Lori and George Hall’s West Side Bernie made it two-for-two in his career with a victory in the $100,000 Kentucky Cup Juvenile (gr. III) at Turfway Park Sept. 27 and stamped his ticket to the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Park.
Ridden by Stewart Elliott for trainer Kelly Breen, West Side Bernie rated off the early pace in the race, took the lead in the stretch, and drew away to a three-length victory over Retap, who raced in second the entire race. Gresham finished third, with Just Like Biscuit fourth.
Fractions for the Juvenile were :23.81 for the opening quarter mile, :47.95 for a half mile, 1:12.60 for six furlongs, and 1:37.79 for the mile. West Side Bernie completed the Kentucky Cup Juvenile's 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.22 on Polytrack and paid $5.60 to win as the favorite.
In his career debut, West Side Bernie won a one mile and 70-yard maiden test at Monmouth Park after a troubled trip. His connections wanted to see if the colt could handle a synthetic surface, so they shipped him to Turfway.
“That’s part of the reason we came here,” George Hall said. “We thrilled to do so well. We’ll have Kelly evaluate our chances (for the Breeders’ Cup).”
“He seems to like the distance and the surface,” said Breen, who is based at Monmouth in New Jersey during the summer. “I think we’re going to the big show.”
West Side Bernie, a Kentucky-bred by Bernstein out of the Gilded Time mare Time Honored, shipped to Turfway early to get a feel for the Polytrack. On Sept. 14, he fired a bullet work of 1:00.40 for five furlongs.