Take a popular husband and wife who have already known the thrill of owning two Kentucky Derby-Preakness (both gr. I) winners and the agony of two close Belmont (gr. I) defeats. Add one of the most colorful and controversial trainers of modern times, and throw in the hottest commercial sire living. Add a French connection with an international flair, and what do you have?
The colt who pulls all these elements together is aptly named Consolidator. A son of Storm Cat
who is trained by D. Wayne Lukas for owners Bob and Beverly Lewis, he also seems to be getting it together on the track at the right time as demonstrated by a powerful victory in the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II) March 19.
Storm Cat, of course, hardly needs introduction. The leading American sire of 1999 and 2000, he is one of the greatest speed sires in history with a record-breaking seven juvenile sire titles to his credit. One thing he does not have, however, is a Derby winner. Although he usually has several colts among the leading Triple Crown prospects each year, the best finish by a Storm Cat in the Derby has been Cat Thief's third-place effort in 1999. (Two grandsons have done better, with Menifee and Lion Heart running second in 1999 and 2004, respectively.)
Storm Cat boasts a completely North American pedigree through the first three generations. Consolidator's dam Good Example, on the other hand, has an intriguingly international pedigree that pulls together elements from four continents and provides some bottom to go with Storm Cat's speed.
Winner of the 1988 Prix des Reservoirs (Fr-III) as a juvenile, Good Example is by two-time Prix d'Ispahan (Fr-I) winner Crystal Glitters, an American-bred but French-raced son of French champion Blushing Groom. Crystal Glitters was exported to Japan after beginning his stud career in France and is perhaps best known to North American racegoers as the sire of Dear Doctor, winner of the 1992 Arlington Million (gr. IT).
Good Example was produced from Divona, a half-sister to four stakes winners produced from the 1967 Kentucky Oaks winner Nancy Jr. Nancy Jr. was, in turn, by Tim Tam, the seventh of the eight Kentucky Derby winners produced by Calumet Farm and a useful sire, particularly of broodmares. His partner in producing Nancy Jr. was Bank Account, a stakes-winning daughter of 1942 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner Shut Out.
The female family of Nancy Jr. traces to the 1927 Irish Oaks winner Cinq a Sept, ancestress of the immortal Secretariat and the European champion Alleged. Perhaps oddly for the family of two such splendid stayers, this is also the female line of two-time world champion racing Quarter Horse Dash for Cash, a great-great-grandson of Secretariat's granddam Imperatrice.
Divona's sire, two-time champion handicapper Nodouble, won nine stakes at distances from eight to 10 furlongs and led the American general sire list in 1981. His sire, Australian Horse of the Year Noholme II, was also a successful sire in North America, reaching as high as third on the general sire list. Nodouble was produced from Abla-Jay, a daughter of Double Jay whose dam Ablamucha brings a South American touch to the pedigree. She was by Don Bingo, an Argentine import who won the 1943 Suburban Handicap for Bing Crosby and Lin Howard (son of Seabiscuit's owner Charles Howard) before proving a complete failure as a sire.
As good as Consolidator looked in the San Felipe, he will still need to keep moving forward if he is to win the Derby. He will also have to demonstrate that he can get 10 furlongs, something that is possible but by no means certain given his pedigree. If the stamina is there, he has already shown that he has the speed and willingness to complete the package.