Horse that whiffed the turn, ran outside the gate, and still managed second is back

Here’s what Spicer Cub did wrong in his last race: just about everything.

Here’s where he finished: second, by a shrinking nose.

And here’s how brave jockey Xavier Perez is: very, very brave.

We’ll see Perez and his ne’er-do-well mount in today’s first from Pimlico.

Spicer Cub, a four year-old gelding by Louis Quatorze out of a Carnivalay mare, controlled the pace throughout his last race, a $25,000 maiden claimer that had been taken off the grass.  Rounding the turn for home with plenty in the tank, he appeared to be home and dry.

That, as we wrote about last month (here), is when the fun began.  The horse bolted on the turn, righted himself, then ducked out and around the starting gate, which had been moved to the outside of the track.  “My life went before my eyes for a few seconds,” Perez said.

Since then, trainer Mary Eppler has worked to, you know, get the horse to run more or less straight.  “A couple weeks after the incident (April 25), Mary called and asked me to work him,” said Perez, who will be aboard Spicer Cub again tomorrow. “She put special blinkers and he worked well.”

As for this afternoon?  “Hopefully he will not do it again, but to be honest I am little bit nervous after what he did last month.”

Spicer Cub is 7-2 on the morning line and will likely find the company quite a bit better than what he faced in his last.  On the other hand, who knows what he might accomplish if he can just run straight?

(Below is Spicer Cub’s April 13 race.)