Balto Star, winning the Spiral Stakes.

Balto Star, winning the Spiral Stakes.

AP/Tom Uhlman

Balto Star's Pedigree Does Not Indicate Derby Success

The free-running style of Balto Star gives him the apparent look of a sharp sprinter able to successfully stretch his speed to 1 1/16 or 1 1/8 miles. The fact he is by the one-turn wonder Glitterman would also suggest he wouldn't be suited for 1 1/4 miles on the first Saturday in May.

His Dosage Index of 1.80, aided by a stamina-laced female line, tells us otherwise, giving us the cold, hard number that getting the classic Kentucky Derby distance isn't beyond his scope.

However, the lack of much black type in his first three female generations doesn't give his supporters a strong foundation on which to build his Derby case. From solely a pedigree perspective, his chances of winning the Derby seem a bit of a stretch.

Balto Star turned heads in New York in mid-February with a 12 1/4-length non-winners of one "other than" allowance victory. He turned heads nationally on March 24 with a 12 3/4-length runaway victory in the Spiral Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park. Both victories came with clear sailing on the front end for Stuart and Anita Subtonick's Anstu Stables homebred.

The Subtonicks purchased Balto Star's dam, Miss Livi, at the 1996 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s March sale of 2-year-olds in training for $210,000. A suspensory injury prevented Miss Livi from making it to the races. Sent to the breeding shed in Kentucky for a date with Glitterman as a 3-year-old: the resulting foal is Balto Star.

Glitterman was one of the fastest of his generation while racing in the late 1980s. A winner of the Philadelphia Park Budweiser Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) and four other stakes, the son of Dewan (by Bold Ruler) also placed in six sprint stakes including the rich Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash and the Vosburgh Stakes (gr. I). He is a half-brother to the dam of sprint champion Rubiano.

At stud, Glitterman has sired 15 stakes winners including the brilliant Glitter Woman, J J'sdream, and Texas Glitter. While occasionally able to wins around two bends, the majority of Glitterman's best runners have most successful at a mile or less.

On Balto Star's damside, there is no black type under the first or second dam, but stamina influences abound top and bottom in Miss Livi's bloodlines. Her sire is the precocious Devil's Bag, champion 2-year-old of 1983 and a son of Halo, a sire of two Kentucky Derby winners: Sunny's Halo (1983) and Sunday Silence (1989). Miss Livi's broodmare sire, Stage Door Johnny, was champion 3-year-old of 1968 based on the strength of his win the 1 1/2-mile Belmont and 1 1/4-mile Dwyer Stakes. Stage Door Johnny sired 51 stakes winners and as a broodmare sire is responsible for more than 100 black-type winners.

Balto Star's third dam, Melody Roulette, was bred by Greentree Stud in Kentucky in 1975 and was a three-time winner from seven starts. A daughter of the Kentucky Derby-winning Northern Dancer, Melody Roulette threw one stakes-placed runner from 13 foals: Pitchpipe. By Key to the Mint, Pitchpipe placed second in the one-mile Montclair Stakes at Meadowlands at 2 in 1982. Her Derby connection comes in the form of half-brother Woodchopper (by Hatchet Man), winner of the 1981 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) and runner-up to Pleasant Colony in the Kentucky Derby.

Besides being the dam of Woodchopper, Musical Chairs (Balto Star's fourth dam), also produced graded stakes-placed Grab It. By Rough'n Tumble, Grab It ran third in both the Matron and Demoiselle Stakes at 2 in 1969.

Musical Chairs, winless in two starts, was out of the Idle Hour Stock Farm bred Bimlette, a daughter of 1940 Kentucky Derby runner-up Bimelech. She was a full sister to Wood Memorial winner and successful sire No Robbery.