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Last year’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland is looking more and more like a key race for the classics this year. The winner was last year’s champion juvenile colt, Essential Quality (by Tapit), who is still unbeaten and is the solid favorite for the Kentucky Derby next month.

The second-place finisher in the Breeders’ Futurity was Keepmeinmind (Laoban), who won the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs in his next start, although he has not found his best form so far this season.

Farther back in the Futurity were a pair of well regarded colts who have taken a step forward, however, and they specifically did so over the weekend. Of those, Super Stock was third in the Breeders’ Futurity, and the bay son of Dialed In dimmed some classic dreams with a victory by 2 1/2 lengths in the G1 Arkansas Derby over the previously unbeaten Concert Tour (Street Sense) and the well-regarded Caddo River (Hard Spun).

The Arkansas Derby was the first graded stakes victory for Super Stock, who was bred in Kentucky by Pedro Gonzalez and P.J. Gonzalez and then sold at the 2019 Keeneland September yearling sale to Erv Woolsey and Keith Asmussen for $70,000.

That was a solid price for a yearling by the good young sire Dialed In (Mineshaft), who also sired classic prospect Gunnevera in his first crop. Likewise, Dialed In was a classic contender during his own 3-year-old season with victories in the G3 Holy Bull Stakes and the G1 Florida Derby.

Super Stock comes from his sire’s fifth crop and is one of 15 stakes winners by the stallion, who stands at Darby Dan Farm for $15,000 live foal. Dialed In’s other 3-year-olds include Papetu, who ran third in the G2 Fountain of Youth; Get Her Number, who was fourth in the Arkansas Derby; and Exogen, who was second in the Cicada at Aqueduct.

Super Stock is the fifth foal and fourth winner from his dam, the Closing Argument mare Super Girlie. She is also the dam of Boujie Girl (Flashback), who was third in the G1 Del Mar Debutante. Super Girlie was barren in 2019 and has a bay yearling colt by Mendelssohn (Scat Daddy).

Super Stock’s broodmare sire, Closing Argument, was second in the 2005 Kentucky Derby, beaten a half-length by Giacomo. So there are classic elements in the pedigree, although the dominant classic contributor would appear to be the male line from Seattle Slew, A.P. Indy, and Mineshaft.

Coming to the Arkansas Derby, Super Stock was already G1-placed from his finish in the Breeders’ Futurity, giving him significant form against the best of his crop, and if he maintained that level, he should have been a major force in the race, which proved to be the case.

That was not the status of another racer from the Breeders’ Futurity who returned to competition in the G3 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland on Saturday. King Fury (Curlin) had been beaten into eighth place in the Breeders’ Futurity after going wide on both turns, but the chestnut son of the 2007-2008 Horse of the Year had come back 22 days later and won the listed Street Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs over Super Stock.

Attempts in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes had suggested that King Fury wasn’t yet at his best, but the Lexington was the colt’s seasonal debut and delivered results that have inclined trainer Kenny McPeek to favor a possible attempt at the Preakness Stakes in mid-May, which the colt’s sire won in 2007.

Bred in Kentucky by the Heider Family Stables LLC, King Fury is the only foal out of G1 winner Taris (Flatter). Consigned to the Saratoga select yearling sale in 2019 through Hill ‘n’ Dale, King Fury brought $950,000 and races for Fern Circle Stables and Three Chimneys Farm.

Taris was bred in Kentucky by Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider and then was sold for $90,000 at the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale to Commonwealth New Era Racing. After winning the G2 Raven Run Stakes at Keeneland, Taris sold to Coolmore for $2.35 million at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton November sale. The next year, Taris won another graded stakes and was third in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Filly Sprint. At five, she won the 2016 G1 Humana Distaff and later was sold privately to the Heider Family Stables. Taris was retired for breeding in 2017 and died after foaling King Fury in 2018.

With his victory in the Lexington, King Fury made a significant step toward fulfilling the high hopes held for a racer of his pedigree and excellent physical character.