01/26/2011 6:29PM

Zenyatta will be bred to Bernardini this year

Barbara D. Livingston
Zenyatta will be bred to Bernardini in 2011, owner Jerry Moss announced Wednesday.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Ann and Jerry Moss, owners of 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta, announced Wednesday that their wildly popular 7-year-old mare will be bred to Bernardini for her first mating.

Bernardini, 2006’s champion 3-year-old, is owned by Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum and stands at his Darley Stud at Jonabell Farm in Lexington. Bernardini was 2010’s leading freshman sire by number of stakes winners and group or graded stakes winners, and he stands this year for a $75,000 stud fee. His best runners from 2010’s freshman crop include Group 1 winner Biondetti, Grade 1 winner A Z Warrior, Grade 1-placed Stay Thirsty and Theyskens’ Theory, and Grade 2 winner To Honor and Serve.

Bernardini is a son of the highly successful and fashionable sire A.P. Indy, a 22-year-old Seattle Slew horse who stands at Lane’s End Farm, where Zenyatta boards. Bernardini is out of the Grade 1-winning Quiet American mare Cara Rafaela, named Broodmare of the Year in 2006. Bernardini had his championship season in 2006, winning the Preakness Stakes, Withers, Jim Dandy, Travers, and Jockey Club Gold Cup and finishing second to Invasor in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

According to Jockey Club statistics, based on reports of mares bred the registry received through October of last year, Bernardini covered 113 mares in 2010. In 2009, he bred 142 mares who produced 106 foals, for a live foal percentage of 75 percent, according to the Jockey Club.

The Mosses could not be reached immediately for comment Wednesday, but one of their advisers, David Ingordo, said the decision to breed Zenyatta to Bernardini for her first mating came down to conformation and pedigree.

“There were physical reasons, the two complement each other,” he said, “and there were pedigree reasons, the two complement each other. Everybody agreed.”

Zenyatta, by Street Cry, won 19 of her 20 lifetime starts in a racing career that spanned from November 2007 to November 2010. In her final race, she was beaten a head by Blame while attempting to win her second consecutive Breeders’ Cup Classic title. She retired with more than $7.3 million in earnings, 13 Grade 1 victories, and four Eclipse Awards to her credit – three as champion older mare in 2008-10 and one as 2010’s Horse of the Year in a decision over her 2010 Breeders’ Cup conqueror, Blame.

Zenyatta pegireeBernardini pedigree