Bernardini: sire of Saturday's Withers Stakes winner Alpha
Alpha caps good week for Bernardini in Withers
Withers Stakes (Grade 3), 1 1/16m, 3yo, dirt
ALPHA (c Bernardini - Munnaya by Nijinsky)
Bred by Darley in Kentucky
GODOLPHIN colourbearer Alpha went one step further on the Kentucky Derby trail with an impressive three-and-a-quarer length victory over 44/1 longshot Speightcity in theWithers Stakes on Saturday.
In the process, the Kiaran McLaughlin-trained colt became the ninth Graded stakes winner by Bernardini, who is also represented on the Kentucky Derby trail by recent Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes winner Algorithms. The son of A P Indy is also the sire of Friday's easy UAE 1,000 Guineas winner Gamilati.
Bernardini is Darley's most expensive American stallion at $150,000, a figure reflective of the fact he has sired four Group/Grade 1 winners in his first crop led by Stay Thirsty. The stallion was also a brilliant performer himself, winning six races including the Preakness and Travers Stakes. Among his book for 2012 are champions Blind Luck and Rachel Alexandra.
Alpha is out of the 1994 Lingfield Oaks Trial winner Munnaya and a half-brother to ten scorers including French Listed heroine Mystic Melody. Munnaya is a Nijinsky granddaughter of Canadian champion Kamar, also the ancestress of Fantastic Light, Turbulent Descent and Music Show.
THE Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita, another key Kentucky Derby trial of the day, fell to longshot I'll Have Another, who defeated Empire Way by two-and-three-quarter lengths.
The colt is the third Graded stakes winner by young sire Flower Alley, whose first crop includedlast year's Grade 1 Ashland Stakes heroine Lilacs And Lace. The Grade 1-winning son of Distorted Humor stands at Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky for $7,500.
A bargain $11,000 Keeneland September purchase by Victor Davila as a yearling, I'll Have Another was bred by Harvey Clarke out of the winning Arch mare Arch's Gal Edith. It is the further family of Grade 1 winner Roanoke.
Maiden Battle Hardened captured Florida's Kentucky Derby trial of the day, the Grade 3 SamF. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, to become a 58th Group/Graded stakes winner by Giant's Causeway.
Battle Hardened is a half-brother to Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap winner Colonial Colony and out of Jen's Fashion, a Listed-winning daughter of Northern Fashion. The colt, who races for Michael Tabor and Mrs John Magnier, was purchased by Blue Corp for $170,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July Sale.