There’s been some US buzz for a while now about Bambera, the filly from Venezuela who’s won 16 of 18 starts and is now in training in the US. I wrote about Bambera’s US aspirations in October after she won the Simon Bolivar, and that post mentioned the circumstances of her sire’s export to Venezuela. I wrote in that Oct. 25, 2009, post:
“Bambera is by the Sadler’s Wells stallion Water Poet, whose sale to Venezuela as a sire prospect was green-lighted by pedigree consultant Jack Werk. On Jack’s advice, the stallion was sold to the brother of his then-employee [at Werk Thoroughbred Consultants, Inc.], Marie Kizenko. Marie at present is an associate editor at Thoroughbred Daily News. Water Poet has been champion sire in Venezuela for the past six years. Like the Sadler’s Wells stallion El Prado in the US, Water Poet’s progeny have excelled on dirt.”
Since the Bolivar, Bambera collected the Clasico del Caribe at Hipdromo Camarero in Puerto Rico on Dec. 6 before arriving in the US to prepare for her US debut. In a Jan. 2, 2010, post titled “The 10 most intriguing horses of 2009 from around the globe,” I ranked Bambera No. 9 — even though the Group 1 races of Venezuela are not recognized as such by international racing bodies; the Clasico del Caribe is recognized as a black type race.
Water Poet has been the Sadler’s Wells of Venezuela, where he stood at Amin Saiden’s Haras San Isidro until this year. Haras San Isidro is the breeder of Bambera and numerous other champions by Water Poet, including the colt Taconeo, who is the only horse to win the Venezuelan triple crown and the Simon Bolivar — perhaps the most important race in Venezuela — in the same year, 2007. Bambera won two-thirds of the triple crown in 2009 and the Simon Bolivar as well, but she’s actually considered better than Taconeo was. In fact, she’s considered the best racehorse from Venezuela. Gustavo Delgado, Bambera’s trainer, also trained Taconeo and several other top Water Poets, and Taconeo did make three starts in the US, placing second in a minor stakes at Saratoga in 2008; but, Bambera is expected to fare much better here and may be thrown in against Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta in the Apple Blossom if she wins her US debut.
When I wrote earlier about my friend Jack Werk — who died on Feb. 14 — approving the sale of Water Poet, I only gave part of the story. Another friend, Ed Price, actually brought the horse to my attention in 2000, or sometime thereabouts, and deserves some of the credit for his sale to Venezuela, too. I passed this information on to Jack, who then suggested that Marie’s brother buy the horse. Water Poet was raced by Sheikh Mohammed and was a Listed stakes winner in France.