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Derby winner bloodlines

Winners such as Secretariat go on to sire winning horses.
Winners such as Secretariat go on to sire winning horses.

The Kentucky Derby can mean a lot for those who win. For the jockey, owners, trainers, and other personnel on the winning team it means money and fame. Several owners have built practical dynasties with several great winners (trainer Bob Baffert is always a favorite). Winning the Kentucky Derby can also be greatly beneficial for the horse that wins the race as well. If the horse is a male, there is a very good chance he will enjoy retirement as a stud to produce future winning race horses. And the female winners will have the dream of giving birth to a future Derby winner.

The most famous Derby winner by far is Secretariat, who won the race in 1973 and went on to win the Triple Crown. With his record upon retirement (21 starts, 16 wins, 3 places, and 1 show) his owners had high hopes of him producing winning horses. The first horse he sired was Canadian Bound, who was the first thoroughbred yearling sold for over $1 million. Unfortunately the horse was unsuccessful in racing, that faith in Secretariat's bloodline dropped.

However, the 1980s proved to be a good period for Secretariat's offspring. General Assembly won the 1979 Travers Stakes which signaled the beginning of the successful crop of winning horses such as Lady's Secret, Rising Star, and Tinners Way. Though he never produced many successful male offspring of the 600 foals he sired, his female line proved to be much more successful.

His daughter Weekend Surprise would produce a winning horse with another Triple Crown winner, Seattle Slew. These two successful bloodlines produced A.P. Indy, who would go on to win the 1992 Breeders Cup and 1992 Belmont Stakes. While not as successful as his sires, A.P. Indy still proved a winning horse and has sired many successful offspring.

So as the Kentucky Derby approaches this Saturday, do not be surprised if there are a few horses with championship pedigrees, hoping to live up to their legacy. The winning of a single race could change their life forever.