If you think Zenyatta's celebrity was enough to get her past the velvet rope to see Bernardini, think again.
Not even Jim Rome's celebrity could secure a place in line for Surfer Girl, a six-year-old Wild Event mare he owns with his wife, Janet, in the name of their Jungle Racing. Surfer Girl was Group 1-placed in her native Brazil but winless in five starts in the U.S. with trainer Mike Puype, though she did finish second in a pair of allowance races.
Out of the Group 3-placed winner Australian Girl, by Lode, Surfer Girl is a half sister to Group 1 winner Refuge Cove and a full sister to the group stakes-placed winner Queen Australian, but the black type and fame of Jim Rome was not enough to secure a place in the harem of Bernardini, who stands for an advertised fee of $75,000 at Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum's Darley U.S.A. in Lexington.
Jim Rome shared his angst on Twitter, saying that "Bernardini's people turned down Surfer Girl. Horse racing is a kick in the a** and a punch in the face" before adding in a separate message, "That said, absolutely ecstatic Claiborne Farm said yes to Surfer Girl with Pulpit, a sensational stallion. Absolutely pumped about that."
Both Bernardini and Pulpit are by A.P. Indy, and at an advertised fee of $50,000 with 8% stakes winners from his first 11 crops, Pulpit is an awesome consolation prize.
Still, I couldn't help imagine likening Surfer Girl getting shut out at Darley with the cliche scene outside a club when someone tries to get past the velvet rope by saying s/he is with the DJ.
"You're not on the list."
"I'm with the DJ."
Speaking of the forthcoming Bernardini-Zenyatta foal, be sure to submit your suggested name for racing royalty at the Thoroughbred Times contest page.