Joel Berndt has experienced the highs and lows, the ups and downs, of a thoroughbred racehorse trainer during a career that began in 1991 at Fonner Park. As in all sports there is a premium on winning; but in racing a high hit rate is very difficult to attain when you face multiple opponents, all with the same goal, in each contest. Berndt’s 15 percent career win rate puts him in the upper class of conditioners.
He finished 2018 with a December that saw his charges hit the board in 14 of 20 starts. Five wins. Five seconds. Four thirds. Berndt began the New Year with two losses and then came the magic beginning with a win in 10th race on January 11 at Delta Downs. He saddled three on the 12th. All winners. Wednesday night two more were entered and both won. Six in a row.
“I know I’ve won three in one day before but I don’t know if I have ever won even three in a row,” Berndt said. “It’s been a lot of fun. Who in the world wouldn’t want to win six in a row!”
Berndt will spend the winter at Delta before readying to ship north to Canterbury Park once again. “We’re having fun. Making some money,” he said. The South Dakota native could have 30 Minnesota-breds here in 2019 and maybe another 20 head as well.
Check out Delta Downs tonight as Berndt has two entered beginning with race six where Ensign is 8 to 1 on the morning line.
For more on the trainer, read a Q & A from the 2016 racing season.