Stud Sampaio’s Berlino Di Tiger (BRZ) held off a late charge from 2009 race winner Chamberlain Bridge by a nose to win the 19th running of the $138,250 Twin Spires Turf Sprint presented by RAM (Grade III), the first of six graded stakes on the Kentucky Derby Day program at Churchill Downs.
Trained by Eduardo Caramori and ridden by Leandro Goncalves, Berlino Di Tiger covered the five furlongs on the “good” Matt Winn Turf Course in :57.01.
The victory was worth $83,144 and improved Berlino Di Tiger’s earnings to $212,212 with a record of 12-8-0-2.
Berlino Di Tiger is a 5-year-old son of Tiger Heart out of the Torrential mare Rainha Da Bateria (BRZ).
Berlino Di Tiger and Southern Dude dueled through fractions of :21.85 and :44.55 with Berlino Di Tiger wresting control at the eighth pole and having enough left to edge Chamberlain Bridge and jockey Miguel Mena.
Berlino Di Tiger returned $24.40, $12.80 and $6.80. Chamberlain Bridge returned $9 and $5 with Southern Dude finishing three-quarters of a length back in third under Julien Leparoux and returning $3.80 to show.
Regally Ready finished a length back in fourth and was followed in order by Havelock, Cactus Son, favored Icon Ike and Ghost Is Clear.
TWIN SPIRES TURF SPRINT QUOTES
Leandro Goncalves, jockey of Berlino di Tiger, winner: “Eduardo (Caramori) told me before the race that this horse had a good record in Brazil, and that he worked like a good horse but had a breathing problem. He said just break and ride like he’d been ridden in Brazil. Just see it, let him get comfortable, don’t fight him. And it worked out pretty good. I got pressured a little bit from the one horse but he was able to handle it.” What did you think when Chamberlain Bridge came charging? “I never thought he was going to get that close. He kind of scared me.”
Eduardo Caramori, trainer of Berlino di Tiger, winner: “He was a champion in Brazil and we were real disappointed his first couple races [in the United States]. The thing is, he was running straight in Brazil, never turning. Always five-eighths straight. We knew we were going to have a problem and first race we send him and he wasn’t ready for the turn and didn’t negotiate it very well. The second time we tried to rate him and it was even worse; he displaced. Today we took the tongue tie off. Sometimes horses just need a few races to adapt to the races in America. And the soft turf helped, too. He was running on soft turf in Brazil. We were really disappointed in the first two races but the owner said, ‘This is a nice horse and keep trying the different modifications.’ We talked to the former trainer in Brazil and the former vets and we think we got it right today. We may run in the race on Preakness weekend (the Jim McKay Turf Sprint) but maybe it’s too close.”
Miguel Mena, jockey of Chamberlain Bridge, runner-up: “One more jump. He ran great. He had a nice trip. He just didn’t get there. There were going quick in front.’’
Julien Leparoux, jockey of Southern Dude, third: “I got a good trip. They were just better horses, that’s it. My horse ran good, though.”