Horse Racing

Bernhards’ long-term plan for Pin Oak may be closer than they realize


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When Jim and Dana Bernhard purchased the Pin Oak Stud last fall, the plan was always to return the stallions to stand at the historic property and, although that idea may have burned through before, the heat could rise a bit after the pairing Ride the rocket rocket Geaux (candy ride {Arg}) won GI Haskell S. Saturday at Monmouth Park.

“Jim and Dana Bernhard are above cloud nine,” said Clifford Barry of Pin Oak on Monday. “I think they can’t believe it. I’ve talked to them many times and they’re pretty excited.”

While Barry won’t commit to the newly minted Class I winner at Pin Oak, he did admit the sophomore is an extremely attractive choice to stand in Kentucky.

“He’s a very, very important pony at this point, no doubt about that,” said Barry. “He is the son of candy ride out of a Uncle Mo mare, it’s a crossbreed with a lot of mares in Central Kentucky right now. Clearly, he was a horse with a lot of speed, breaking his first daughter by going six longhairs, finishing second in GII San Felipe and then turning around and winning Haskell in a fourth start in what was probably one of the strongest Haskells in several years.

While Bernhards, mentor Matt Weinmann and coach Richard Mandella are still discussing options for the foal’s next race and the best way to get to the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita in November, Barry said the current plan is to race the Geaux Rocket Ride at four o’clock.

“I think the plan is to race him at the age of 4, just talked to Jim and Dana this morning,” Barry said. “At this point he’s a light racehorse and you hope he has a really, really bright future ahead of him on the track.”

Regarding his future after that, Barry said, “I think it would be too early to say that he will stand at Pin Oak. I don’t think it’s fair to say that. But surely Jim and Dana had dreamed of stallions standing here. I think when they bought the farm, they focused a lot on what they were thinking. Apparently, Pin Oak stands stallion-Maria’s Mon, Peaks and Valleys, Sky Classic. We are very well known for our standing stallions, so it would not be unusual to stand stallions here and it would not be unusual to receive a partner at that time. We’ve got some very loyal partners in all of our stallions here.”

Barry added, “We’re glad we even have a horse to definitely think that way. I don’t think anyone would have thought of making such a fast horse. Two years ago, the Geaux Rocket Ride was purchased as a birthday present and, strangely enough, here we are after winning the Haskell. Everyone dreams of those things, but you know, the dreams in this game don’t always come true.”

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This story was posted in Top News and tagged Farmer’s Cup, Clifford Barry, Ride the rocket rocket Geaux, Haskell Shares, Jim and Dana Bernhard, Matt Weinmann, Monmouth Park, Oak pins, Richard Mandella.

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