Snippets: A racing family affair
Thoroughbred racing, racetrackers will tell you, is more a life than a profession, more all-consuming lifestyle than simple job.
Days off? What are days off?
Perhaps that’s one reason that the highs in racing are so high: they’re so hard to come by, and so much more meaningful than just a good day at the office.
And it doesn’t hurt when family is there to celebrate with you. Some of those celebrations took place at Mid-Atlantic tracks this past weekend.
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“Lucky Coming Back”
Stepdaughter Harper ran over to Jeremy Rose, still in his silks and chatting with a reporter, to give – and receive – a big hug.
The 43-year-old Rose has won much, much bigger races than the $100,000 Christiana Stakes, but it’s been a while. Prior to Saturday Rose hadn’t won a stake since 2018, his career derailed by injury and then addiction.
But Saturday looked like old times. Graham Motion gave him a leg up on Sparkle Blue, a half-sister to 2010 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf winner Shared Account, and the duo delivered a half-length upset at 15-1 odds.
“I’ve been very lucky coming back: a lot of the trainers I rode for when I was doing good put me back on horses. Graham put me back on a lot of good horses,” Rose said, continuing, “I feel like I’m probably never going to be the rider I was maybe, but it’s good: I feel like I’m more focused, I’ve got my family here.”
“Happy not just for me, for everyone“
If you’re going to come to Delaware Park, you might as well win two graded stakes. That’s how Eric Cancel sees it, anyway.
The jockey turned Midnight Stroll loose on the turn in the Grade 3 Delaware Oaks, and the three-year-old Not This Time filly surged clear before – barely – holding off the bid of favored Shotgun Hottie by a head. Just 38 minutes later, he pulled a similar trick with Main Event, giving the posse the slip and then holding favored Elizar safe in the lane.
It was the 25-year-old Cancel’s first multiple graded stakes win day and earned him a kiss from his two-year-old daughter.
“It’s always happy, not just for me, for everyone,” Cancel said. “It’s very special to have your family with you.”
(Top photos by Allison Janezic. Bottom by The Racing Biz.)
Jockeying for favoritism
Brittany and Sheldon Russell had a better weekend than you did. That sounds like an opinion, but honestly, it’s a pretty safe bet.
Jockey Sheldon returned from a nine-month, injury-prompted layoff Friday to win on his first mount back, and then Saturday, trainer Brittany saddled Whereshetoldmetogo to win the Alapocas Run Stakes at Delaware Park. Oh, and two hours later, back at Laurel, she saddled Hybrid Eclipse to win the Caesar’s Wish.
“Jevian Toledo’s my daughter Edie’s favorite jockey,” Russell joked after his first ride, and win, back. “Hopefully, I can win some races and we can change that.”
Brittany didn’t disagree.
“She was screaming ‘Yay, Toledo!’ the whole way here and acting like she was urging the horse,” Brittany said at Delaware after the Alapocas Run. “But we’ll get her in a picture with Daddy soon.”
(Photos of Sheldon Russell in orange silks by Jim McCue. Photo of Whereshetoldmetogo, with Toledo up, by Allison Janezic.)