Greetings Race Fans,
Following her first two starts on the synthetic surface at Arlington Park, Mary Jeans Wildcat shipped to historic Churchill Downs for her first effort on dirt. The track was listed as “wet fast” after absorbing a significant amount of rain.
Mary Jean was 6th at the break with jockey Francisco Torres aboard. After the first quarter mile MJ trailed the entire field and it was evident to Torres that our filly was having difficulty grabbing the moist surface. She improved to 10th after a half mile while still spinning her wheels. To his credit Torres did not beat up on our filly, recognizing she was still hydroplaning and advanced on her own terms to 8th at the stretch. After a belated closing romp Mary Jean skated across the finish line a well beaten 7th.
Francisco and I walked down the runway back to the paddock when he confirmed her difficulty getting traction. He said she finished strongly in the gallop out, with plenty of run left, and suggested we give her a try at a mile in the future. Torres said he likes our filly and feels she could be successful at that distance.
A throng of Wildcat supporters joined Maureen and I on the backside to reward MJ for her effort. Jim Nelson and daughter Beckah drove over from Lexington, Susan Morse came in from Indiana and new found friends Kevin Alford and Susan Jost showered Mary Jean with peppermints.
Our sweet chestnut came out of her race healthy, sound and enjoying her treats. Connections will experiment with race distance and track surface as Mary Jean perfects her style. What we have discovered is that MJ is “slippery when wet!”