Young Sires All the Rage in This Year's Derby

Few things create more excitement for a stallion than having a Kentucky Derby (gr. I) contender from the first crop of foals. If you doubt it, look at the last three sires who sired a Derby winner from their first crop: Unbridled, a Derby winner himself who sired 1996 winner Grindstone; Maria's Mon, sire of 2001 winner Monarchos; and Distorted Humor , whose son Funny Cide won in 2003.

Unlike 2004, when stallions with first-crop members were sparsely represented, this year's group is loaded with them. Chief among these is Fusaichi Pegasus , the 2000 Derby winner. The son of Mr. Prospector has one of the favorites in Bandini, as well as Andromeda's Hero. Bandini attracted considerable attention with a six-length win in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I).

Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky., where Fusachi Pegasus stands, also has a cheering section for Giant's Causeway . The son of Storm Cat is represented in this year's Derby by Noble Causeway, runner-up in the Florida Derby (gr. I).

A victory by Noble Causeway would be icing on the cake for Giant's Causeway, as he already has achieved distinction as a "classic sire." His son Footstepsinthesand won the Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) April 30. A day later, his daughter Maids Causeway ran second in the One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I).

Successful Appeal , last year's leading freshman sire by progeny earnings, has one of his stakes winners from 2004 ready to do battle in this year's Derby. His son Closing Argument won the Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) and ran third in the Blue Grass. Successful Appeal, by Valid Appeal, stands at Walmac Farm near Lexington.

Several other stallions also will be trying to hit the big time with first-crop members. Stephen Got Even, by A.P. Indy, is the sire of Derby Trail Stakes winner Don't Get Mad. Stephen Got Even holds court at Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky.

Another son of A.P. Indy, Golden Missile, who stands at Adena Springs Kentucky near Midway, is the sire of Derby contender Going Wild. Anees, the deceased son of Unbridled who stood at Mill Ridge Farm near Lexington, is the sire of Coin Silver, the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) winner.

Not all the sires call Kentucky home. Intidab, a son of Phone Trick who stands at Gallagher's Stud near Ghent, N.Y., is the sire of Greater Good, a two-time stakes winner at Oaklawn Park. Florida stallion Sweetsouthernsaint is the sire of Santa Anita Derby (gr. I)-second General John B. A son of Saint Ballado, Sweetsouthernsaint stands at Ocala Stud Farm.