It’s rare when the pedigree inherited supersedes any other factor needed for a perfect recipe of a victory laden career. When Bernardini set foot on the racing track, his maiden race saw him finishing a disappointed out of the money but that may be contributed to the lack of experience and a sheer miscalculation as the genes drawn from the ancestry of Secretariat, Seattle Slew and Bold Ruler may never be questioned.
Following his maiden break that ended out of money, Bernardini set off on a winning streak of six races comprised of handpicked graded specials.
Bernardini was foaled in March, 2003, to Cara Rafaela and A.P. Indy by Seattle Slew. Secretariat’s daughter was a leading broodmare, Weekend Surprise who was A.P. Indy’s dam. But as suggested by many breeders and racing experts, the broodmare pedigree is most paramount to a horse’s characteristics, which is why Cara Rafaela’s sire Quiet American comes into picture. While his other produce was Real Quiet, who almost won the Triple Crown, Quiet American derived his inheritance from Dr. Fager’s mare Demure. He still stands stud at the Darley Farms and produces stakes winners.
His first win following another maiden race came from the grade 3 Withers Stakes. While Bernardini raced only as a three year old, his first stakes race was run against a field of only three more contenders. While Luxemborg set the early pace, he was stalked close by Bernardini who eventually overtook him without the slightest ask from the jockey.
Bernardini’s Preakness Stakes was won by a 5 ¼ lengths lead while the same year’s Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro injured himself fatally as he broke his hind leg right as he neared the wire. Bernardini was raced by Javier Castellano and raced primarily in the back of the field through the backstretch moving onto to lead the field towards the last quarters. Soon after the Preakness Stakes, Bernardini went on to conquer the Travers Stakes, the Jim Dandy Stakes and the Jockey Club Gold Cup as well. It was not until the Breeder’s Cup Classic that he ended any lesser than a second place finish. He lost the Breeder’s to Invasor.
Bernardini’s never raced as a four year old and returned to the farms to stand stud at $75,000 as fee. For his incredible victory series over the most crucial races for the three year old season, Bernardini was also awarded the Eclipse award for the Three Year Old Male. Apart from the American Championship, he was also recognized as a co-world champion for his unparalleled performances.
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