recent history, there hasn't been a more influential horse in the Grade
1 Travers than Bernardini. The son of A.P. Indy won the "Mid-Summer
Derby" in 2006 and has gone on to sire two winners, Stay Thirsty in 2011
and co-winner Alpha in 2012.
14 Travers winners have had offspring duplicate the feat, only
Bernardini and Hall of Famer Man o' War have produced more than one.
Man o' War won the race in 1919, and sired subsequent winners Mars (1926) and War Hero (1932).
Saturday, Bernardini will have two Godolphin Stable-owned sons in the 1
¼-mile Travers: Transparent, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, and Romansh,
from the barn of trainer Tom Albertrani.
great," said McLaughlin, who trained 2012 co-winner Alpha.
"Bernardini's had not a great year [as a sire], but I have to say
there's not been that many of them in America. A lot of them went
overseas, so everybody's being a little hard on him. But, he's a great
sire and a wonderful horse. To think that he won it and two of his sons
won it, and now he has two more in it, obviously he's an outstanding
sire. We hope one of us wins."
Travers victory would be particularly satisfying for Albertrani, who
trained Bernardini to the 3-year-old male championship in 2006, his only
season of racing.
I look at [Romansh] at certain times, I see a little resemblance,
especially his head. He has that same portrait of him in certain
angles," Albertrani said. "Not only was it an honor to have the horse in
my barn a few years back, and now having some offspring, it would be
very rewarding if I could win it with one of his own myself. It would be
a great accomplishment."
won the Travers by 7 ½ lengths, four weeks after rolling by nine in the
Grade 2 Jim Dandy. Albertrani still remembers the stretch call by New
York Racing Association track announcer Tom Durkin that day:
Castellano is like a statue in the stirrups aboard Bernardini, and they
glide past the eighth pole with a five-length lead! Effortless
performance by Bernardini. Look at this! He didn't break a sweat, and
it's 90 degrees! Bernardini runs huge!"
was just a great race call," Albertrani said. "He dominated this track.
I feel good the way [Romansh] has been making steady progress. Like
Bernardini, who only raced four times going into the Preakness, that's
when he started hitting his best stride. I think this horse is doing the
exact same thing. He's just training so well. It's all about timing,
and this could be the right time for him."