Page 12 - June 2008 The Game
P. 12

12 The Game, June 2008
challenges of inspiring the next generation
of rail birds. “Of the thousands of children I speak to each year,” she says, “only a few have ever seen a
SEhooting Ducks Canada’s Thoroughbred Racing Newspaper
Narragansett after my ride on Merisier. As determined as the jockeys had been to put me on the lead in that race, their tactics now were aimed at putting me on a stretcher. I was shut off, knocked sideways, bounced off the rail and taken wide into the turn, often in a single race.
BAook to Inspire the Next Generation of Rail Birds ccomplished author and horse- answers questions that kids might woman Nikki Tate knows the have about horse racing: Where do the
verything changed for me at
race. If the audience disappears, what will happen to horse racing?”
Canadian race tracks as well as places like Wind elds Farm.
The style of riding at the Rhode Island track hadn’t changed much since opening day on August 1,1934. Jockeys like Red Pollard, George Woolf and Eddie Arcaro had become legends in their time, and not because of chivalrous riding. Fearless, rough tactics won races. That philosophy was still prevalent at Gansett in the ‘70’s. The stewards were men whose character had been forged in the era
of the great depression, a time when honour usually ran a distant second to survival. They rarely called anyone up on the carpet. I still felt like I was in The Godfather movie. I had been the star in the opening episode but now they were trying to write me out of the script.
Her critically ac-
claimed book, Behind the Scenes: The Racehorse, teaches children how graceful and exciting horses are.
Vancouver Island home where she enjoys the company of a
Behind the Scenes: The Racehorse
Visit www. for more information.
TSejano Run filly wins G3 at Hollywood
horses come from? How are they trained? What kind of jobs
him a half mile. Cabtrail swivelled his head from side to side as we warmed up. Approaching the half mile pole, I waved the whip beside his
head and chirped to him but his head remained cocked to the inside. The red and white pole slipped by. Just before the 3/8ths pole, he grabbed the bit and skipped over the track in fast fractions, the second fastest 3/8th workout of the day. I kept him going all the way to the 7/8th pole to get in our half mile.
A Head at the Wire
A Series of Real Life Stories by Paddy Head
are there in the industry? Each page includes colour
photographs from the back- stretches and grand stands of
Born in Birmingham England, Nikki now calls
small herd of Welsh ponies and cobs.
The colt had me stumped. Working past the wire in the morning was  ne but it wouldn’t help in a race. Marie assured me that Cabtrail would get into stride much quicker after break- ing but she warned me not to touch the bit for the  rst quarter mile. Now this was a quandary. Loose reins were  ne  rst jump out of the gate but after that, steering was required. How could I
tallion Tejano Run relocated Hollywood Park on May 11.
to Ascot Stud in 2006 and is The Marcelo Polanco trained,
standing for owner Roy Monroe who has owned the 16-year-old horse since he was a yearling.
Everest Stables Inc. homebred was coming off of a second place  nish in her career debut on March 30.
be expected to ride a full quarter mile without using the bit?
His Ontario foals are yearlings of 2008 and won’t be seen racing locally in Ontario until next season, however Tejano Run still has runners in the US which are making a name for them- selves.
Tejano Run originally stood at Hill ‘n’ Dale in Kentucky for 8 seasons before moving to Ascot Stud in Port Colborne, Ontario.
Wayne Lewis, and his wife, Marie, had been the  rst trainers to give me a leg up for a morning gallop at Gansett. When they handed me the $3 gallop- ing fee I told them to name me on in a race instead. They conferred for a few minutes and then made their offer— they would put me on all four of their horses. I was excited and wary at the same time.
Race day arrived and I had yet to resolve the dilemma. Suddenly, as we loaded into the gate, I had a moment of déjà vu. I was back in the starting gate at Blue Bonnets, sitting on Nina Count, ready to break in front of the stewards. I heard Jean, the ex-jockey, explaining how to hold the reins and position myself. It was a technique called ‘shooting ducks’, very popular with jockeys on the fair circuit. I had used it with great success until I was told that method was illegal on the A circuit. Drastic measures were called for.
Three-year-old  lly, Million Dollar Run, is his most recent offspring to shine with a maiden breaking win in the G3 $110,000 Railbird Stakes at
Tejano Run has consistently produced hard knocking runners and has quite a few successful Canadian- breds including Champion millionaire One For Rose, Shaw’s Creek and Anglian Prince
They gave me a tour of the shed row. One older horse had a bow, much smaller than The Heckler’s. Another older horse nicknamed Red had the biggest front ankles I’d ever seen. The mare I’d just galloped, Bay Tot, was coming back from a six month lay-up but looked and acted sound. The  nal horse was a weedy little four year old bay colt from Argentina.
astings 2007 lead- four and  ve aboard Mel ing rider, Mario Snow’s Snow Moon and the
I bridged both reins in my left hand and held them high up the horse’s neck. My right hand had a  nger twined in the mane, ready to swing the whip on the  rst stride. The gate opened and I stretched forward with the colt’s neck, riding him with one hand. He broke straight and clean, and most importantly, fast. With only my left hand holding the reins, we swung into the  rst turn beautifully. It was then that I realized the horse was used to being neck reined.
Gutierrez has not lost a
stride coming into this
year’s season. He is already
top of the standings by
double digits thanks in part
to days like May 17 when
he was aboard the winners in 5 of the 8 races carded that day.
Terry Clyde trained Clydeja. Mario  nished off the day winning races 7 and 8 aboard Windy Day and Good Bad N Ugly for trainer Troy Taylor.
His name was Cabtrail and he was Marie’s favourite horse. She told me that he was very particular about his riders. I assured her I was adept at sitting on a horse’s back and throwing their head away, the preferred style for South American horses. Marie ran to get the saddle, tacked him up, and we headed to the track.
His  rst win of the day was in the $50,000 Emerald Downs Stakes aboard the Terry Jordan trained, Dancing Allstar. He then won races
David Wilson is second in the stand- ings with 13 wins, 8 seconds and 9 thirds in 80 starts with $178,299 in earnings. (Figures as of May 26).
Cabtrail took eccentricity to a
whole new level. As he broke into a gallop, he cocked his head to the out- side to watch the horses jogging back. Several strides later, his head swivelled to the left and he gazed at the in eld. His head swivelled back and forth in
Great in Argentina, no doubt, but if breaking from the gate with only one hand was considered illegal, riding an entire race neck reining would cer- tainly be frowned upon. I tentatively picked up the outside rein and began to steer. Cabtrail didn’t resist but he didn’t quicken his pace either. Coming around the second turn and into the stretch, I had an excuse to neck rein when my right hand was busy wav- ing the whip. The colt stretched out and put some effort into running as
Mario currently has 27 wins, 10 seconds and 7 thirds in 79 starts with $353,240 in earnings. Jockey
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observation mode throughout the entire  rst mile. Suddenly, he grabbed the bit, straightened his head and acceler- ated into a stiff gallop.
I fanned the air with the whip. Actu- ally hitting him with it would throw him off stride so I swung my arm back and forth in rhythm with his pace. We  nished a credible 3 1⁄2 lengths behind the winner.
For the next two weeks this ritual contin- ued. One sunny morning, Marie told me to work
If shooting ducks could get me this close, what would some serious B circuit riding do? I was certain it could get me back into the winner’s circle.
The Game JUNE 2008.indd
5/27/08 11:29:39 PM

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