By Elaine Belval
Very few stallions are successful in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. In fact, many of the best sires in the Northern Hemisphere have been disappointing, if not downright failures, in their shuttle attempts.
So, what do you call a stallion that has been successful everywhere he goes? Bernstein.
Bernstein was bred in Kentucky by Brushwood Stables. A well-bred son of leading sire Storm Cat, he was a full brother to GSWs Caress and Country Cat when he went through the sales ring at Keeneland November in 1997. He sold for $925,000, the highest-priced Storm Cat weanling that year.
Bernstein was purchased by H. Tabor and raced for the “Coolmore connections” in Europe. He broke his maiden in his first start at 2, winning a 6-furlong maiden in late May. He came back in late June to win the G3 Railway S. He finished fifth in the G1 National S. that fall, failing in the last furlong of the mile race to make all the running.
Thrown in deep in his first start as a 3yo, he clearly was not fit to take on the challenges in the 2000 Guineas. He rebounded quite nicely and that fall and took the Concorde S. back in Ireland. He was brought to the US for his final start, but found the nine furlong River City H. too far for him.
Bernstein clearly preferred distances under a mile. As a multiple GSW by Storm Cat from an outstanding family, he made an attractive stallion prospect. He retired to stud in the US for an attractive $10,000 fee. After his season at Castleton Lyons in the US, Bernstein went down to Haras La Biznaga in Argentina.
Bernstein had a solid first crop in the US, with five SWs from 37 foals (a marvelous 14%), led by GSWs Toll Taker and Berbatim. From his 60 foals in Argentina, Bernstein sired 11 SWs (an outstanding 18%), led by Horse of the Year Storm Mayor – winner of the prestigious Carlos Pellegrini, the premier race of South America – and champion Storm Military. Another G1 winner from that crop, Stormy Miss, came to the US and won the G3 Honorable Miss H.
Bernstein has not slowed down since. In 2009, Bernstein sired the G1 winners Dream Empress (Alcibiades S. and second in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies) and Miss World (G1 Garden City S.).
Recently, Bernstein’s Proceed Bee won the 10-furlong Prairie Meadows H. Proceed Bee has won stakes at 2, three and 4 and has more than $500,000 in earnings. Also recently, Bernie the Maestro won the American Dreamer S. at Calder over eight furlongs. This is the 3yo gelding’s second stakes victory of the Calder meet.
Bernstein was a precocious runner himself and almost half of his SWs win stakes at 2. Over 50% of his progeny win on turf. Slightly half of his SWs are GSWs and his SWs are evenly split between fillies and colts. And while Bernstein has had winners at over 12 furlongs, especially in Argentina, the majority of his runners compete in the eight-and nine- furlong range.
Bernstein has made his mark, in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and shows no signs of slowing down.
Bernstein stood the 2010 Northern Hemisphere season at Castleton Lyons for $25,000. He will not be returning to Haras La Biznaga in Argentina for the Southern Hemisphere season in 2010.
(Elaine Belval is senior pedigree analyst at WTC.)