Santa Anita Derby (gr. I)
(gr. I , 9f ,)
Benchmark Miss Soft Sell , by Siyah Kalem
BMary H. Caldwell, CA.; OCecil N. Peacock; TDan L. Hendricks
Point Given Merengue , by Broad Brush
BRobert N. Clay, MD.; ORobert B. and Beverly J. Lewis Trust; TBob Baffert
A. P. Warrior
(DK B/ h,
A.P. Indy Warrior Queen , by Quiet American
BJim Fleming, KY.; OStan E. Fulton; TJohn A. Shirreffs
Brother Derek’s straight and sturdy march toward Churchill Downs continued uninterrupted at Santa Anita April 8 with a 31/4-length gate-to-wire win in the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I). Putting away four foes, including place and show finisher Point Determined and A. P. Warrior, the 3-year-old Benchmark colt left no doubt about his abilities in what was likely his final tune-up before the May 6 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) presented by Yum! Brands.
Brother Derek races for Calgary, Alberta, Canada oil and energy businessman Cecil Peacock. So far, he’s carried his owner’s colorful silks to five graded stakes wins and earnings of $1,162,080. His current run of four straight graded wins began with the Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) in December and was followed by 2006 wins in the San Rafael (gr. II) and Santa Catalina (gr. II) Stakes.
Foaled at Patricia Youngman’s Pepper Oaks Farm near Santa Ynez, Calif., Brother Derek was raised at his breeder Mary Caldwell’s farm near Eagle Point, Ore. Tom Caldwell, once director of auctions at Keeneland, bred Brother Derek’s first three female generations. The unraced Siyah Kalem mare Miss Soft Sell produced Brother Derek on the last day of March 2003.
Mary Caldwell consigned Brother Derek through Brookdale Sales, agent, to the 2004 Keeneland September yearling sale. John Brocklebank, agent, bought the colt there for $150,000. Peacock, through trainer Dan Hendricks, went to $275,000 for the colt at the Barretts March sale of 2-year-olds in training from the consignment of B.C.3. Thoroughbreds, agent for Timberline.
The Santa Anita Derby winner is inbred 3x4 to Raise a Native. That son of Native Dancer appears on the top half of Brother Derek’s pedigree as the sire of Alydar, Brother Derek’s grandsire, and on the bottom half as the sire of Miss Soft Sell’s grandsire, Mr. Prospector.
Brother Derek’s female side contains the stamina influence of Graustark, a son of Ribot who begat another California-based runner, Avatar, who won the 1975 Santa Anita Derby and Belmont Stakes (both gr. I) for Texas breeder/owner Arthur “Buddy” Seeligson.
Miss Soft Sell also produced Don’tsellmeshort, a stakes-winning full brother to Brother Derek who raced for Peacock; and the stakes-placed Swiss Yodeler filly Swissle Stick, a $600,000 Barretts March graduate of 2004 who was a winner last year for the late Robert Lewis and his wife, Beverly.
Miss Soft Sell has an unnamed 2-year-old full brother to Swissle Stick. Her 2005 foal by Silver Charm died.
Benchmark, sire of nine other stakes winners, is also represented in 2006 by El Encino Stakes (gr. II) winner Proposed. Benchmark stands for $10,000 at Martin and Pam Wygod’s River Edge Farm near Buellton, Calif.—P.V.S.