Bernhards’ Long-Term Plans for Pin Oak Could be Closer Than They Realize

By Jessica Martini / Published in the TDN

When Jim and Dana Bernhard purchased Pin Oak Stud last fall, the plan was always to return stallions to stand at the historic property and, while that idea may have been on the back burner before, the heat may be turned up a bit now after the couple’s Geaux Rocket Ride (Candy Ride {Arg}) won the GI Haskell S. Saturday at Monmouth Park.

“Jim and Dana Bernhard are on cloud nine,” Pin Oak’s Clifford Barry said Monday. “I think they can’t believe it. I have spoken to them multiple times and they are some kind of excited.”

While Barry would not commit to the newly minted Grade I winner standing at Pin Oak, he did admit the sophomore was an extremely attractive option to stand in Kentucky.

“He’s a very, very important young horse at this point, there’s no doubt about it,” Barry said. “He’s a son of Candy Ride out of an Uncle Mo mare, he’s such an outcross to a lot of mares here in Central Kentucky right now. Obviously, he’s a horse with lots of speed, breaks his maiden going six furlongs, second in the GII San Felipe and then comes back and wins the Haskell in his fourth start in what was probably one of the strongest Haskells in several years.”

While the Bernhards, advisor Matt Weinmann and trainer Richard Mandella are still to discuss options for the colt’s next race and how best to get to the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita in November, Barry said the current plan is to race Geaux Rocket Ride at four.

“I think the plan is to race him in his 4-year-old year, just talking to Jim and Dana this morning,” Barry said. “He’s a lightly raced horse at this point and you hope he’s got a really, really bright future ahead of him on the racetrack.”

As for his future beyond that, Barry said, “I think it would be premature to say he will stand at Pin Oak. I think it would be unfair on the horse to say that. But definitely Jim and Dana have had dreams of standing stallions here for sure. I think when they bought the farm, that was very much a focus on what they were thinking. Obviously, Pin Oak stood stallions–Maria’s Mon, Peaks and Valleys, Sky Classic. We are very well known for standing stallions, so it won’t be anything unusual to stand stallions here and it won’t be unusual to take in partners at that time. We had some very loyal partners in all our stallions here.”

Barry added, “We’re just excited that we even have a horse to be thinking in that way for sure. I don’t think anybody was thinking to come up with a horse this quickly. Two years ago, Geaux Rocket Ride was bought as a birthday present and lo and behold, here we are after winning the Haskell. Everybody dreams those things, but you know how dreams in this game don’t always turn out.”

Pin Oak Stud