Saturday night, before the race, Cascio was one of the first to get to the paddock, and here came Bunny, all full of himself and dancing.
At 11:13 p.m. the gates blew open and Bunny broke so hard he stumbled badly, going down on his right knee. His jockey, Gary Sumpter, quickly gathered the colt and they raced for the wire, making up so much ground that when they passed the halfway mark of the 440-yard race, Bunny was in second and gaining. When the leaders crossed the finish line 21.86 seconds after the start, what the photo finish showed was Bunny second to a 19-1 filly named Make Mine Cash. Although the official race chart reads that Bunny was beat a head, the margin was more like a couple of inches.
Cascio was a little depressed, but everyone went back to the barn and drank champagne anyway. Palmer said, "We feel the horse really did win. He showed everyone he's a true champion." Bubba's two horses, by the way, finished seventh and ninth in the 10-horse field.
Will Sail On Bunny win next time out and top $1 million? Will Bubba come back and beat the Old Man? Like all soap operas, this one has no ending, just the next episode. Stay tuned.