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La Affirmed put down

LA Affirmed, the dam of four stakes winners including successful sire Bernstein, has been put down due to the infirmities of old age. The daughter of Affirmed was 27-years-old and had been living in retirement at Brushwood Farm in Pennsylvania for the past four years.

A half-sister to US champion Outstandingly and from the immediate family of Buckpasser, La Affirmed was not one of that family's more memorable runners, winning once from eight starts.

However, she went on to produce six winnersfrom 15 foals, including five stakes performers.

Heading that quintet was her third foal, the Storm Cat filly Caress, who won a trio of Grade 3 races before producing the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes winner and successful Kentucky sire Sky Mesa.

Caress was followed by another Grade 3-winning Storm Cat filly, Country Cat, and then Unify, a Grade 3-placed daughter of Farma Way.

Unify had still to reach the track when La Affirmed changed hands for $1.9 million to Elizabeth Moran's Brushwood Stable at the 1996 Keeneland November Sale. At the time, the mare was in foal to Storm Cat, the result of which was was Aidan O'Brien's talented two-year-old Bernstein. The $925,000 foal purchase went on to win two Group 3 races including the Railway Stakes, and has since sired 12 Grade/Group 1 winners from bases in Kentucky and Argentina.

O'Brien also trained the mare's 1999 Danzig colt, Irish 2,000 Guineas third Della Francesca and her Group 3-placed grandson Wiseman's Ferry, who captured a Grade 3 following his transfer to the US.

Wiseman's Ferry now stands in Pennsylvania while Della Francesca stands at Haras de la Haie Neuve in France, where he has sired two stakes winners.

Unsurprisingly, foals out of the mare were popular at auction with a colt by Storm Cat, Alajwad, selling to John Ferguson for $5.5 million in 2001 and a filly by the same sire selling for $1.5 million in 2005. Alajwad won twice in theUS and now stands in Argentina following a stint in Florida.







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