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Paul Bernardo Passes

Published: December 9, 2017 7:44 pm ET

Last Comment: December 11, 2017 11:38 am ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Longtime trainer Paul Bernardo, 65, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, December 7.

In 2017, Bernardo trained 177 starters, accumulating 31 wins, 38 seconds, and 24 thirds, and $215,619 in purses for his owners.

Career-wise, Bernardo made 453 trips to the winner's circle, campaigning a relatively small stable throughout his career, which stretched more than a quarter century.

This season at Pompano Park, Bernardo campaigned several winners including J Black, Dee's Golden Joy, Dee's Rocketman, Pedro's Dream and Sing For Me George, a current lifetime winner of $474,241 owned by Joseph Martinelli, Sr. of Staten Island, N.Y. Sing For Me George won the opening night feature at Pompano Park on October 1 and has chased Panocchio, a top-level pacer on the grounds, on several occasions, as well.

Probably Bernardo's finest accomplishment as a trainer was with the Argentinian-bred Chucaro Ahijuna, a double gaited world champion who took a pacing mark of 1:51.4 at Pompano Park in 2003 followed by a 1:53.3 trotting mile at Woodbine in 2004, a mark equaled at Pompano Park in 2005 in the $80,000 Mack Lobell Trot Final. Bernardo trained the son of Noble Speedster for Martinelli's Berry Stables.

Trainer Jim McDonald said, "Paul was universally liked and respected here at Pompano Park and everywhere else he raced. He was an true animal lover and he cared for his horses like a devoted father cares for his children. They broke the mold with Paul, no doubt about that."

Additional information on services will be forthcoming.

A Go Fund Me page has been established to help support Bernardo's daughters. For more information, click here.

Please join Standardbred Canada in offering condolences.

December 11, 2017 - 11:38 amI had the pleasure of driving

I had the pleasure of driving Chucaro Ahijuna for Paul when he kept a small stable in Eastern Ontario. Paul had a unique talent for getting along with "special" horses. Chucaro was high speed and high strung. I recall a lot of trips to the winners circle with Paul.
May he rest in peace. He was one of a kind. Condolences to his family and friends.


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