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Alpha (Ramon Dominguez) wins the Jim Dandy at Saratoga on 7.28.2012

Alpha: the Travers Stakes dead-heater is by Jonabell sire Bernardini

  PICTURE: EquiSport Photos/Bud Morton  

Travers gifts new Grade 1 winners to two sires

TWO US-based stallions well-known in Europe for their progeny’s exploits on this side of the Atlantic got new Grade 1 winners on home soil when their sons dead-heated in Saturday’s Travers Stakes at Saratoga.

Outsider Golden Ticket benefitted from an enterprising ride to skip clear over a furlong from home and hold on to a diminishing lead and be joined on the line by the favourite, Wood Memorial Stakes runner-up Alpha, in the 1m2f contest for three-year-olds.

Golden Ticket is by Speightstown, a Breeders’ Cup Sprint-winning son of Gone West who stands at WinStar Farm for $50,000.

He is the sixth Group or Grade 1 winner by the sire, after Haynesfield (Jockey Club Gold Cup), Jersey Town (Cigar Mile), Lord Shanakill (Prix Jean Prat), Mona De Momma (Humana Distaff) and Poseidon’s Warrior (Alfred G Vanderbilt Handicap).

Aside from Lord Shanakill, now standing at the Irish National Stud, Speightstown’s best European performer is last season’s Norfolk Stakes winner Bapak Chinta.

Golden Ticket was bred by WinStar Farm out of Business Plan, a daughter of Deputy Minister and Grade 3 winner Good Mood, from the family of Dewhurst and Middle Park Stakes runner-up Tomahawk and Grade 1-winning mother and daughter Well Chosen and Telling.

Alpha, meanwhile, continues his sire Bernardini’s association with the Travers. Bernardini won the race himself in 2006 and his son Stay Thirsty landed last year’s renewal.

Bernardini, a son of A.P. Indy, stood at Darley’s Jonabell Farm at a fee of $150,000 this season. His tally of Grade 1 winners now stands at five: besides Alpha and Stay Thirsty, they are A Z Warrior (Frizette Stakes), Biondetti (Gran Criterium) and To Honor And Serve (Cigar Mile).

Alpha is a Darley homebred out of Munnaya, a daughter of Nijinsky trained by Sir Michael Stoute to win the 1994 Lingfield Oaks Trial.
Munnaya is also the dam of Grade 2-placed Lavender Sky, Listed winner Mystic Melody and the Listed-placed pair Numaany and Yaya.
 

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