Did Not Sell
Woodward S. (gr. I)
WOODWARD S. (gr. I), Saratoga, August 31, 2013, $750,000 Guaranteed, value of race $750,000, 3 yo's & up, 1 1/8 miles, 1:49.28 Dirt SY.
(Bay Colt ,
Bernardini Munnaya , by Nijinsky II
BDarley , KY ; OGodolphin Racing LLC ; TKiaran P. McLaughlin
(Bay Horse ,
Flatter Cresta Lil , by Cresta Rider
BNikolaus Bock , FL ; OPreston Stables LLC ; TWilliam I. Mott
(Bay Gelding ,
Successful Appeal Lisa Danielle , by Wolf Power (SAF)
BMorton Fink , KY ; OMorton Fink ; TCharles Lopresti
Woodward S. Recap
The front-running victory by Godolphin Racing’s Alpha in the Woodward Stakes (gr. I) Aug. 31 at Saratoga Race Course is significant for Sheikh Mohammed’s racing and breeding programs.
Alpha served notice that he is one of the top handicap horses in the country by just holding off multiple grade I winner Flat Out by a head to secure his second career grade I victory and first top-level win against older horses. Alpha has displayed an affinity for Saratoga, where he has won four of five career starts including victories against his age group in last year’s Travers (gr. I) and Jim Dandy (gr. II) stakes.
“Alpha is a horse who has not had the respect he deserves,” said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin after picking up the first Woodward victory of his career. “He loves Saratoga. I wish they would run the Breeders’ Cup here.”
Alpha, sent off as the longest shot in the field of five at 7-1, is the first horse since Lemon Drop Kid to win the Travers and the Woodward. Lemon Drop Kid won the 1999 Travers and the 2000 Woodward (when it was run at Belmont Park).
While trainer McLaughlin secured his first Woodward, jockey John Velazquez nailed down his third Woodward score in four years as he also guided To Honor and Serve to victory last year as well as Quality Road in 2010. He also won in 2007 on Lawyer Ron.
While Alpha gave Sheikh Mohammed his first Woodward win, he also provided welcome news on the breeding side as the bay colt was bred in Kentucky by Darley and is by successful young sire Bernardini. Alpha is out of the stakes-winning Nijinsky II mare Munnaya and is a half brother to stakes winner Mystic Melody, graded stakes-placed Lavender Sky, and two other horses with stakes-placings.
Munnaya has a yearling colt by Desert Party and a weanling full brother to Alpha. She also was bred back to Bernardini this year.
Alpha’s Woodward victory marks the second straight year a son of Bernardini has won the 11/8-mile race for 3-year-olds and older as To Honor and Serve took top honors last year.
Bernardini, the champion 3-year-old male of 2006, finished as leading second-crop stallion in 2011. The 10-year-old son of A.P. Indy—Cara Rafaela, by Quiet American, stood for $150,000 at Darley in Lexington in 2013. Alpha is Bernardini’s leading earner in 2013 through Sept. 1. Bernardini’s other 2013 stakes winners are Exclusive Diva, Finallygotabentley, Romansh, Ruud Awakening (NZ-I), and Toydini (Aus-II).—F.A.