Travers S. (gr. I)

(gr. I , 10f ,)

BERNARDINI (B h, 126 lb) $600,000
A.P. Indy —Cara Rafaela , by Quiet American
B—Darley, KY.; O—Darley Stable; T—Thomas Albertrani

Bluegrass Cat (B h, 126 lb) $200,000
Storm Cat —She's a Winner , by A.P. Indy
B—WinStar Farm, LLC, KY.; O—WinStar Farm LLC; T—Todd A. Pletcher

Dr. Pleasure (B h, 126 lb) $100,000
Thunder Gulch —Beautiful Pleasure , by Maudlin
B—John C. Oxley, KY.; O—John C. Oxley; T—John T. Ward, Jr.

Margins: 7½, 6¼, 1. Others: Hesanoldsalt 126($50,000) , High Cotton 126($30,000) , Minister's Bid 126($20,000) . Winning Jockey, Javier Castellano.

Darley Stable’s homebred Bernardini just keeps winning and the accolades just keep coming. He captured the Aug. 26 Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga for his fifth straight win following an unplaced effort in his first career start.

“What makes this horse so special is that he’s by A.P. Indy, who as you know is one of the great sires living today,” said John Ferguson, who manages the Darley racing operation for owner Sheikh Mohammed. “His mother is a grade I winner. He is a superstar of a racehorse, and he’s a superstar of a physical specimen as well.”

A.P. Indy, Horse of the Year in 1992, not only ranks as “one of the great sires living today,” but also as North America’s leading sire by 2006 progeny earnings. Bernardini’s Travers pay day of $600,000 boosted A.P. Indy to the top, past former leader Red Ransom.

Bernardini was bred in Kentucky and produced from the Quiet American mare Cara Rafaela. Cara Rafaela was bought privately by Darley from TNT Stud at the time the mare was carrying the future Travers winner. Owned by Gonzalo Borges Torrealba, TNT Stud planned the mating that resulted in Bernardini.

Cara Rafaela, who was bred by Mike G. Rutherford Sr., was one of the top 2-year-old fillies of 1995. Campaigned by Torrealba, she captured the Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) and Alcibiades (gr. II) Stakes and placed in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) and Matron (gr. I) Stakes. Cara Rafaela also raced the next two years and retired with earnings of $884,452.

Cara Rafaela, who is kept at Darley at Jonabell near Lexington, produced Storm Cat fillies for Darley in 2004 and 2006. The 2-year-old, Blue Tigress, has not yet raced. Cara Rafaela is in foal to A.P. Indy.

Bernardini’s pedigree is loaded with some of the all-time greats (Secretariat, Spectacular Bid, Bold Ruler, Seattle Slew, etc.), and since the Travers is one of racing’s most sought after prizes, it would seem likely that Bernardini’s pedigree would be plastered with winners of the big race. Not so. The only Travers winner in Bernardini’s first four generations is Buckpasser, who appears in the fourth generation. Buckpasser captured the 1966 Travers over that year’s Belmont Stakes winner Amberoid on his way to Horse of the Year, champion 3-year-old male, and co-champion handicap male. His time, 2:013¼5, was the same as Bernardini’s clocking. The victory was Buckpasser’s ninth straight in a streak of 15 consecutive victories.

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.