Sunday’s third race is a mile and a sixteenth allowance
event that drew a field of seven and provides a very interesting handicapping
puzzle. Mostly because it features the Monmouth Park returns of Atomic Rain and
West Side Bernie, who were newsmakers here last year.
The two 4-year-olds started their careers with trainer Kelly Breen, and both broke
their maidens here. West Side Bernie became a graded stakes winner and ran in
the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Both horses raced in last year’s Kentucky Derby
(“Bernie” was 9th and Atomic Ran was 16th).
West Side Bernie was then sold to Godolphin Stables and sent to Dubai. Atomic Rain won
the Long Branch Stakes and earned an invitation to the Haskell. He also was
purchased by Godolphin and ran in the Haskell (6th) in Sheikh Mohammed’s
Both horses trained in Dubai
over the winter, but ran poorly in stakes there in February. They were returned
to the U.S. and have been
training steadily at Belmont
for their Monmouth homecoming. West Side Bernie is one-for-one over this track,
and Atomic Rain has scored all three of his career wins at Monmouth.