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Breeders' Cup 2017

Stay Thirsty Focused on Classics

If he were in anyone else’s barn but Todd Pletcher’s, Stay Thirsty would be regarded as a top prospect for the American classics. As it is, he has lived in the shadow of his brilliant stablemate, 2010 champion juvenile male Uncle Mo, who is also owned by Mike Repole. But on March 5, Stay Thirsty stepped out of the shadows to take the spotlight for a day, capturing the Gothan Stakes (gr. III) in his season opener.

Whether Stay Thirsty will develop far enough and fast enough to mount a serious challenge for leadership of the division is still to be seen, but the pedigree credentials are certainly there. Bred by John D. Gunther and John Darren Gunther, he is the fifth stakes winner and fifth graded stakes winner for Bernardini  . The Darley stallion had a good weekend; in addition to Stay Thirsty’s win, Bernardini’s daughter A Z Warrior ran third in the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I), while his well-bred sons Break Up the Game and Wilburn collected their maiden victories.

While Bernardini did quite well as a freshman sire of 2010, he is expected to fare even better among second-crop sires as his progeny mature and get more distance under their hoofs. Stay Thirsty is one of two sons who would make almost anyone’s list of the top 20 prospects for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I); the other, multiple grade II winner To Honor and Serve, finished third in the Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) February 26 in his first start of 2011.


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