Legacy lives on for breeder killed in plane crash
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — The family of a horse breeder who died in the Comair plane crash in Lexington in 2006 said his dream to produce winning race horses is coming true with the success of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I'll Have Another.
George Brunacini, always dreamed of winning the Kentucky Derby, his son, Angelo Brunacini told The Lexington Herald-Leader (http://bit.ly/KYiXLJ ), but they didn't expect to breed the sire of a potential Triple Crown winner.
Brunacini, who worked in real estate and construction in New Mexico, had a passion for the Bluegrass state and thoroughbred horses so in 1996, he bought 200 acres in Georgetown to establish Bona Terra Farm.
In 2001, Brunacini bred his mare Princess Olivia to Distorted Humor and the resulting colt, Flower Alley, was sold in 2002. Flower Alley went on to win the 2005 Travers Stakes and sired I'll Have Another, who is running the Belmont Stakes on Saturday
Brunacini was killed on Aug. 27, 2006 in the crash of Comair Flight 5191 in Lexington. But Brunacini's legacy lives through Flower Alley, who now lives at Three Chimney Farms in Lexington.
"We imagined too small," Angelo Brunacini said of his father's dreams to win the Kentucky Derby. "We had no idea he could have a chance to breed the sire of a Triple Crown winner."
This weekend his family, who live in Albuquerque, N.M., visited the Kentucky farm to get pictures with the horse that has become a fond memory of George Brunacini.
Angelo Brunacini said some family members are going to New York to be at the Belmont Stakes, but he said he may need some space to let out his emotions.
"If he wins, I think I'd rather be alone. It's going to be pretty exciting," Brunacini said. "I'm so proud of my dad. Not that many sons can say their father was the breeder of a sire of a Triple Crown winner, or even a Kentucky Derby or Preakness winner. Even just that is so special."