Proud Clarion may well develop into a top colt. Hail to Reason is an established sire, and the Derby winner's dam, Breath O'Morn, is a daughter of Djeddah and Darby Dunedin, who in turn is a daughter of Blenheim II, sire of Derby winners Jet Pilot and Whirlaway. Blenheim II also sired the dams of three Derby winners, Ponder, Hill Gail and Kauai King. Next week many of the Derby horses will challenge Proud Clarion in the Preakness. After that and the June 3 Belmont Stakes, Proud Clarion's ranking should be clearly established.
Just a few months ago Darby Dan's own estimate of that ranking was considerably different. After a bad race at Hialeah, Proud Clarion had almost been sold; he would have been, except that the prospective buyer backed out. And on Derby morning the trainer was not even sure the colt would start. "He had worked poorly on an off track," said Boo Gentry. "If the rain had begun earlier than it did, we probably would have scratched him."