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Eclipse Award winner Trinniberg: Breeders’ Cup victor carries sire and dam’s speed to championship
courtesy of McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, Louise Reinagel photo
Trinniberg, the successful result of a speed-on-speed mating, got his young sire Teuflesberg off to a good start and transformed his dam from an obscurely bred runner to a $460,000 broodmare.
Teuflesberg, a son of 2001 juvenile champion Johannesburg and the winless Devil’s Bag mare St. Michele, was at his best between six and seven furlongs. Although he only won a minor stakes at two, he did have some impressive achievements that season, most notably finishing within a neck of future champion Scat Daddy in the Grade 2 Sanford, which he entered as a maiden. At age three in 2007, he stretched his speed to a mile when taking the 2007 Southwest Stakes, a win that kept him on the Kentucky Derby trail. He finished third in the 1 1/16-mile Rebel, then came fourth in a blanket finish in the 1 1/8-mile Blue Grass Stakes. But the Derby’s 1 1/4 miles was a bridge too far.
After a 17th-place Derby finish behind Blue Grass runner-up Street Sense, Teuflesberg returned to his more natural inclination, sprinting. He bounced back a month later to take the Woody Stephens, his career highlight, after stumbling at the start. Later that summer, he tried Grade 1 company again in the King’s Bishop and finished fourth behind winner Hard Spun.
A $9,000 yearling purchase, Teuflesberg earned $621,981 and won five times in 21 starts in two seasons. He retired after breaking both sesamoids in his left front leg during Keeneland’s 2007 Phoenix Stakes but was saved for stud duty; after starting his career in Kentucky, he now stands at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds in New York.
From a first crop of just 35 foals and 27 starters, Teuflesberg racked up a 37 percent win rate. Trinniberg, his only Grade 1 winner to date, also was Teuflesberg’s first winner when he broke his maiden on July 8, 2011. But that first crop also included 2012 stakes-winner Wizardry and stakes-placed Logan’s Peak and Not an Altar Boy. To date, his progeny’s average win distance hews closely to Teuflesberg’s own form at just over six furlongs.
An interesting note about Teuflesberg’s female family: his dam, St. Michele, hails from the great family that produced Pulpit, Tale of the Cat, and Teuflesberg’s own sire, Johannesburg. Teuflesberg and Johannesburg share the same fourth dam, the Nijinsky II mare and outstanding producer State.
In crossing Teuflesberg with New York-bred Bella Dorato, Trinniberg’s breeder J M Stables was doubling up on speed. Bella Dorato is by the stakes-winning sprinter Goldminers Gold and competed almost exclusively in sprint races; in her only try at a mile, she finished a distant fifth. A onetime $14,000 buyback at Fasig-Tipton’s Midlantic juvenile sale, Bella Dorato won just one of her 14 starts, a six-furlong maiden special weight at Aqueduct. But she consistently picked up checks with seven second-place finishes and three thirds, including one that earned her black type, in the 2005 Finger Lakes Juvenile Fillies Stakes. Overall, she earned $103,420.
Crossed with Teuflesberg, she produced a colt whose pedigree has three shots of the speedy Mr. Prospector (4 x 5 x 4), and who, through Mr. Prospector, is also inbred 5 x 5 to both Raise a Native and Gold Digger.
Bella Dorato’s family is only sparsely ornamented with stakes performers, and those that appear are mostly hard-knocking regional runners who accumulated respectable bankrolls at smaller venues. Bella Dorato’s half-siblings out of Witchkin (by Salem) include a pair of Finger Lakes stakes-placed horses, Eddie White Sox (by Deputed Testamony) and Jovanna (by Minardi), both six-figure earners. A third half-sibling, the Cactus Ridge colt Dream of Kaylee, flashed class with a third in the Grade 3 Kentucky Stakes at Churchill Downs. But until Trinniberg came along, there were no stakes winners under the first four dams on her catalog page.
Bella Dorato and Trinniberg have elevated the family profile to a remarkable degree. Last November, Stonestreet Thoroughbreds paid $460,000 at the Fasig-Tipton mixed sale for the then 9-year-old mare, who was not in foal. Earlier in the year, Abdullah Saeed Almaddah had paid $450,000 for her 2-year-old full sister to Trinniberg at the Midlantic juvenile auction. That filly, Ostourah, broke her maiden at first asking in September.
To read more about Trinniberg's Eclipse Award-winning season, click here.
Isn't it an interesting coincidence that Trinniberg's sire, Teuflesberg, finished 17th in the Kentucky Derby behind Street Sense, and Trinniberg totally immulated his father and finished 17th in the Kentucky Derby behind I'll Have Another? Incredible. I don't know if that has ever happened before in the Derby. Fortunes brightened for Teuflesberg, and fortunes brightened for Trinniberg as well. And now Trinniberg has earned an Eclipse Award! Fabulous! It's examples like that that keeps me enthusiastic about racing. The courage and talent of these beautiful animals overcoming all odds to become champions. That's the beauty of racing. Several of the Eclipse Award winners this year were not "To The Manor Born", they are all amazing overachievers who have elevated their entire family line with their wonderful talent. Trinniberg is one of those overachievers. To see him win his Breeders' Cup race was one of the best moments in racing this year. Watching the pure joy and appreciation his connections have (including his jockey) in being connected to this horse is palpable. It's very nice to see all of them succeeding. It's especially fun to see Trinniberg succeeding after being torn to bits in the press and scoffed at by a lot of sarcastic people after the Derby. Thank goodness his connections never gave up on him. And he has rewarded them by getting better as the year went on, by winning a Breeders' Cup race for them, and winning an Eclipse Award. Not bad, huh?? - LOL. Congratulations, Trinniberg. It's been fun to watch you rise far, far above everyone's expectations.