As 2-1 favorite Country Day was nearing the wire with a tenuous lead in Saturday's $100,000 Arlington Sprint, his jockey Shaun Bridgmohan might have looked over his right shoulder and said ,"Oh, brother!"
Yes, it was Shaun's younger brother Jermaine who was charging boldy on the outside with Havelock, who just got his neck in front at the wire to win the $100,000, 5½-furlong turf stakes at Arlington Park.
Contact information ( * required )
"It's always fun to ride with him (Shaun) in the race," said 23-year-old Jermaine, who is 9 years younger than Shaun. "I knew that it was he I was trying to catch, but that was not my main focus."
Havelock lost his focus briefly during warm-ups on the backstretch dirt course, forcing Jermaine to the ground while holding on to the reins.
"He just saw something, maybe a bird or the white starting gate, that spooked him," Jermaine said. "But I had control of him all the time."
After walking the horse a few steps, the outrider eventually got to Bridgmohan and gave him a leg back up on Havelock, who went on to win the first stakes race at Arlington Park for his trainer and jockey.
The 4-year-old gelding covered the 5½ furlongs over firm turf in 1:02.71 while winning his first stakes race as well.
"I was walking in and looked up at the TV screen and saw Jermaine off the horse," said trainer Darrin Miller, a native of Missouri who has trained for 10 years in Kentucky. "I had no idea what had happened."
But Havelock had the right idea in the Arlington Sprint by racing mid-pack most the way.
Birdie Beats Par led to mid-stretch before Country Day took the lead until passed by Havelock just in the nick of time.
"I had a perfect trip," Jermaine Bridgmohan said. "There were a couple of speed horses outside that came over on us, so we had the luxury of sitting in the pocket position on the outside. When I asked him, he was there."
Sent off at 6-1, Havelock made it to the winner's circle for the fourth time in 11 career starts, boosting his career bankroll to $152,077 with the $57,600 paycheck.
On turf, Havelock has 3 wins from 6 starts for owners Tommy (a coal miner by trade) and Bonnie Hamilton (Silverton Hill LLC in Springfield Ky.).
"He's a homebred," Miller said. "Not only that, they (Hamiltons) owned the sire (Great Notion) and owned the mare (Piconeach) and raced her. I'm sure this is very special for them.
"He's a real smart horse. He keeps a real calmness about himself and is a real easy horse to deal with."
It wasn't an easy loss to take for Shaun Bridgmohan, the 2005 Arlington Park champion.
"I didn't like it very much," he said. "But there's nothing you can do about it. He (Country Day) ran hard the whole way. He just got tired at then end."
Third-place finisher Wekiva Wachee, trained by Maine West High School graduate Mike Dini, did not show fatigue at the end.
The 31-1 longshot rallied late and missed by less than a length.
"He (Wekiva Wachee) ran well," said jockey Jozbin Santana. "For a minute, I thought we were going to get there."