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Breeders' Cup 2017

Alpha Pedigree Profile - Topping the list in NY

With victories in the Count Fleet and Withers Stakes, Alpha became the top dog on the New York racing scene.    Unlike his previous two starts, the Kiaran McLaughlin trainee exhibited composure in the starting gate of the Withers Stakes.  Breaking from the far outside, Alpha was bumped going wide around the first turn. Despite the minor event, Alpha settled easily into fourth position on the outside.  Racing three wide, Alpha collared  the leaders at the top of the stretch and raced fairly straight down the lane  to win by an easy 3 ¼ lengths, getting the 1 1/6 miles in 1:44.23.  Like his sire, Bernardini, Alpha won the Withers Stakes with ease.  The well named Alpha heads many lists of top Derby contenders.  

Owned by the esteemed Godolphin Racing, ALPHA (Bernardini—Munnaya, by Nijinsky) has a prestigious pedigree.  His sire Bernardini won at distances from a mile to 1 1/4 miles, including victories in the aforementioned Withers, Preakness and Travers Stakes.  As a three year old, Bernardini destroyed a small field of older horses in the Jockey Club Gold Cup by over six lengths. Although he was second to the 2005 Argentinian Horse Of The Year Invasor in a highly anticipated match-up in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Bernardini earned an Eclipse Award as the top three year old for his previous exploits.
At stud, Bernardini was one of the best first crop sires of 2010 and currently leads the third crop sire list in terms of money won. To date, he’s sired twelve stakes winners, nine of them graded, including last year’s Travers Stakes hero Stay Thirsty and Cigar Mile victor To Honor And Serve.   The young stallion has already produced a winner at the classic distance of 1 ¼ miles and Bernardini  is poised to become a successor to his sire A.P. Indy in getting stamina oriented offspring. With A.P. Indy as his sire and Quiet American as his damsire, one would expect that Bernardini’s progeny would be slow to develop; however Bernardini’s dam won three times and placed four times in nine starts at two, which likely has an influence on her son’s early success at stud.
Alpha’s dam Munnaya hit the board twice in her four race career. The English turf router placed third in the Pretty Polly Stakes at 1 ¼ miles, then won the listed Lingfield Oaks Trial Stakes at 1 7/16 miles (11.5 furlongs).  Munnaya has produced ten foals of racing age. Alpha is the second of her foals to win a stakes race.  
Alpha’s distaff line has a strong affinity for the Seattle Slew sire line.  His ¾ brother Numaany (by A. P. Indy) placed in a listed stakes in Dubai, while Alpha’s half-sister Mystic Melody (by Seattle Slew) won a listed event and placed in Group 3 Stakes in France.  Additionally, Alpha’s half-sister, Lavender Sky (by Mt. Livermore) placed in the Santa Anita Handicap over the turf and Yaya (by Rahy) placed in a listed stakes in France.
Alpha’s female family is pure quality. His second dam Hiaam was victorious in the Group 3 Princess Margaret Stakes. Alpha’s third dam was 1979 Canadian Champion Three Year Old Filly Kamar.  She was later honored as 1990 Broodmare of the Year. Kamar bore Champion Canadian Three Year Old Colt Key to the Moon, Kentucky Oaks heroine Seaside Attraction and the multiple Grade 1 winner Gorgeous. Kamar has passed her superior genes to her daughters, as Kamar’s grandson Fantastic Light earned horse of the World honors two years straight and Kamar’s daughter Seaside Attraction produced the Grade 1 winners Cape Town and Golden Attraction.
Tracing the female class farther back, Alpha’s fourth dam Square Angel was 1973 Canadian Champion Three Year Old Filly and his fifth dam Nangela was a blue hen (superior female).  Grade 1 winners Turbulent Decent, Flashing and Swift Temper are members of this female family. 
The legendary Nijinsky is Alpha’s damsire.  Nijinsky won the 1970 English Triple Crown, the first to do so in 36 years. The brilliant Nijinsky was unbeaten as a two year old and captured the Irish two Thousand Guineas and Beesford Stakes. At three, Nijinsky captured the Epsom Derby with the fastest winning time on 36 years.  Racing against older horses in July of his three year old season, Nijinsky toyed with a field of major stakes winners, winning by two lengths while being eased into a canter.
Nijinsky continued his impressive ways at stud, establishing Northern Dancer as a major bloodline in Europe while toping the sire lists in England and Ireland.  Nijinsky is the only stallion to have the distinction of siring a Kentucky Derby and Epsom Derby winner in the same year.  He is classified as a Classic/Stout Chef-de-race.  Nijinsky was leading broodmare sire in the US two straight years.  Among his daughter’s prestigious offspring are 2000 Horse of the World and 2001 US Champion Fantastic Light, Champion Sprinter Rubiano, the Champion mares Flawlessly, Sky Beauty Heavenly Prize, and Belmont Stakes winner Colonial Affair.
Alpha is a slightly built, diminutive colt, yet he is well balanced and athletic with the body of a router. While not overly muscular, Alpha inherited his sire’s deep, slanted shoulder and strong hindquarters. His knew action is slightly high, but overall, Alpha has a smooth, easy gait with good extension and no paddling or excess leg movement.  With the bloodlines of the great Nijinsky, Alydar, Key To The Mint and Quadrangle in his ancestry and his new found maturity, Alpha has the pedigree and physique to be live up to his name as the top pick on many Derby lists.  
 -By HRN Pedigree Expert, Laurie Ross 
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Older Comments about Alpha Pedigree Profile - Topping the list in NY...

My friend and associate Lauren Stitch is on many serious handicappers "must read" lists, including the NHC 5th place finisher Alan Levitt and the winner Mike Beychock. Pedigree is essential for handicapping horses that are trying something new. Sure, there are anomalies and exceptions, but that’s true for everything. Overall, pedigree is a strong handicapping tool if one knows how to correctly apply it.
  • johnsnare · Absolutely correct,Iron Maidens. Pedigree is important, when your horse is running the Derby distance fore the first time. · 2000 days ago
Know who else should like 1 and 1/4 miles? Bodemeister. Sire: Empire Maker (Unbridled). Dam: Untouched Talent (Storm Cat).
His 384 Tomlinson rating for 10f is huge. By Bernardini out of a Nijinsky II mare. He should love 1 and 1/4 miles.
On pedigree this horse is definitely "Alpha"...first class and looks like the reincarnation of Nijinsky. This is one handsome horse!!!Loved his second to Gemologist and believe the distance is well within this horses abilities. I believe we are about to see this horse emerge as a standout, and Triple Crown is a distinct possibility.
If pedigrees won races rather than beng some theorectical discussion piece, atuhors like Lauren (Smarty will never win the Derby!) Stitch would be on everyones reading list
  • MableRoberts · Well, I think some people's idea of a good pedigree are a bit different. Some get caught up in hype of certain lines. I do think pedigrees win races... if you look closely enough. :) · 2076 days ago
Lots of blue in this one's bloodlines - awesome Derby prospect

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