08/12/2010 2:33PM

Tesher settled back in Florida for now


MIAMI – It’s rare to see a promising New York-bred 2-year-old competing in feature races around these parts at this time of year but such will be the case when Prince of Danger starts as one of the favorites in Saturday’s $32,500 main event.

Prince of Danger, a New York-bred son of Forest Danger, is trained by Howie Tesher, who has returned to his Miami roots on a full-time basis for the first time this summer. Tesher, 70, who began his career nearly 50 years earlier in Maryland, has won nearly 1,300 races and purses totaling in excess of $30 million while based primarily over the years in New York during the summer and south Florida in the winter.

Among Tesher’s biggest accomplishments and major victories was the 1993 Florida Derby with Bull in the Heather. He also captured the 1997 Man o’ War and had a course-record performance that same year in the Bowling Green from the turf specialist Influent.

Perhaps one of Tesher’s proudest training accomplishments, though, came in 1993 when one of his horses, Cox’s Sword, somehow managed to escape the Belmont Park grounds, ran down Hempstead Turnpike and ended up on the cloverleaf leading to the Cross Island Parkway. The misguided horse managed to escape unscathed from the predicament.

“Luckily he was well trained enough to run with the traffic instead of against it,” Tesher said.

Tesher cited several reasons for deciding to settle down permanently in south Florida this season.

“They’ve taken the fun out of the game in New York,” said Tesher. “And besides, I figure when the best trainer in the world, Allen Jerkens, is down to only 11 horses in New York, it was time for me to get to Florida.”

Prince of Danger is presently the best horse amongst Tesher’s modest stable bedded down locally. A temper mental sort, Prince of Danger led from start to finish to capture his debut going 4 1/2 furlongs on Jan. 19 but ran into all sorts of problems when wheeling back four weeks later in the Frank Gomez Memorial.

“He broke slow from the rail, was weaving all over the racetrack and then my rider” – Jose Arce – “came back to the scale house and passed out with heat stroke,” said Tesher. “In all my years in the business I’ve never seen anything like that before.”

Prince of Danger will again break from post position 1 when he drops in against entry level allowance company on Saturday.

“Naturally I’m worried about him having the rail again Saturday,” said Tesher. “I think eventually he’ll be okay if he’s outrun to the lead but from the inside, at the moment, I’d guess I’d prefer him to be in front.”

Tesher said if Prince of Danger pans out like he hopes, he could find himself returning to New York before year’s end.

“I didn’t send him up to New York at first because he never would have made the six hours in the detention barn up there,” said Tesher. “Now that’s gone but at long as he’s down here I’ll run him a couple of times and see where we’re at. He’s got to show me a little more before we ship.”