Sire: Harlan's Holiday
Dam: Intensify, by Unbridled's Song
Bred: Machmer Hall & Haymarket Farm (Ky.)
Owned by Starlight Racing, Intense Holiday won his second start by 3 1/2 lengths. Trainer Todd Pletcher then moved him up to graded stakes company in the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes were he finished fifth. After two fourth-place finishes in Grade 2 events, Intense Holiday first earned black type when he finished third in the Holy Bull Stakes.
Pletcher shipped Intense Holiday to New Orleans for the Risen Star Stakes and there the colt punched his ticket to the Kentucky Derby with a thrilling nose victory over Albano.
Bought for $380,000 at the 2012 Keeneland September Sale, Intense Holiday's dam is a half sister to multiple graded stakes winners Crafty Shaw and Her She Kisses. His sire, Harlan's Holiday, is also the sire of Shanghai Bobby, who won Starlight Racing their first Eclipse award when he was the 2012 champion 2-year-old male.