Rail Runner

The Observations of a Horse Racing Enthusiast

Zenyatta and Bernardini: Recipe for Success?

Posted by Brian Appleton on January 27, 2011

2010 Horse of the Year, three time Champion Older Mare and one of California’s all-time most popular race mares, Zenyatta is booked to Bernardini. After months of speculation among fans, bloggers and professionals alike, owners Jerry and Ann Moss finally announced their breeding decision.

The announcement of Bernardini as the popular mare’s first mating came as somewhat of a surprise since Zenyatta has been residing at Lanes End Farm in near Versailles Kentucky where established leading sires A. P. Indy and Smart Strike were considered two of the mare’s most likely mating possibilities.

Bernardini, the Champion 3-Year-Old Male of 2006 after compiling wins in the Preakness,


Jockey Club Gold Cup, Jim Dandy and Travers Stakes, stands at Darley Stud along with Zenyatta’s sire, Street Cry. In 2010 Bernardini, a son of A. P. Indy, led the freshman sire list by number of stakes winner and group/graded winners to get his career at stud off to a rousing start.

In explaining their choice, David Ingordo, advisor to the Mosses, stated that “There were physical reasons, the two complement each other,” he said, “and there were pedigree reasons, the two complement each other. Everybody agreed.”

Was this the best stallion option for Zenyatta, or should the Mosses have chosen an older, more established stallion with a proven track record?

One thing is for sure, there will be no lack of stamina in Zenyatta’s first foals’ pedigree.


3 Responses to “Zenyatta and Bernardini: Recipe for Success?”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by TBAblogs, Brian Appleton. Brian Appleton said: Zenyatta and Bernardini: Recipe for Success?: http://t.co/0a9a0PW […]

  2. Brian,

    I loved both horses on the track but I’m not sure about this combination in the shed.

    It took both until their 3y.o. years to debut, BERNARDINI more precocious than Z. I’m not thrilled with the inbreeding to MR. PROSPECTOR, but the A.P. INDY/SEATTLE SLEW line has been a popular cross with MR. P.

    One thing is certain…this foal will not be running at age 2.

    • Hey Rob,

      Thanks for stopping in again, you’re my most loyal follower! 🙂
      I think Bernardini was fantastic on the track and I like that Zenyatta is being bred to a horse with good tactical speed but I would have preferred to see her with a more established stallion the first time. For newer stallions I would have loved to see her go to Hard Spun.

      I’m by no means a pedigree expert, that is probably my weakest area when it comes to the industry but I took a careful look at both pedigree and noticed the inbreeding to Mr. Prospector as well. I do like that both have Princequillo, Zenyatta through Vertigineux and Bernardini through A.P. Indy. Princequillo had a very large heart and his offspring tended to pass that on in their genes. I also like that Both carry Tom Fool’s bloodlines with the Teddy and Phalaris infulence in there.
      What drawbacks do you see with the Mr. Prospector inbreeding?

      You’re probably right, both Zenyatta and Bernardini were really late bloomers, especially Zenyatta! It could be awhile until we see their offspring hit the track.

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