11/12/2007 12:00AM

Bernie Blue slows down pace in Mountaineer Mile

EmailA key scratch that changed the complexion of the race helped stretch-out sprinter Bernie Blue dominate the $125,000 Mountaineer Mile at Mountaineer Race Track on Saturday night.

When the Chicaco-based Tepexpan was withdrawn from the field, along with outsiders Jenkin Jones and Crafty Kid, Bernie Blue ($4.60) was left as the lone speed in a field of five older horses.

As a result, jockey Deshawn Parker was able to set an extremely slow pace aboard Bernie Blue of 25.70 seconds for a quarter-mile, 50.08 for a half-mile, and 1:15.26. Able to conserve his energy, Bernie Blue went on to easily defeat deep closer M B Sea by three lengths while completing the mile in 1:41.50.

It was the sixth win in 13 starts this season for the 5-year-old Bernie Blue, a son of Bernstein trained by Miguel Feliciano. Although based at Thistledown, Bernie Blue is now 9 for 19 in his career at Mountaineer.