Hola amigos! I hope ya’ll had a great weekend, as it was for me.
I had a nice winner in Secret Ovation in the second race on Friday, Oct. 12. It was one of those races that we were grateful that everyone finished the race safe. On the other hand, it was a moment of communication, decision and determination. We broke out of the gate and as soon as we passed that the three-quarter pole, the [number] one horse made a left turn going the wrong way on the track. At that moment, jockey Edwin Maldonado, who had broken slowly being on the outside, looked over and watched the horse running the wrong way. He asked his horse to move up to the group and yelled to Rafeal Bejarano, saying that there was a loose horse going the wrong way, speaking all in Spanish. When Bajarano heard Maldonado warning us about the loose horse, Martin Pedroza overheard Bajarano’s communication, and Martin looked over to me and he said , “Ay guey ay un caballo suelto en sentido contrario.” That means there is a loose horse coming the wrong way. I said “Okay.”
The horse was coming to the three-eighths pole, and Joe Talamo had no idea what was happening because the four of us were speaking Spanish. He knew that something was wrong and right away he asked, “What’s going on?” When Joe asked me what was happening, I said to him, “Relax colonel, it’s just a loose horse coming the wrong way.” Joe’s reaction was, “WWWWHHHHAATTTT.” I was just trying to keep Joe relaxed and not panic because you never know even though we are aware of it.
Benoit & Associates photo
Coming to the quarter-pole everyone checked and we looked to the inside coming the wrong way by the finish line. When everyone checked, I saw the outrider guide the horse to the outside fence and the green light was on for me and Secret Ovation. I asked my horse to go again, taking the lead and the rest of the group followed me screaming and yelling, because I took the jump on them and won the race.
After the race, we all realized the race was going to be called no contest (unofficial because of the loose horse). I was sad because I could have had two nice winners that day for trainer Mike Puype, but instead I only had one.
It’s disappointing because everyone works hard to get the horses ready for every race. It takes time and training every single day, and we are looking forward to seeing a horse win. Winning is the name of the game. I was riding the best horse of that race, and it was a decision to make at that moment to keep the lead.
Am I going to get paid for that race? I think I did my job and the trainer’s as well. So the owners shouldn’t get penalized because they didn’t pay out to the public. I’m just hoping that they see it where we are coming from, as we are the ones who put up the show. I will say one thing: the outrider did a great job guiding the horse to the outside fence. Alright, that is all I have for this week. Hopefully, we all keep winning because everyone needs to eat and buy baby shoes. On a side note, my wife and I are less than two months away from meeting our baby boy. Ya’ll take care and hasta la vista amigos.