If a horse targeted for sale remains unclaimed, he or she is expected to remain under the trainer’s care until a buyer is found. Suffolk for years has had a “no horse to slaughter’’ policy, per order of the track’s owner, Richard Fields. Track spokesman Christian Teja said the policy is strictly enforced, and trainers who violate it risk being banished from the track.
In part, the $500-$2,000 price range in the CANTER sale was established to prevent nefarious buyers from rounding up horses at cheaper prices, then selling them for short money to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico.
“We want to keep them away from the killers,’’ said Bernardini.
A few stalls down from Lir Jet stood another of Bernardini’s charges, Score One for Rose, a perky 4-year-old gelding with a shiny coat but spotty racing record.
“Nice horse, but not much of a racehorse,’’ offered Bernardini, the gray beauty oblivious to his trainer’s blunt assessment, never mind that he’s targeted now for the CANTER sale. “Just one of those things. Looks good, but put him in a race and he just doesn’t try.
“So, rather than argue with him . . . time to go.’’
Go where? With whom? In a world full of posts and pastures, what in the world is next for Score One for Rose?
“Anything, I suppose,’’ mused Bernardini. “Anything other than a racehorse.’’
It is now post time for Score One for Rose and a few other Suffolk horses. Time for them all to begin their post-post careers.
Kevin Paul Dupont’s “On Second Thought” appears on Page 2 of the Sunday Globe Sports section. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.