Bernstein's Bern Identity Proves Best in GII Sanford S.
George and Lori Hall's Bern Identity (Bernstein) broke his maiden super-impressively with a display of break-neck early speed downstate last month, but the bay showed a new dimension in Saratoga's GII Sanford S. for 2-year-old males Sunday to rate off a torrid duel and best pace presence Handsome Jack (Bring the Heat) by 1 1/4 lengths. Onetwentyeight (Discreet Cat) was third. Second when unveiled in the Belmont slop May 9, Bern Identity looked like a new horse when he romped by
13 3/4 lengths on a dry track back at Big Sandy June 1. He earned a $100,000 bonus from the New York Racing Association for breaking his maiden at the Belmont spring meet and winning a graded stake at a NYRA track in 2012. "The extra $100,000 bonus makes it all sweeter. So, thanks, NYRA!," beamed Monmouth-based Breen. "Even for his first start, without the bonus, I don't know if I would have run him in New York to begin with. Maybe with the big money here, we'll have to think about bringing some more horses here." Winning pilot Rosie Napravnik added, "He ran great. He's really got a lot of grit. We weren't quite as forwardly placed as I thought we might be, but the pace was extremely fast. He just hung in there down on the rail and finished strongest coming for home."
SANFORD S.-GII, $300,000, SAR, 7-22, 2yo, 6f, 1:11, ft.
1--#@BERN IDENTITY, 119, c, 2, by Bernstein
1st Dam: Maddalena (GSW & GISP, $250,820), by Good and Tough
2nd Dam: Two Foxie, by Fair Skies
3rd Dam: Powick, by Proud Appeal
($43,000 yrl '11 KEEJAN; $75,000 yrl '11 KEESEP). O-George & Lori Hall; B-Galleria Bloodstock, Crosshaven Bloodstock, Petaluma Bloodstock, et al (KY); T-Kelly J Breen; J-Rosie Napravnik; $220,000. Lifetime Record: 3-2-1-0, $276,000. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2--Handsome Jack, 119, g, 2, Bring the Heat--My Outlet, by Montbrook. O/B/T-Wesley A Ward (FL); $40,000.
3--Onetwentyeight, 119, c, 2, Discreet Cat--Box of Joy, by Concerto. ($150,000 2yo '12 OBSMAR). O-Repole Stable; B-Ocala Stud (FL); T-Todd A Pletcher; $20,000.
Margins: 1 1/4, 3/4, 1HF. Odds: 1.80, 4.50, 12.40.
Also Ran: Brave Dave, John Gordon, Special Jo, Hightail, Rose Junction. Scratched: Good Tickled.
Click for the brisnet.com chart, the brisnet.com PPs or the free brisnet.com catalogue-style pedigree. Video, sponsored by Taylor Made Sales.
Bern Identity was unable to make the lead as expected as Handsome Jack and Calder shipper Brave Dave (Put It Back) took it to each other through splits of :21.60 and :44.70, but was content to rate along the rail in a joint third. Handsome Jack was still going strong at the head of the lane as Brave Dave bore out badly, but Bern Identity chipped away at the leader's advantage in the final furlong to prevail in workman-like fashion. Second Choice Rose Junction (Dixie Union), racing between rivals on the turn, was unable to keep pace in the lane. "[At the sale] I think Kelly said he liked him, and he wasn't too expensive," recalled George Hall of how he and his wife acquired Bern Identity for $75,000 as a KEESEP yearling. "That was good enough for me. We'll see how he comes out of the race and see what's between here and the Breeders' Cup; obviously, that's where we'd like to get."