07/03/2009 11:00PM

Bernie Blue wakes up in Baird Memorial


Bernie Blue's gas tank hasn't hit empty yet.

Winless in his last seven starts dating back to December, the 7-year-old Bernie Blue reaffirmed his fondness for the main track at Mountaineer Racetrack when he cruised to a four-length victory in Saturday's $75,000 Dale Baird Memorial Stakes.

Based at Thistledown with trainer Miguel Feliciano, Bernie Blue ($9.60) has now won 13 of 28 starts on dirt at Mountaineer. He had been no better than third in his first two starts of the season at Mountaineer while sprinting five furlongs in the Panhandle Handicap and trying to go a mile on turf in the Memorial Day Handicap.

But he responded to the switch from Presque Isle Downs's synthetic Tapeta surface to dirt for Monday's sprint race, renamed in honor of the late trainer who won 9,445 races during his career.

Ricardo Feliciano sat in third early with Bernie Blue, who took control in midstretch and was much the best, completing 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:05.06.

Wise Answer, a 26-1 longshot trained by Baird's nephew J. Michael Baird, finished second, with Run Brother Run third at 6-1.

Trust or Bust, the 8-5 favorite, flashed brief speed and faded to fifth of six, ending his five-race winning streak.

* Beautiful Venue ($11.60), ridden by Rex Stokes III, took command in deep stretch to score by 1 1/2 lengths over Hungry Tigress in the $75,000 Firecracker for fillies and mares on turf.

Si Si Mon Amie had to settle for third as the even-money favorite. The Christophe Clement-trained Lindelaan suffered her first loss in three starts since coming to the United States from Britain, finishing a non-threatening fifth at 2-1.

Si Si Mon covered the mile in 1:39.00 for trainer Barbara Beagle.

* Timeless Fashion ($14.80) transferred his good synthetic-track form to turf when he defeated 4-5 favorite Blues Street by 1 3/4 lengths in the $75,000 Independence Day at one mile.

Guardianofthenorth nosed out Leading Out for third.

Ridden by Hector Rosario for Kentucky-based trainer Thomas Drury, the 5-year-old Timeless Fashion ran the distance in 1:38.59.