Kentucky Derby Pedigree Profile: Taiba
It has been remarkable to witness the rapid transformation of Taiba from an unheard-of three-year-old to a serious Kentucky Derby contender (G1).
The chestnut colt only made his debut on March 5, when he topped a special first weight six furlongs at Santa Anita. A month later, he upset the 1 1/8-mile Santa Anita Derby (G1) in a powerful performance, qualifying to compete in the Run for the Roses.
Taiba has always had the pedigree to be a star. His sire, Gun Runner, enjoyed resounding success as a racehorse and stallion. On the track, Gun Runner showed talent as a three-year-old, winning the Clark H. (G1) and placing third in the Kentucky Derby. But the solidly raised son of Candy Ride took his game to a new level at ages four and five, winning five consecutive freshman awards (including the 1 1/4 mile Breeders’ Cup Classic) to rank Horse of the Year 2017. .
Despite his excellent efforts in the Kentucky Derby, Gun Runner was a late-maturing guy who improved dramatically with age. One would expect her brood to follow suit, but so far she hasn’t been shy about striking from a young age. The oldest (including Taiba) are three years old, but the Gun Runner track record already includes such accomplished names as Arkansas Derby winner Cyberknife (G1), two-year-old champion Echo Zulu and Gunite, Wood , winner of Hopeful S. (G1). Memorial (G2) Early Voting Finalist and Pappacap, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) Finalist.
For good measure, the bottom half of Taiba’s pedigree contains early maturing lines. His dam is Needmore Flattery, a star from Ohio who has won 14 appearances. She was particularly impressive at two (when she earned her first five starts, including four starts) and three (when she added six more starts to her record), which bodes well for her chances of early success. Taiba.
Needmore Flattery, in turn, is a daughter of Flatter, a solidly bred son of Belmont S. (G1) winner and renowned endurance influencer AP Indy. Unraced as a two-year-old, Flatter went 3-for-4 as a three-year-old before finishing third in the 1 3/16-mile Washington Park H. (G3) during a brief campaign of four years.
Flatter wasn’t exactly an early maturing type, but his stud record showed versatility. His best-known offspring have improved with age, including three-year-old West Coast Champion and two-time Jockey Club (G1) Gold Cup winner Flat Out. But others came early, including Upstart (four-time ranked against a Tier 1 company at two and three years old) and Kentucky Oaks (G1), a runner-up in the search results.
Flatter’s record as a broodmare sire is also encouraging, with his daughters giving birth to Alcibiades winner S. (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies runner-up Juju’s Map (G1) to Lexington S. (G3) King Fury, Bowman Mill S. winner Nakatomi and PG winner Johnson S. Crystalle, to name a few. These four runners won bets when they were two years old.
In short, Taiba’s pedigree features a promising mix of early and late bloodlines. There is also an appropriate mix of speed and stamina. Winning the Kentucky Derby after two career starts hasn’t been achieved since 1883, but Taiba, who sold for $1.7 million as a two-year-old, may have the pedigree to do so. work.