Classic Potential: Roses in May

By Carly Silver
The Kentucky Derby (gr. I) is considered by many to be American racing's greatest day. It is one of the most prestigious equine prizes in the world, and it is the ultimate dream for many of Thoroughbred racing's prominent owners, including Ken and Sarah Ramsey.

This duo, also owner of turf sensation Kitten's Joy, even named one of their horses after their Derby dreams-Roses in May. Now, having won the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) and Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II), and with a superior distance pedigree and performance, Roses in May is poised to prove a major factor in American racing's other top race -- the Breeder's Cup Classic-Powered By Dodge (gr. I).

Roses in May is by five-time grade I winner Devil His Due, also sire of Withers (gr. III) winner Spite the Devil and Puerto Rican group I winner Voluntariosa. Devil His Due is by Devil's Bag out of San Clemente Stakes winner Plenty O'Toole, granddam of grade III winner Griffinite. Plenty O'Toole's dam was Li'l Puss, who was by Leonard Richards Stakes winner Noble Jay, who was in turn sired by champion Double Jay. Li'l Puss' dam was Li'l Sis, who also foaled Jim Dandy winner Brazen Brother. Li'l Puss was also the second dam of Landaluce Stakes (gr. III) winner Distinctive Sis, and was from Radio Time. Radio Time also foaled Great American Stakes winner Li'l Fella, and was out of Lull, by Bull Dog.

Lull also foaled stakes winner Albatross, a veteran of 210 starts, and Sanford Stakes winner Detective, and was the granddam of Flash Stakes and Pimlico Futurity winner Missile and Palos Verdes Handicap winner History Book. Lull was out of Luscinia, ancestress of Champagne Stakes winner Marine Victory, Knickerbocker Handicap winner Dance Despoir, champion Godswalk, and multiple group I winner Handsome Halo. Luscinia's dam was Shad Fly, granddam of Latonia Oaks winner Banner Bright and fifth dam of Washington Park Handicap winner Staunch Avenger. Shad Fly was a half-sister to Midge, dam of Belmont winner Luke McLuke and stakes winner Pandean, and to Mosquito, ancestress of top handicapper Sting.

This line traces to Martha Lynn, dam of Epsom Derby winner Voltigeur, also a top sire. He fathered classic winner Vedette, also a two-time winner of the Doncaster Cup; Doncaster Cup winner Sabreur; and Ascot Gold Cup winner Skirmisher. Martha Lynn traced to the Hyacinthus Mare, third dam of Oaks winner Industry and fourth dam of July Stakes winner Spindle. The Hyacinthus Mare was the ancestress of Alope, dam of Ascot Gold Cup winner Foxlaw and ancestress of many top horses.

Roses in May was foaled from Tell a Secret, also dam of Bayou Handicap winner Lismore Lass. Tell a Secret's dam was multiple stakes winner Secret Retreat, by Clandestine, winner of the San Carlos Handicap. Secret Retreat, dam of Tell a Secret, was out of Retirement. Retirement also produced stakes winners Burt Lake and Toil No More. Retirement's dam was Marie J., by Xalapa Clown. Marie J. also was the third dam of stakes winner Marine Fox. The next dam in the lineage was stakes winner Marie Jean, dam of stakes winners Scipio and Mel Eppley. This line traces to the Regulus Mare, third dam of Epsom Oaks winner Ceres, fourth dam of Epsom Derby winners Rhadamanthus and Daedalus, and ancestress of St. Leger and Ascot Gold Cup winner Robert the Devil and Uruguayan Derby winner Debutante. Even farther back, this line traces to the Darley Arabian Mare. This mare was the ancestress of the great broodmare Julia. Through her daughter Princess, Julia was the ancestress of Oaks winners Music and Minuet; Kentucky Derby winner Grindstone; Epsom Derby winners Spearmint and Aboyeur; the great sire Princequillo; etc.

Through her daughter Promise, Julia had a great impact upon the Thoroughbred breed, her descendants including Epsom Derby winners Waxy Pope, Whalebone, Whisker, Middleton, and Tiresias; One Thousand and Two Thousand Guineas winners Reginald, Bay Middleton, and Pindarrie; Oaks victresses Pastille, Filagree, and Pelisse; Kentucky Derby winner Proud Clarion; etc. This line is also a potent one for top distance sires.

Carly Silver is a young horse racing journalist living in Connecticut. She is a member of Kids to the Cup, a youth horse racing organization, and hit her first trifecta at age 12. Carly is an avid pedigree student, and has won several awards for her equine essays and poems.