Trained by Reade Baker, Bear’s Hard Ten was making his stakes debut in the Display and also trying two turns for the first time. He covered 1 1/16 miles on the Polytrack in 1:44.39 under Eurico Da Silva.
The winner received a comfortable stalking trip under Da Silva, as he raced just off of pacesetter Send Him In, who clicked off comfortable splits of :24.35, :48.33, and 1:12.03.
As they moved into the turn, Just Call Me Roger joined Send Him In and Bear’s Hard Ten from the outside, and those three hit the quarter pole heads apart. Bear’s Hard Ten easily split his rivals when they straightened away and methodically edged clear in the stretch. He was never seriously threatened in the final furlong, though Giant's Tomb and Redverse did rally well for second and third, respectively.
Racing for Bear Stables, Bear’s Hard Ten was sold four different times before he hit the track. Bred in Kentucky by John B. Crook, he was first bought for just $1,000 at the 2008 Keeneland January horses of all ages sale after being consigned by Gainesway, agent.
The son of Rock Hard Ten—Play For Me, by Gone West, was eventually sold at the 2008 Fasig-Tipton Texas yearling sale and 2008 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall yearling sale, before finally winding up in the hands of Bear Stables for $85,000 at the OBS Spring sale of 2-year-olds in training.
Bear’s Hard Ten broke his maiden at second asking Oct. 2 at Woodbine and was fifth in an allowance race three weeks later over the same track. He went off as the co-favorite, along with Giant’s Tomb, in the Display.
“I think he’s a very nice horse,” said Baker. “I don’t know what to think about his race before this. I still have no clue as to what happened that day.”
The bay colt paid $7.60, $3.90, and $3. The exacta (7-5) returned $30.40, and the trifecta (7-5-1) was $115.90.
Captain Carlos finished fourth, followed by Just Call Me Roger, Send Him In, and Thunder Ball.