West Side Wonder

by Ed Meyer

posted on March 17, 2009 in General Discussion, Handicapping, Other Events | 2 Comments >>

This Saturday, in the Lane’s End Stakes, West Side Bernie looks like a good thing.  This is a very nice $500,000 race, and fits very well into the Derby scene.

If you go back in time to The Kentucky Cup Juvenile (G-3), you got a glimpse of a poly track runner; trained by Kelly Breen and ridden by Edgar Prado. Add that up, and it is well worth the price of admission.

West Side Bernie was shipped from Florida and arrived at Turfway on March 14th. He jogged on the track the following day.

“We wanted to make sure he got over the trip and get his body moving,” Breen said.  “He looks good, eating well—all the things you want them to do coming out of a trip.”

With Breen aboard, West Side Bernie galloped a little over a mile on March 16th, and will keep that routine through the week. He worked four furlongs in :48.80 at Palm Meadows Training Center on March 12th, and will not breeze again before the 1 1/8-mile Lane’s End.

He also has King Puma on the under card, and I would not overlook his abilities. Since the kickoff of the synthetic revolution, some trainers have taken quite well to the surface and others have taken a little more time to figure out the lay of the land.

You can never mention all of the wonderful conditioners, but here are a few worth a hard look when you see them on the poly track: Mike Maker, Eddie Kenneally, Reade Baker, Rusty Arnold, Kiaran McLaughlin, and Kelly Breen. Some of these names you will see on the big day, and they are worth the second look.

This is a very nice runner who has been keeping some good company. As a baby, he enjoyed the surface and something tells me another top shelf effort is coming our way. Prado doesn’t come this way for nothing.