The 2012 Holy Bull Stakes (gr. III) was supposed to be the coming-out party for unbeaten 2011 champion 2-year-old male Hansen, and indeed an unbeaten colt did keep his record intact with a facile win. The only deviation from the script was that the winner wasn't Hansen. It was Starlight Racing's Algorithms , who captured his first stakes race and stamped himself as one to watch on the Triple Crown trail.
Bred in Kentucky by Oakbrook Farm, Algorithms is a son of 2006 champion 3-year-old male Bernardini . Following impressive wins in the \Preakness Stakes, Travers Stakes, and Jockey Club Gold Cup (all gr. I), Bernardini's bid for Horse of the Year honors fell short by about a length, the margin of his defeat in the Breeders’ Cup Classic Powered by Dodge (gr. I) by champion older male Invasor.
Nonetheless, he went to stud at Darley with high expectations based on his race record, regal pedigree, and excellent conformation. If he has not delivered as much consistency as one might like to see, he has certainly delivered quality: He has sired only 64 winners so far from the 219 named foals of his first two crops of racing age, but his 12 stakes winners include eight group or graded winners, four of them at the grade/group I level. Given that the stallion's eldest foals have only just turned 4, his percentage of winners and stakes winners from these early crops should continue to rise.
Bernardini is a son of two-time leading sire A.P. Indy, whose other sons at stud include Malibu Moon , Pulpit, Mineshaft , Flatter , Jump Start , and Congrats . The primary conduit for the Bold Ruler/Seattle Slew male line, A. P. Indy is also represented at stud by grandsons Tapit (sire of Hansen) and Sky Mesa , among many others. He was pensioned in April 2011 after failing to impregnate any of his mates that spring, but his descendants appear poised to continue his male line well into the 21st century. His final crop will come to the races in 2013.
Cara Rafaela, the dam of Bernardini, might well have been named U.S. champion juvenile filly in 1995 had she managed to stave off the late-running My Flag in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). As it was, the daughter of Quiet American collected victories in the Hollywood Starlet Stakes (gr. I) and Alcibiades Stakes (gr. II) and also placed in five grade I stakes as a 3-year-old. She was named Broodmare of the Year in 2006 by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. Her first foal, a 1999 filly by Storm Cat, took third in the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I), but Cara Rafaela has not produced any other stakes winners so far.
Quiet American, the “grand old man” of the Darley lineup, is still active at the age of 26. He won the 1990 NYRA Mile as a 4-year-old and has been a solid sire with champions Real Quiet and Hidden Lake, English/Irish highweight Warrior Queen, and more than 50 other stakes winners to his credit. However, his long-term influence may well be on the distaff side of pedigrees. So far, his daughters have produced 58 stakes winners, including the late Saint Liam, 2005 Horse of the Year; Italian and German highweight Cherry Mix; and 2002 Futurity Stakes (gr. I) winner Whywhywhy, as well as Bernardini.
Algorithms is a half brother to 2006 Hutcheson Stakes (gr. II) winner Keyed Entry (by Honour and Glory), 2011 Woody Stephens Stakes (gr. II) winner Justin Phillip (by First Samurai), 2011 Miami Mile Handicap (gr. IIIT) winner Successful Mission (by Successful Appeal), and stakes winner Alex's Allure (by Sky Classic. The siblings are out of the stakes-placed Cryptoclearance mare Ava Knowsthecode, a half sister to stakes winners Ava Singstheblues (by Dixieland Band) and Time for Romance (by Gilded Time). Their dam, listed stakes winner Ava Romance (by 1975 Belmont Stakes, gr. I, winner Avatar) is, in turn, a daughter of stakes winner Sunny Romance (by Gallant Romeo), a half sister to stakes winners Come in Rhodesia (by His Majesty) and Lawyer's Son (by Good Counsel).
None of Algorithm's graded stakes-winning half brothers have shown much taste for distances beyond a mile or a mile and one-sixteenth, but neither did their sires. With Bernardini, a two-time grade I winner at 10 furlongs, as sire, Algorithms may well prove a different kettle of fish. There is certainly stoutness enough on the distaff side of the pedigree to complement what Bernardini can provide.
Cryptoclearance, Algorithms' broodmare sire, was a multiple graded stakes winner over 10 furlongs and sired 1998 Belmont Stakes winner Victory Gallop; Ava Romance, the colt's granddam, won stakes at up to 10 furlongs and, as already mentioned, was sired by Belmont Stakes winner Avatar. Further back, this family traces to Qurrat-al-Ain, dam of the 1942 Irish Oaks and Irish One Thousand Guineas winner Majideh (by Mahmoud) and ancestress of 1957 Belmont Stakes winner Gallant Man, 1955 Santa Anita Handicap winner Poona II, 1948 Irish Oaks and Epsom Oaks winner Masaka, and 1969 Irish St. Leger winner Reindeer. It remains to be seen whether Algorithms will add to the family's classic successes or whether he will prove to share the distance limitations of his half brothers.