10/18/2015 2:47PM

Bye Bye Bernie gets great ride to prevail in Nearctic

Emily Shields
Bye Bye Bernie wins the Nearctic Stakes in a blanket finish Sunday at Woodbine.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Bye Bye Bernie prevailed at 22-1 in a blanket finish Sunday in the Grade 2 Nearctic Stakes on the Canadian International undercard.

Bye Bye Bernie ($46.10) got a flawless ride from Rafael Hernandez, who won this year’s Queen’s Plate here on Shaman Ghost.

Excaper and Spring to the Sky dueled through honest fractions in the six-furlong turf sprint as Bye Bye Bernie bided his time about five lengths off the pace in fifth on the turn. Hernandez angled Bye Bye Bernie wide for the drive, and they hit the front inside the eighth pole before holding off a host of challengers to prevail in 1:09 over good ground.

Summation Time rallied strongly from seventh to finish a head back in second, a nose in front of The Great War, who out-finished a wide-closing Passion for Action for third. Completing the order of finish were Terror, Sweet Luca, Excaper, Spring to the Sky, Crysta’s Court, and the 5-2 favorite Cyclogenisis.

Bye Bye Bernie, who was claimed for $62,500 by trainer Brendan Walsh at Gulfstream on April 1, earned $180,000 of the $303,800 purse for owner DARRS Inc. The 5-year-old gelding was exiting a close third in the Kentucky Downs Turf Dash.

“I got a nice trip,” said Hernandez. “Whenever I ride him, he breaks right on top and then takes himself back the first couple jumps. He’s easy to ride. He’s a great horse, with a good trainer. I told [Walsh] after the last race at Kentucky Downs I wanted to ride him back, and he let me do it.”