Two Minutes – Unlimited Romance!

Undefeated Magnum Moon is fancied

The most exciting two minutes in sport, the 2018 Kentucky Derby – the 144th renewal – will be run on Saturday 5 May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

American Pharoah wins the Belmont

American Pharoah – Triple Crown hero

The Kentucky Derby is the first leg of the US Triple Crown  and is followed by the Preakness Stakes on 19 May and the Belmont Stakes on 9 June. There have been 12 Triple Crown winners in history with American Pharoah in 2015 the most recent.

Bolt D’oro, Magnum Moon and Mendelssohn are the early co-favourites to win the 2018 renewal. They all have great back stories!

Take the undefeated Magnum Moon  who has deep ties to historic Claiborne Farm. Not only was he born and raised at the Paris, Kentucky, nursery, but his pedigree features past Claiborne patriarchs, and his breeder, Ramona Bass, has a longstanding relationship with the farm.

That connection actually goes back to Bass’s father, Arthur A. Seeligson Jr., whose homebred Gr1 Belmont Stakes  winner Avatar began his stud career at Claiborne. Among the leaders of the 1975 classic crop, Avatar captured the Gr1 Santa Anita Derby and grabbed the lead in the stretch run of the Kentucky Derby, only to be overtaken by champion Foolish Pleasure. Another Seeligson homebred, Avatar’s half-brother Unconscious, was dispatched as the 5-2 favourite in the 1971 Derby, finished fifth behind Venezuelan shipper Canonero II, and came out of the race with an injury. Unconscious went on to win two major races as a four-year-old, the 1972 Charles H. Strub Stakes and San Antonio Stakes.

Bass has become a well-known owner and breeder in her own right in recent years. In addition to campaigning multiple Grade 1-winning turf mare Avenge (and several others in various partnerships), she bred reigning champion sprinter Roy H, hero of last fall’s TwinSpires Gr1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint .

Magnum Moon was conceived in 2014, the year after Orb became the 10th Kentucky Derby winner born and/or raised at Claiborne. The timing is significant, for Magnum Moon is bred along very similar lines to Orb, a Stuart Janney III and Phipps Stable homebred. By replicating that cross, the hope was to replicate that type of horse, a potential classic winner.

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