All the most recent winners of the Kentucky Derby who have retired – through 2020 winner Authentic (by Into Mischief) – are at stud in Kentucky. This includes 2018 winner Justify (Scat Daddy), who stands at Ashford Stud outside Versailles, Ky. Both Justify and 2017 Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming (Bodemeister) have their first juveniles this year because Always Dreaming raced on at four, then retired to WinStar Farm.
But what of the preceding winners of the Run for the Roses?
Among the Derby winners with racers, 2016 winner Nyquist (Uncle Mo) has 4-year-olds, and he has sired eight stakes winners and 18 stakes-placed racers. One of the members of his first crop was champion juvenile filly Vequist, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Nyquist was the leading freshman sire in 2020, and he stands for $55,000 live foal at Jonabell Farm as one of Darley‘s American stallions.
The 2015 Kentucky Derby winner was American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile), also winner of the first Triple Crown in 37 years, as well as the Breeders’ Cup Classic of 2015, when he was named champion 3-year-old colt and Horse of the Year. Sent to stud at Ashford amid great acclaim, American Pharoah was the leading freshman sire in 2019 and stands for $80,000 live foal.
To date, American Pharoah has sired 24 stakes winners and 20 stakes-placed racers in the Northern Hemisphere; the horse also stands in the Southern Hemisphere at Coolmore’s satellite operation in Australia, where he has three stakes winners and two stakes-placed there from two crops of racing age. American Pharoah had several sons being trained for the classics in 2022, most notably Forbidden Kingdom, winner of the G2 San Vicente and San Felipe earlier this season before suffering an entrapped epiglottis in the G1 Santa Anita Derby.
The 2014 Kentucky Derby winner is even more widely traveled than American Pharoah. California Chrome (Lucky Pulpit) ventured to the Middle East, where he won the Dubai World Cup.
Retired to stud in 2017 at Taylor Made Farm in Kentucky, the handsome chestnut was sold to stand at Arrow Stud in Japan in 2019, when his oldest foals were yearlings. The popular winner of the Derby and Preakness stands for a fee of approximately $35,000. California Chrome is the sire of three stakes winners and five stakes-placed and has been represented by such 2022 stakes winners as Cilla (Orleans Stakes) in Louisiana and Matwakel (JCSA Challenge) in Saudi Arabia.
In 2018, the stallion’s second-crop daughter Sippican Harbor won the G1 Spinaway Stakes at Saratoga to give a much-envied top-level success. Nevertheless, Orb’s results from his initial crops at the races did not meet the high standard of success required for a commercial stallion in Kentucky, and he was sold in 2021. The bay stallion now stands in Uruguay at Haras Cuatro Pietras.
I’ll Have Another (Flower Alley) won the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness, then was sidelined and eventually retired. Not long thereafter, he was sold to a group of breeders from Japan and exported to enter stud there. In 2019, I’ll Have Another was sold to American interests and was returned to the States for the 2019 breeding season and stands at Ocean Breeze Ranch in California for $10,000 live foal.
The 2011 Kentucky Derby winner, Animal Kingdom (Leroidesanimaux), began his stallion career in Australia, although he found his greatest successes in America with the Derby and then the UAE at the Dubai World Cup. But the big chestnut with the slashing stride attracted the interest of Aussie breeders, who shared him with the Northern Hemisphere, where he stood at Darley’s Jonabell Farm in Lexington. In late 2019, Animal Kingdom was sold to the Japan Bloodstock Breeders Association and began breeding mares at their Shizunai Stallion Station in 2020.
Super Saver (Maria’s Mon) won the 2010 Kentucky Derby for owner-breeder WinStar Farm, and the bay entered stud there in 2011.
In all, Super Saver sired 28 stakes winners and 31 stakes-placed runners. His best offspring included champion Runhappy (Breeders’ Cup Sprint), Letruska (Apple Blossom Handicap twice), Embellish the Lace (Alabama Stakes), Happy Saver (Jockey Club Gold Cup), and Competitive Edge (Hopeful Stakes). The Jockey Club of Turkey purchased the horse in 2019 and stands him at their stud near Istanbul for a fee of approximately $13,000.
The winner of the 2009 Kentucky Derby was a smallish bay gelding named Mine That Bird (Birdstone). Although he could not have a breeding career, Mine That Bird has had a varied and productive life. He has been the Derby winner in residence at the Kentucky Derby Museum and now is a pony horse guiding young racehorses around the track at HV Ranch in Texas.
Big Brown (Boundary) won the 2008 Kentucky Derby, as well as the Preakness, and off those victories, the colt was acquired for stud by Three Chimneys Farm in a very expensive stallion deal. Big Brown entered stud there in 2009 for $65,000 live foal and was moved to stand in New York in 2015, the same year that his best son, Dortmund, finished third in the Kentucky Derby behind American Pharoah. The sire of 28 stakes winners stands at Irish Hill and Dutchess Views Stallions for $5,000 live foal.
Champion at two, when he also won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Street Sense (Street Cry) progressed to win the 2007 Kentucky Derby. Retired to Darley’s stallion operation at Jonabell in 2008, Street Sense has become one of the two most successful sires among living Kentucky Derby winners, along with American Pharoah.
To date, Street Sense has sired 74 stakes winners and 50 stakes-placed runners. Among his best are Maxfield (Breeders’ Futurity, Clark Handicap), McKinzie (Los Alamitos Futurity, Malibu, and Whitney), Sweet Reason (Acorn), Call Back (Las Virgenes), Street Fancy (Starlet), and Wedding Toast (Beldame). Last season, Street Sense had Concert Tour on the classic trail, and this season he has the top 4-year-old Speaker’s Corner, winner of the recent G1 Carter Handicap.
The 2006 Kentucky Derby winner: Barbaro (Dynaformer). Let us not forget what might have been.
In 2005, Giacomo (Holy Bull) managed to win the Kentucky Derby, with subsequent Preakness and Belmont winner and divisional champion Afleet Alex third. The gray entered stud at Adena Springs, but unfortunately, Giacomo did not match his famous sire’s accomplishments at stud. Today, Giacomo stands in Oregon at Oakhurst Thoroughbreds for a fee of $2,500.
The 2004 Kentucky Derby went to the unbeaten Smarty Jones (Elusive Quality), who next won the Preakness and was then upset in the Belmont Stakes by Birdstone (Grindstone), who sired two classic winners: Mine That Bird (Kentucky Derby) and Summer Bird (Belmont).
Smarty Jones was retired after his only loss and spent his first term at stud in Kentucky at Three Chimneys Farm. The medium-sized chestnut was moved to Pennsylvania, then returned to Kentucky to stand at Calumet Farm, while shuttling to Haras la Concordia in Uruguay, and he has most recently returned to Pennsylvania and stands at Equistar Training and Breeding for $3,500.
When Funny Cide (Distorted Humor) won the 2003 Kentucky Derby, he was the first gelding to do so since Clyde Van Dusen (Man o’ War) in 1929. He added a third Grade 1 to his record with the 2004 Jockey Club Gold Cup and retired at age seven with 11 victories and earnings of $3.5 million in 2007. He moved to the Kentucky Horse Park in 2008.
The two other surviving Kentucky Derby winners, Fusaichi Pegasus (Mr. Prospector; 2000 Kentucky Derby) and Silver Charm (Silver Buck; 1997 Kentucky Derby), are pensioned from breeding.
Fusaichi Pegasus had some noteworthy successes at stud, including Grade 1 winners Roman Ruler (Haskell) and Bandini (Blue Grass). He remains a pensioner at Ashford Stud, where he was retired.
Silver Charm sired Preachinatthebar, winner of the 2004 San Felipe, and Miss Isella, a three-time winner at the Grade 2 level. Silver Charm was purchased by the JBBA and stood in Japan for a decade before returning to Old Friends, where he is a fan favorite. With the deaths of Grindstone (1996 Kentucky Derby) and Go for Gin (1994 Kentucky Derby) in March 2022, Silver Charm is the oldest living winner of the race.
Kentucky Derby success is a major accomplishment in the life of a racehorse, but it does not guarantee subsequent greatness. With the intense competition for stallion success, only a minority of such talented athletes as these become stars in their second careers.