As all Kentucky Derby fans, an assessment of pedigree is an invaluable handicapping variable. And it turns out that lineage could prove history making in 2018. It’s an old school line that just might resurface on May’s first Saturday.

Of course, we’re referring to the mating of Zeus to Leto. The sire brings much to the table: youth, athleticism and, as a patron of the art of victory, has a reputation for producing stunning poetic imagery.

And when his offspring begins a second career at stud, they are known to be quite prolific themselves, as they are said to really enjoy their work.

Old school breed improvers, meanwhile, truly value class in the dam. Leto was a real blue hen in her day, some even consider her a goddess, a mother known to be very protective of her foals. A looker herself, she passed on those traits to her offspring.

Of course, the most famous son of this mating enjoyed his heyday around 1882. He became famous when he won one of the world’s most prestigious horse racing events.

Obviously, we’re referring to the great Apollo.

Apollo, prodigious himself, will have two representatives in the 2018 Derby should the gods allow. The one that most closely resembles his sire is a colt called Justify.

Quite handsome, this striking individual is poetry in motion itself, going about his work effortlessly, so readily fluent, in fact, that he’s never been seriously challenged. But the test surely will come.

Meanwhile, his twin sibling, Magnum Moon, proved quite up to the task before him. When asked to prove himself among some of his more talented and experienced peers, he separated himself from the herd, and not under these easiest of circumstances.

His mythological father was known for his creativity, a trait that was on display Saturday in a place far, far away, a historic venue in Hot Springs, Arkansas called Oaklawn Park. It is known that the mother of a President played horses there, back when days made sense.

And now, his twin must prove that he, too, is worthy of the kind of mythology that comes winning a singular racing event renewed annually early in early May. But he had best take care and be aware the Ides of April, where confines are warm but competition inhospitable.

HRI’s DERBY TOP 10, Week 3

1-Bolt d'Oro (48) Maintains his spot at the top with a perfect score. Sure to benefit from his hoof-to-hoof battle with disqualified winner McKinzie. The Santa Anita Derby is sure to toughen him up for Kentucky, his third start of the year.

2-McKinzie (34) Won the all-important eyeball test in the San Felipe, demonstrating class and courage to match his brilliance. Not convinced that spitefully shipping him out of Santa Anita is best thing for his overall Derby preparation.

3-Magnum Moon (27)
Malagacy Part II, with the fervent hope this one stays sound, unlike last year’s Rebel winner. Excellent placement by Mr. Pletcher; Luis Saez rode with great confidence, keeping him battling between as if on the best horse. He was.

4-Good Magic (19) We like Richard Migliore’s theory: That while Good Magic’s works were visually impressive, they weren’t enough to get near the bottom of him. Chad said he would peak on Derby day, but must believe he, too, was a bit surprised by lack of fitness.

5-Enticed (18) has the ability to run all day and has been one of the more impressive prepsters, winning the Gotham with something in reserve. Two turns should only help. Doesn’t need to win the win the Wood, only to be going in the right direction at the finish.

6-Justify (16) will certainly have his mettle seriously tested in the Santa Anita Derby by Bolt d’Oro, Instilled Regard and the rest. A placing in the SA Derby with 40 points is no guaranteed cinch to make the cut whereas 50 at Sunland should. Got to be in it to win it.

7-Solomini (15)
Bob put speed into him and it showed. Prat did well to save ground but while he might not have been good enough anyway, like to have seen what might have happened had he gotten a clean run. Hopefully, the young rider learned something.

tie-8-Audible (12) has a high cruising speed as everyone knows but this guy can finish it off with an excellent late kick. He’ll need all of it in the Florida Derby. There’s no shortage of speed and Catholic Boy will be coming on strong. All will be revealed in two weeks.

tie-8-Catholic Boy (12)
Late run style figures to be up against it at speed-kind Gulfstream Park but it just might be the type of sharp-pace tightener that would benefit him five weeks post Florida Derby. He certainly will appreciate the stretch back out to 9 furlongs.

10-Promises Fulfilled (11)
is another with a very high cruising speed that can stay but, again, it is Gulfstream and the mile and a sixteenth trip comes replete with a short stretch run. Has quality, clearly improving, and Romans has laid the speed gauntlet down.

ALSO RECEIVING VOTES: Quip, Bravazo, Flameaway

Top 10 Derby Points Earners

1. Bolt d’Oro 64
2. Enticed 63
3. Bravazo 54
4. Promises Fulfilled 52
5. Magnum Moon 50
6. Quip 50
7. McKinzie 40
8. Good Magic 34
9. Solomini 34
10. Flameaway 30