Bernardini, who took command of the 3-year-old division starting with an overpowering victory in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), has been retired from racing for stallion duty at Sheikh Mohammed's Darley at Jonabell near Lexington.
The son of A.P. Indy
will stand for $100,000 and will be joined at Darley by leading sprinter Henny Hughes, who raced for Sheikh Mohammed's son, Sheikh Rashid, in the name Zabeel Racing International. A 3-year-old by Hennessy
, Henny Hughes will stand for $40,000.
"These are the supreme Thoroughbreds of their generation and each bested older horses, too," said Darley's Dan Pride. "They are well-bred and exceptionally attractive. They were not only brilliant, but they came back for more time and again. We couldn't be more thrilled than to have the chance to stand them."
Both Bernardini, a Darley homebred, and Henny Hughes contested the Breeders' Cup. The 11-10 favorite in the Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), Bernardini succumbed to Invasor's closing kick in the deep stretch and finished a length behind that rival in second while in pursuit of his seventh straight win.
In the TVG Sprint (gr. I), Henny Hughes was bumped repeatedly in the beginning and lacked running room. He finished last in suffering his first defeat of the year.
Trained by Tom Albertrani, Bernardini proved a worthy divisional successor to Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Barbaro after that runner suffered a career-ending injury in the Preakness. Bernardini won by 5 1/4 lengths in what was just his fourth start, all this year.
Rested until the Saratoga meeting, Bernardini won both the Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) by nine lengths and the Travers Stakes (gr. I) over Bluegrass Cat by 7 1/2 lengths over divisional rivals at the Spa. He then took on older horses in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) at Belmont and won by 6 3/4 lengths.
Bernardini retired with six wins from eight starts and earnings of $3,060,480. Unplaced first time out, he won by 7 3/4 lengths in his next start, then took the Withers Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct. Bernardini is out of the grade I-winning Quiet American
mare Cara Rafaela.
Henny Hughes, who was purchased privately by Darley last year after a 15-length score in the Tremont Stakes at Belmont, proved lightning quick in his three scores this year. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, he won the six-furlong Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) by 10 lengths in 1:08.26; the seven-furlong King's Bishop Stakes (gr. I) by 5 1/4 lengths in 1:21.96 at Saratoga; and the Vosburgh Stakes (gr. I) in 1:08.13 over older horses at Belmont. He is the only horse to complete the King's Bishop/Vosburgh double in the same year.
As a 2-year-old, Henny Hughes also captured the Saratoga Special Stakes (gr. II) and ran second in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and the Champagne (gr. I) and Hopeful (gr. I) Stakes. He retired with six wins and three seconds from 10 races and earnings of $1,124,820.
Bred in Kentucky by Liberation Farm, Trackside Farm, and Arthur Seelbinder's CHO, Henny Hughes is out of the stakes-placed Meadowlake mare Meadow Flyer.
Darley also announced that the fee for first-crop sire Street Cry has been upped to $50,000 from $30,000. Street Cry's son, Street Sense, galloped home 10 lengths clear in the Juvenile.
Street Cry (Machiavellian--Helen Street, by Troy) took command on both the first-crop and sires of 2-year-old list with Street Sense's triumph.
"We are pleased to offer 2007 seasons for approved mares at $30,000 to anyone who bred a mare to Street Cry in his first four years," Pride said.