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Roberto (horse)

Commented out because image was deleted: 200px
Roberto on the cover of the December 20, 1978 issue of Thoroughbred Record magazine
Sire Hail To Reason
Dam Bramalea
Grandsire Turn-To
Damsire Nashua
Gender Stallion
Foaled 1969
Country United States
Color Bay
Breeder John W. Galbreath
Owner John W. Galbreath
Trainer Vincent O'Brien
Record 14: 7-3-0
Earnings $339,902
Roberto is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Bramalea by Hail To Reason. He was born around 1969 in the United States, and was bred by John W. Galbreath.
Major wins
National Stakes (1971)
Anglesey Stakes (1971)
Epsom Derby (1972)
Benson & Hedges Gold Cup (1972)
Vauxhall Trial Stakes (1972)
Coronation Cup (1973)
Champion 2-Year-Old Colt in Ireland (1971)
Champion 3-year-old colt in Ireland (1972)
Champion 3-year-old colt in England (1972)
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)
Last updated on February 18, 2010

Roberto (1969-1988) was an American-bred Thoroughbred Champion racehorse who competed in Ireland and England. He was named for Major League Baseball star Roberto Clemente by his owner John Galbreath who also owned the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team.

Roberto was bred by Galbreath at his Darby Dan Farm near Lexington, Kentucky. The son of the successful sire Hail To Reason out of the dam Bramalea, Roberto's grandsire was Turn-To, a descendant of Nearco, and his damsire was the U.S. Hall of Famer, Nashua. Sent to Ireland to be trained by Vincent O'Brien, Roberto had an impressive 2-year-old campaign that saw him win the Group One National Stakes and earn 1971 Irish Champion colt honors in his age group.

At age three, Roberto began competing with the best horses in England. In the 2,000 Guineas Classic, Roberto finished second to High Top. Ridden by Lester Piggott, Roberto defeated Rheingold by a head to capture the Epsom Derby, the most prestigious race in the United Kingdom. The victory made John Galbreath the first person to own winners of both the English and American Derbys, having won the 1967 Kentucky Derby with Proud Clarion.

The Benson & Hedges Gold Cup

In the inaugural edition of the Benson & Hedges Gold Cup in 1972, Roberto established himself as a truly great horse. Many racing observers believed Rheingold was the better horse and should have won the Epsom Derby. Superstar jockey Lester Piggott too shared this view and after Roberto had run poorly in his previous start, for the Benson & Hedges Gold Cup Piggott abandoned Roberto to ride Rheingold. However, it was the entry of the formidable 4-year-old Brigadier Gerard that generated enormous publicity for the race. Undefeated in fifteen career starts, Brigadier Gerard was seen as invincible.

Having lost jockey Piggott, Roberto's owner John Galbreath flew in the Panamanian-born American jockey Braulio Baeza. Riding for the first time on an English racetrack, according to Raceform, a leading publisher of U.K. horseracing information, Braulio Baeza aboard "Roberto was out of the stalls like a bat out of hell." Shocked racing fans watched as the colt never looked back, handing Brigadier Gerard his only defeat while setting a new York Racecourse record in beating the illustrious champion by three lengths.

Roberto raced at age four, notably winning the prestigious Coronation Cup.

A sire of international influence

Retired to stand at stud at Darby Dan Farm in Kentucky, Roberto became a successful sire of international influence. Among his notable offspring were 1988 Eclipse Award turf champion Sunshine Forever; Real Shadai, the leading sire in Japan in 1993; Australia Melbourne Cup winner At Talaq; British Classic winner Touching Wood; outstanding sire Kris S., who produced five Breeders' Cup winners; and Dynaformer who sired 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro.

Roberto died on August 2, 1988 at Darby Dan Farm and is buried in their equine cemetery.

Pedigree of Roberto
Hail To Reason
Turn-to Royal Charger Nearco
Sun Princess
Source Sucree Admiral Drake
Nothirdchance Blue Swords Blue Larkspur
Flaming Swords
Galla Colors Sir Gallahad III
Rouge et Noir
Nashua Nasrullah Nearco
Mumtaz Begum
Segula Johnstown
Rarelea Bull Lea Bull Dog
Rose Leaves
Bleebok Blue Larkspur



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