Caddo River Profile

Name Caddo River
Born Mar 29, 2018
Age 3 years

Caddo River punched his ticket for the 2021 Kentucky Derby with a victory in the Smarty Jones Stakes and a runner-up finish in the Arkansas Derby (G1).

Caddo River has two wins and three second-place finishes in six starts, with current earnings of $396,092.

The Brad Cox-trained three-year-old colt finished in 13th place on the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard with 50 qualifying points. However, he did not run at Churchill Downs due to an elevated temperature and high white blood count the week before the race.

2021 Road to the Kentucky Derby

Caddo River began his Kentucky Derby preparations with a 10-length triumph in the listed Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn Park in January. The free-running colt led every step of the way and completed the one-mile event in 1:38.19.

The dark-bay Caddo River returned as the Rebel Stakes (G2) favourite in the next leg of Oaklawn Park's Kentucky Derby preps. Instead of letting Caddo River use his natural speed though, jockey Florent Geroux forced the colt to sit in second place outside the pacesetter Concert Tour.

The move proved to be the wrong one as Caddo River, resentful of being held back, tossed his head in dissatisfaction. Caddo River held his position until the final furlong when he moved and bothered Big Lake, who in turn bumped Get Her Number. Caddo River faded to fifth place, the worst finish in the colt's career.

A month later, in the Arkansas Derby (G1), Caddo River again met up with his rival, Concert Tour, who had won the Rebel Stakes. Geroux gave Caddo River his head and the colt set a swift pace, pressured by favourite Concert Tour on his outside.

The pair battled through the final furlong, with Caddo River gaining a slight advantage. They were so focused on one another that they didn't see Super Stock, who passed late to win by two and a half lengths. Caddo River outlasted Concert Tour by a head.

Career beginnings

Caddo River began his racing career last year on Memorial Day at Saratoga. He settled on the rail in mid-pack early before switching to the outside for running room.

He passed rivals to finish second, two-and-three-quarter lengths behind the winner. Caddo River beat eventual Fountain of Youth (G2) victor Greatest Honour by two lengths in this seven-furlong Maiden Special Weight event.

The Brad Cox trainee returned a month later at the same level, this time at Belmont Park. This time Caddo River dueled on the lead but was caught in the final stages, beaten by three-quarters of a length. He finished a half-length in front of rival Greatest Honour.

The third time was the charm. Caddo River was shipped to Churchill Downs and stretched out to a mile. He set the pace the entire way and flowed home a nine-and-a-half-length winner as the favourite in the Maiden Special Weight contest.

Caddo River's connections

Brad Cox worked as an assistant to long-time trainer Dallas Stewart. He went out on his own in 2004 and rose in the ranks to earn 2020's Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer.

His best horses include two-time Champion Mare Monomoy Girl, Champion Two-Year-Old Filly British Idiom, Champion Female Sprinter and Three-Year-Old Filly Covfefe and Champion Two-Year-Old Colt Essential Quality.

Brad Cox has amassed over $86million in earnings from more than 6,000 starters. In 2020, he tied the record for four Breeders' Cup winners on the same day.

This is the first year that Cox will have starters in the Kentucky Derby. He'll guide Essential Quality, who is favored in this year's Kentucky Derby, plus either Caddo River or Risen Star hero Mandaloun.

Jockey Florent Geroux was born into the racing business. His father was a jockey and later a trainer in France. Young Florent attended the French riding academy and eventually earned leading apprentice honours.

Florent Geroux had an abbreviated start to his North American career and was injured on his first day of riding. After spending several months recuperating in France, Geroux returned to the US and progressed up the jockey ranks in the Midwest.

Geroux's most accomplished mounts include Horse of the Year Gun Runner, the aforementioned Monomoy Girl, plus Kentucky Oaks heroine Shedaresthedevil.

Geroux has competed in four editions of the Kentucky Derby. His best placing was third aboard Gun Runner in 2016.

Shortleaf Stable bred and own Caddo River. Shortleaf was created after the owner and his ex-wife disbanded the nationally acclaimed Loblolly Stable. Shortleaf, established in 2000, has slowly risen in the ranks. They have Grade 2 winner Benner Island, plus two Grade 3 older horses in the stable, along with their Kentucky Derby hopeful, Caddo River.

Caddo River's pedigree

Caddo River (Hard Spun - Pangburn, by Congrats) may find nine furlongs at the top of his distance range due to his pacesetting style.

Hard Spun was a member of the stellar three-year-old class of 2007, which included Kentucky Derby hero Street Sense, future Hall of Fame member Curlin, the amazing Rags to Riches (who beat Curlin in an epic Belmont Stakes) plus Grade 1 winner Any Given Saturday.

Hard Spun was most successful from seven to nine furlongs, although he placed second in the Kentucky Derby, third in the Preakness and fourth in the Belmont Stakes. His offspring have no limitations and win at all distances and over all surfaces. His most accomplished offspring include Champion Three-Year-Old Filly Questing, plus Grade 1 winners Wicked Strong, Hard Aces and Hard Not to Like.

Pangburn flashed class early in her career with a runner-up performance in the Pocahontas Stakes (G2) for two-year-old fillies. As a three-year-old, she placed in two other graded stakes, missing the Iowa Oaks (G3) victory by an unlucky nose. She broke through with a victory in the Maryland Racing Media Stakes as a four-year-old. The hardy mare finished in the money in nine of 17 starts.

Pangburn is one of three stakes winners produced by It's True Love. Her half-sister Eres Tu was successful in a nine-furlong stakes race, while a half-brother is a stakes-winning miler.

Caddo River's second dam It's True Love is a stakes winner and placed in the Maryland Racing Media Stakes, which her daughter later won.