Frac Daddy

fracdaddyKentucky Derby Horses – Frac Daddy

He’s barely even a blip on the radar for many casual horse lovers, but Frac Daddy seems to have captured the attention of those in the know. As we go to press, three of the four handicapping experts polled by Churchill Downs have compiled their Top 10 Kentucky Derby contenders lists, and only two horses appear on every list: Shanghai Bobby and Frac Daddy.

October 4, 2012: 2nd, Maiden Special Weight (Belmont, one mile, dirt)
November 3, 2012: 1st, Maiden Special Weight (Churchill Downs, 8.5 furlongs, dirt)
November 24, 2012: 2nd, Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (Churchill Downs, 8.5 furlongs, dirt)

What Frac Daddy lacks in quantity, he’s made up for in quality. Having all three of these races on dirt – and the last two at Churchill Downs – is a very good sign for horseplayers. That one victory at his maiden was by an eye-popping 9 3/4 lengths, and over a much longer distance than most MSWs. While Frac Daddy only finished second at his earlier maiden attempt, he showed a lot of moxie, fighting his way through the field to get there.

Fighting spirit is important for any athlete – equine or otherwise. Although Frac Daddy didn’t win the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, he did go hammer-and-tongs with top Derby contender Uncaptured before finally losing by a neck. “I think if you give him two or three more starts under his belt, I don’t think Uncaptured wants anything to do with him,” trainer Ken McPeek told reporters after the race.

McPeek knows a good horse when he sees one. However he can also feel fairly confident about Frac Daddy’s chances at even longer distances. Check out the pedigree: Frac Daddy’s sire was Scat Daddy, who won the 2007 Grade 1 Florida Derby at nine furlongs before finishing 18th behind Street Sense at the Kentucky Derby – it’s believed he injured a tendon during the race. Scat Daddy has also produced multiple stakes-winning filly Lady of Shamrock.

It gets better. Frac Daddy’s dam is Skipper’s Mate, who was the product of the great Skip Away, the No. 32-ranked horse on The Blood-Horse magazine’s Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century. Skip Away won the 1997 Breeders’ Cup Classic over 10 furlongs, as well as three other graded stakes at “classic” distances.

Skip Away also gives Frac Daddy his grayish color and his massive frame, which captured McPeek’s eye when he purchased Frac Daddy as a yearling for Magic City Thoroughbred Partners. The cost? A mere $50,000. Frac Daddy has already earned over $80,000 in purse money despite just the one grades stakes on his curriculum vitae.

It’s expected Frac Daddy will race three times before the Kentucky Derby. McPeek has told reporters that he wants his horse to compete once prior to the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park on February 23. Then it will be the Grade 1 Florida Derby on March 30 before coming back to Churchill Downs for the big race on May 4.