Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I)

(gr. I , 10f ,)

BERNARDINI (B h, 122 lb) $450,000
A.P. Indy —Cara Rafaela , by Quiet American
B—Darley, KY.; O—Darley Stable; T—Thomas Albertrani

Wanderin Boy (CH h, 126 lb) $150,000
Seeking the Gold —Vid Kid , by Pleasant Colony
B—Arthur B. Hancock III, KY.; O—Arthur B. Hancock, III; T—Nicholas P. Zito

Andromeda's Hero (CH h, 126 lb) $75,000
Fusaichi Pegasus —Marozia , by Storm Bird
B—Barnett Enterprises, KY.; O—Robert V. LaPenta; T—Nicholas P. Zito

Margins: 6¾, 6, 19½. Others: Dylan Thomas (IRE) 122($37,500) . Winning Jockey, Javier Castellano.

Bernardini furthered his win streak with a dominating 63¼4-length victory in the Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes (gr. I) Oct. 7 at Belmont Park. In the process, he became the third son of A.P. Indy to win the historic race and figures to be one of the favorites going into the Nov. 4 Breeders’ Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.

Part of what makes A.P. Indy’s feat seem so remarkable is that the three winners have come in the span of just six years. Aptitude won the 2001 Jockey Club Gold Cup (and ran unplaced in the Classic), and Mineshaft took the 2003 running (in what was his final start) on his way to Horse of the Year and champion older male honors.

A.P. Indy himself finished third in the 1992 Jockey Club Gold Cup, but then redeemed himself three weeks later with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I). He was voted Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old male.

As shown by Aptitude, even a victory in the Jockey Club Gold Cup doesn’t always guarantee a triumph in the Classic. Only two Jockey Club Gold Cup winners went on to win the Classic. Cigar won the two races in 1995 to end the year unbeaten, and Skip Away captured both races two years later.

Bernardini’s dam, Cara Rafaela, one of the top 2-year-old fillies of 1995, came close to winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). She finished a half-length in second behind My Flag. Cara Rafaela’s 2-year-old season also included wins in the Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) and Alcibiades (gr. II) Stakes and a runner-up effort in the Matron Stakes (gr. I).

Bernardini, whose big wins prior to the Jockey Club Gold Cup came in this year’s Preakness (gr. I) and Travers (gr. I) Stakes, races as a homebred for Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley Stable. Darley privately bought Cara Rafaela from Gonzalo Borges Torrealba’s TNT Stud at the time the mare was carrying Bernardini.

Cara Rafaela, by Quiet American, who is kept at Darley at Jonabell near Lexington, produced a Storm Cat filly this year. She is in foal to A.P. Indy. Breeding plans for 2007 are undecided.

On the same card as the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Darley Stable’s homebred Balletto ran second in the Beldame Stakes (gr. I), beaten a head. Darley is represented this year by additional grade I winner Dubai Escapade. The 4-year-old filly scored her big win in the Ballerina Breeders’ Cup Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga.

A.P. Indy has sired 91 stakes winners. His nine stakes winners this year also include A. P. Warrior (gr. II), Suave (gr. II), Teammate (gr. II), Admiral’s Cruise (Eng-II), and Master Command (gr. III). A.P. Indy stands at William S. Farish’s Lane’s End Farm near Versailles, Ky. His 2006 fee was $300,000.—D.S.