Tag Archive | "Xavier Perez"

Jockey Reflects On “WILD” Ride aboard Spicer Cub in Pimlico's Saturday Finale

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Jockey Reflects On “WILD” Ride aboard Spicer Cub in Pimlico’s Saturday Finale

Posted on 14 April 2013 by Gary Quill

BALTIMORE, 04-14-13–-It did not make SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays, but #12 – Spicer Cub’s eventful trip in Saturday’s 11th at Pimlico Race Course has gone viral and is generating interest outside of horse racing circles.

The Mary Eppler trainee took the early lead but bolted midway on the far turn before jockey Xavier Perez was able to straighten the son of Louis Quatorze at the head of the stretch. The 4-year old gelding regained the lead at the top of the stretch but bolted again, causing Perez to lose his irons inside the three-sixteenths pole. The duo then raced between the parked starting gate and the outside rail in midstretch and closed determinedly under strong urging to just miss breaking his maiden, losing by a nose to #1 – Turbin.

PHOTO CREDIT-Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club

“It was wild. He didn’t give me any warning, especially the second time and went straight for the gate,” Perez said. “My life went before my eyes for a few seconds. I was thinking about bailing but saw there was enough space between the gate and the rail to get through, so I grabbed his mane and hoped for the best. Once we cleared the gate he re-broke again and almost won the race. It was really close. In fact, Forest Boyce (who was aboard Turbin) congratulated me after the wire.”

The replay of the race on YouTube has been viewed more than 13,000 times from 6:30 p.m. Saturday to 3:30 p.m. Sunday and it has been well received on both Twitter and Facebook.

“I have watched the replay many times with my fiancé and I still cannot believe what happened. I am grateful to be here,” added Perez, who has been a regular rider in Maryland since September 2011. “The guys in the room were impressed. When I came back to the jocks room it was funny because nothing bad happened but Mary Eppler was apologizing to me, but this is part of the business. I had ridden him three times before and he never did anything like that before. He is a nice, kind horse.” 

Eppler reported Sunday afternoon that Spicer Cub “is fine” with no nicks or cuts from his adventure.

Perez’s remarkable ride and track announcer Dave Rodman’s outstanding call of the race have received plenty of positive attention.

“It was probably the wildest race I have ever called,” said Rodman, who has called races at the major Maryland tracks since March 1991. “It beats the Afleet Alex incident in the 2005 Preakness and tops the guy running on the track (1999 Preakness day). All I could do was keep my eyes on the X-Man (Perez’s nickname) and Spicer Cub. I can’t believe he went through that hole between the outer rail and the gate. It was really something else. I really thought he was going to win the race. Xavier did an amazing job. It was certainly a gutsy ride.”

The 25-year-old Perez has 480 winners in a career that began in 2007, including a victory aboard Haitian Nation in Sunday’s second race. He finished seventh in the recently completed Laurel Park winter meet standings.

On a personal note, I loved Rodman’s mention that “…Spicer Cub has bolted out to Northern Parkway” (the road which borders Pimlico Race Course) as the gelding bolted on the far turn. The photo above captures the fact that Perez never got his boots back in the irons, yet like a barrel racer at a rodeo, emerged from between the starting gate and outer rail like, to borrow a title from Meatloaf’s biggest selling album/CD, a “Bat Out of Hell“. I would think that X-Man’s agent got a few more calls than usual today.

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Maryland State Fair Opens Friday with Horse Racing

Posted on 22 August 2012 by Gary Quill

The Maryland State Fair, the only remaining state fair east of the Mississippi to continue to present thoroughbred horse racing, kicks off it’s seven (7) day meeting on Friday at the Timonium Fairgrounds. Nine races are on the program. Friday marks the first day of live racing in Maryland since Preakness on May 19th.

Racing will be conducted over the next two weekends – Friday August 24 through Sunday August 26 and Friday August 31 through Monday September 3. First race Post Time during the entire meet will be 1:05pm EDT. Admission to the track is included in admission to the fair.

The fair will have a series of concerts as follows…

Tuesday, August 28th: Newsboys and The Afters

Friday, August 31st: Victoria Justice

Saturday, September 1st: The Band Perry

Concerts start at 7:30 p.m.

As far as horse racing at the fair, for the third consecutive year, Dane Kobiskie found himself atop the trainer standing at Timonium in 2011, but had to share the title with Dale Capuano as each saddled four (4) winners. Kobiskie sent 16 runners to the starting gate, as all but 3 finished no worse than third. Capuano started 12 having one place (2nd) and 4 others showed (3rd).

This year horsing racing fans who find themselves at Timonium playing the ponies will certainly see the names Kobiskie and Capuano in the racing program. This year you may want to keep an eye out for horses saddled by David Wells and Wesley Ward, as these two gentlemen went 2 for 2 here in 2011. Also, John Salzman, Jr. will run a few well placed horses as last year he sent out four (4) runners, 2 won and 2 ran second. Plus, one of the top trainers in the nation, Jamie Ness will be sending a number of runners to Timonium, so he’ll be a threat to take the training title.

The leading jockey for the 2011 7-day Maryland State Fair meet was apprentice Sarah Rook with 9 winners. She took the riding title by the slimmest of margins as the 2010 State fair riding champ J.D. Acosta guided 8 runners across the Finish Line first, while Xavier Perez got 7 of his mounts to the Winners Circle.

Rook returns in 2012 to defend her title, but will face stiff competition once again from Acosta and Perez. A couple of apprentice jocks who might be able to make a name for themselves are Nicolas Milford and Jose Montano. You heard it here first!

For each of the seven (7) live racing days a blog will be posted with selections for every race, including a BEST BET, Longshot and SHOW Parlay Play of the Day. Full-card simulcasting will be offered at Timonium only on live racing days. Admission to the racetrack is included with admission to the Fair. For more information, visit the Maryland State Fair.

End your Summer of 2012 on a high note and enjoy at least one of the seven greatest days of the Summer watching 9 exciting chase scenes at the Timonium Fairgrounds while taking in the Maryland State Fair. Good Luck

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