In my race preview, I planned to bet $700 on #7 Teasing Bernie at odds of 2-to-1 or more and, as the horses went to post, I was amazed that this gelding was 7-to-1.
The public fell in love with favorite #5 Mon Coeur. He was likely bet down to 6-to-5 for three reasons: Joel Rosario was riding, the horse was lightly raced and he had the top last-race Beyer Speed Figure.
I can see Mon Coeur’s chances being upgraded with Rosario on board, but running in these longer maiden-claiming sprints in just a horse’s third start hurts more than it helps. That’s because horses need several races to build the stamina to last to the wire with the extra distance added to a typical sprint. Otherwise, the animals are gasping for air at the finish.
Sure, Mon Coeur had the best last race Beyer, but he earned it in a one-mile turf route and today he was going 6-1/2 furlongs on the dirt. Teasing Bernie’s last three races were also at a mile on the turf where his Beyers were 61, 63 and 65 respectively. The difference was that Teasing Bernie was 7-to-1. Had he been 6-to-5, I would not have been interested in him either.
Teasing Bernie almost won this race. He was running his eyeballs out in deep stretch as he tried to catch Mon Coeur, who had been leading the whole way. About five jumps from the wire, Teasing Bernie was about a half-length behind and still coming on, when Rosario appeared to pull on his right reign, steering his mount into Teasing Bernie’s path.
Teasing Bernie fell head over heels and dumped jockey Martin Pedroza onto the track. Neither horse nor jockey moved as the camera showed them in the background of a pan shot of all of the runners crossing the wire. Fortunately, Pedroza got to his feet, dusted himself off, and was riding the next day.
But Teasing Bernie was another story. When horses go down at top speed like he did, very often they break leg bones and are destroyed. Somebody in the grandstand posted a video on YouTube showing the horse ambulance arriving then pulling a black curtain across so none of the onlookers could see what was going on. Naturally, the spectators feared the worst.
However, in a dramatic turn of events a few minutes later, the curtain came down and Teasing Bernie got up and walked into the horse ambulance under his own power. The crowd roared.
All the while, the inquiry sign was illuminated on the tote board. The stewards were watching the tape trying to determine if Teasing Bernie fell on his own or if Mon Coeur was to blame. Eventually, they disqualified Mon Coeur and moved 18-to-1 shot Tribal Dreams into first.
The result was good for me since I also bet $100 on Tribal Dreams. I liked this first-time starter because his sire, Tribal Rule, has had good success with debuting horses in long sprints.
Also, I had $300 on another first timer #9 Jamakagoodsense, at 8-to-1.
On Monday, I checked on the Internet and found a story that said Teasing Bernie was back in trainer Jim Cassidy’s barn. Cassidy said the gelding’s legs were fine and that he was monitoring the horse to make sure the animal didn’t suffer a head injury.
In the end, I bet a total of $1,100 on the race and collected $1,900 for an $800 profit.