- Bernardini turned in the final workout of his preparation for the Classic - and probably of his career - this morning at Belmont. The specifics of it seem almost irrelevant, but for it was five furlongs in 1:02 4/5 according to Bloodhorse.
[Exercise rider Simon] Harris broke Bernardini off slowly as the pair went the first quarter in :26 and three furlongs in :38 1/5. After the five furlong work, they galloped out in 1:15 1/5.Tom Albertrani added: "He's a little stronger and sharper going into this race." Oh man. Here's the Form's Mike Welsch's take, and he got a slightly different time.
Down the stretch, Harris was sitting still on Bernardini, high on the saddle and never moving his hands. Bernardini did everything on his own. His final quarter was :24 3/5.
"He was tough today. He gave me a hard time. I had to break my reins. I looked around to see if there was something coming, I didn't know what was going on. He's just full of himself. He's just that sharp right now....He galloped out really strong. The farther he goes the stronger he gets. He has never been doing better than he is now. He's ready." [Bloodhorse]
Bernardini (five furlongs in 1:03.32): Bernardini was given ample time to stretch his legs by exercise rider Simon Harris once he entered the racetrack immediately after the break and was obviously aggressive and ready to roll as he made his way down the backstretch to the five- furlong pole. Harris had his feet in the dashboard to keep the razor-sharp Bernardini from getting away too quickly and allowed him to settle into a nice early rhythm with an opening eighth and quarter splits in 13.75 and 26.52 seconds.(The official workout time was 1:02.86.)
Bernardini was still well within himself when he hit the top of the stretch, fanned slightly wide off the turn, then switched leads right on cue and picked up the pace without urging to complete his final quarter-mile in 24.60. He appeared to get stronger the farther he went, galloping out another eighth-mile past the wire in 12.70 before getting a double gallop out time of 1:29.25 for seven furlongs.