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Zenyatta + Bernardini and Other (Possibly Overlooked) Bloodline News


The lucky stallion

As has been widely reported, Zenyatta has a date with Bernardini.  I had assumed she would go to see his sire, A.P. Indy, but the reasoning behind the match makes perfect sense – Zenyatta has a 2-year-old half-sister by Bernardini called Eblouissante, which helped make his offspring something of a known quantity (insofar as any predictions can ever be made about what will actually happen in the breeding shed). But A.P. Indy himself is still very much a part of the family; Zenyatta’s talented older half-sister, Balance, had an attractive bay colt named Mr Besilu by the senior stallion.  (As an aside, it’s worth noting that he’s got his own Facebook page. Obviously.)  In September, he was the sales-topper at Keeneland’s yearling sale, changing hands for $4.2 million – so it would seem there’s a good chance that the ZenyattaBernardini mating will, at the very least, produce a good-looking foal.

The matchup makes sense from a conformation perspective as well; while Bernardini is certainly a good few inches smaller than Zenyatta, his look is more ‘refined’ and a smaller (well, smaller than Zenyatta) foal would probably be welcomed, since (as a very, very general rule) it tends to be more difficult to keep a larger horse sound.  And it’s hard to argue with his offspring on the track – I’ve been very impressed by his European runners thus far (especially Biondetti), and his North American results are equally notable.   He’s so popular that his book is full – Ed DeRosa has an amusing anecdote about Jim Rome’s filly being turned away (and I’d love to hear Rome take this up with the Sklar Brothers).  I’d still like to see Zenyatta go to Einstein or a European-based stallion down the line, but it’s difficult to find anything to complain about in this matchup.

There was other bloodline news this week that may have been easy to miss with all the Zenyatta publicity – Deluxe, a daughter of über-broodmare Hasili, has come from France to join Bill Mott’s barn.  She’s had some ups and downs on the track so far, but given the success her siblings have had in America, she has every opportunity to excel here. The same article noted that Proviso, one of my favorite grass fillies, has left Mott’s care to start her own breeding career with a visit to Street Cry.

I admit I have no obvious names for the eventual ZenyattaBernardini foal, but that should discourage you from entering the ‘Name the Foal‘ contest. Let’s go beyond Zendini and Bernyatta…

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