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Mojo Race Recap:
On a picture perfect night in front of one of the largest crowds to be on hand this season, Mojo’s Alarming Afleet ran in Race 10. The race featured older horses (the average age in the race was 7 years old) going a mile and a 1/16th on the dirt.
“This was an old-timers race,” reports Fred Taylor, Mojo’s CEM. “Like humans, horses get set in their ways as they get older. And, Alarming Afleet is no different. If things don’t go the way grandpa likes it, he just packs it in no matter what condition he’s in.”
Alarming Afleet is a 9 year old Florida-bred gelding by Northern Afleet out of Smoke Alarm. He’s been in 79 races and earned over $200,000 for his connections during his extended racing career.
“Who can blame him, really,” Fred empathizes. “The old man’s been a solid runner for many horsemen over the years, and as far as I’m concerned, he’s earned the right to run however the heck he wants. We’re just thankful that he gave us a couple of opportunities to come out and have some fun during the Lone Star Meet.”
The race comments cover the results: settled near the back of the pack, failed to threaten, finished last; but they don’t really explain the reason for Alarming Afleet’s performance.
“He doesn’t like to have dirt kicked in his face,” Fred explains. “The instructions to the rider were pretty clear. The horse is in great shape. Keep him close to the front, and don’t get behind traffic. For whatever reason, that didn’t happen.”
Coming out of the Clubhouse turn, Jockey David Cabrera, a young, first-year, apprentice rider (a.k.a. "bug boy") settled in behind the pack, right in the middle of all the kickback, and the two ate dirt all the way around the track.
“The horse and rider were covered in dirt from head to toe when they came back to the rail. Even though the track was dry as a bone, you would've thought they were running in slop," Fred points out. "I asked David in the saddling paddock (before the race) if he was familiar with the horse’s running style, and the best he could say was: ‘I’ve read the form.’ I knew then we weren’t going to get the ride we needed to be competitive...you can't expect a young guy like that to be able to make the necessary adjustments on the fly." Fred respectfully adds, "The bottomline is, our bug boy didn’t know what he was doing on this quirky horse; but, that’s our fault (mine and the trainer’s) for not doing a better job of setting the table—not the rider’s.”
As disappointing as the result may be, what’s next for Alarming Afleet?
“Retirement!” Fred quips. “The old man’s reached a point in his racing career where we just don’t think it’s right to try to do more with him on the track. He’s in good shape/fitness, he doesn’t have any ailments, and he should transition to a new career relatively easy—so, I think he’ll be a nice horse for people in other equine areas: jumping, dressage, polo, etc.”
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