First Partner Chosen for Zenyatta
As the news that the first stallion to cover Zenyatta was released, competitions guessing the name of the new foal had already begun. Many fans of Zenyatta will be following her career as a brood mare just as closely as her racing career, and the question on everyone minds is: Will her foal be as successful as she was? Owners Jerry and Ann Moss retired Zenyatta to the Lane’s End Farm in Kentucky where she is patiently waiting for her day to shine and be in foal with one of racing’s most anticipated offspring.
Bernardini was selected for Zenyatta by her owners. Looking at the history of both horses, this seems to be an ideal match. Zenyatta was foaled in 2004 and grew to a staggering 17.2 hands. She was trained by John Shirreffs, and for most of her career she was partnered with jockey Mike Smith, with David Flores stepping in three times. She was sired by the legendary Street Cry and is half sister to Street Sense, winner of the 2007 Kentucky Derby. She was foaled by Vertigineux, and has Kris S as her damsire. She won nineteen of her twenty career starts, losing the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic by a nose to Blame. Her victories included the 2008 Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic, 2009 Breeders' Cup Classic, Vanity Handicap in 2008, 2009 and 2010, 2010 Santa Margarita Handicap and the Milady Handicap in 2008 and 2009. She was named American Champion Older Female Horse (2008, 2009, 2010), 2010 American Horse of the Year, 2010 Secretariat Vox Populi Winner and retired as one of the top ten female racing stars ever.
On the other hand, Bernardini also has an impressive bloodline and racing career. He was foaled in 2003 at the Darley Stable and is owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum. His sire was AP Indy and his dam Cara Rafaela, and together, they produced a racehorse that bears the genes and is a descendant of racing greats such as Quiet American, Spectacular Bird, Secretariat and Seattle Slew. He was trained by Thomas Albertrani and made history with jockey Javier Castellano by winning the 2006 Preakness Stakes. The year 2006 was an impressive year for Bernadini, winning races such as the Travers Stakes, Jockey Club Gold Cup, Jim Dandy Stakes and the Withers Stakes. He was also awarded the 2006 U.S. Champion Three Year Old Colt award, as well as the 2006 Co-World Champion Three Year Old. It looks like this match up will be the event of the year, and hopefully another success story to add to this talented family tree.