegram. The colt is out of the unraced mare Silver Bullet Moon, by Vindication, out of another Pegram runner, Silverbulletday, the best filly of her crop at 2 and 3, with wins that included the 10-furlong Alabama Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Race Course.
Vindication was the champion 2-year-old male of his year, winning the 2002 Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile when it was run at nine furlongs at Arlington Park. He didn't race past 2 due to a suspensory injury, but his record and pedigree suggest he could have handled the classic distances. He was one of the last good ones sired by 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, out of a mare by Strawberry Road, a top international turf stayer.
Silverbulletday is by Silver Deputy, who only raced at 2 but sired a pretty versatile group including Silverbulletday, the champion sprinter Deputy Inxs, top miler Posse (the leading sire in New York for 2012), and Queen's Plate winner Archers Bay. Her dam was by Tom Rolfe, a great stamina influence, and the next dam was a half sister to Arts and Letters, who won the Jockey Club Gold Cup when that event was still run at two miles.
So Shakin It Up's pedigree is full of brilliance and class of the highest order. The only thing that might initially appear to shorten it up is his 4x4 inbreeding to Deputy Minister, through his precocious sons Dehere and Silver Deputy. Don't worry about that, because while Deputy Minister won two seven-furlong stakes and the nine-furlong Donn Handicap (gr. I) at 4, his influence has evolved into something more toward the middle distances, so this should only help Shakin It Up in his quest for a classic win.