Saturday, July 10th at Ellis Park, RACE 7, 7 furlongs:
Howboutdemapples and Manasota Sunset battled in pretty much this 2 horse race in a field of 7 two year old fillies. “Apples” took the lead shortly after leaving the gate and held on, gave it up a bit in the final turn, then surged back side by side with Manasota Sunset down the stretch, just being nipped at the wire. It was so close it looked like “Apples” had won at the finish post, but a photo finish showed Manasota Sunset (the number 9 horse) stretching out to cross the wire first.
We have to wonder if the pre-race events didn’t take a bit of energy out of Howboutdemapples, the 2-1 favorite at race time. “Apples” handlers placed ear plugs in her ears in the paddock. She clearly did not like it, as she rejected them touching her ears. She began to act up. The walker tried calming her by walking her around the paddock, she jumped and tried to shake loose. They got her calmed a bit, then the jockey mounted her, started walking to the exit of the paddock to enter the track, when she started shaking her head. She shook the plugs out, the jockey (Francisco Arrieta) then tossed them away to ground. Still not happy, Arrieta dismounted her on the track to calm her. She still was not happy when they reached the gate, where she entered last, tough she was the # 2 horse.
This was Howboutdemapples racing debut! Manasota Sunset had already had her debut. The slight advantage in experience and an unhappy “Apples” clearly helped Manasota Sunset edge it out. Arrieta seemed a bit agitated himself with the pre-race extra activity. Up until they placed the plugs in her ears, Howboutdemapples was a very calm and collected racehorse. Not sure why they thought she needed the plugs, she was calm, with no issues. I think it may have cost us a first place finish. All in all, “Apples” showed grit, competitiveness and now we know she has a mind of her own. Don’t touch her ears! The book on Apples, was she likes attention, but does not seek it like other horses. She is very calm, and has a mild attitude, but is far from mild on the track, where she is very competitive and likes to show off. Now we know she can be quite feisty. It was a joy being in the paddock with her! She is a beautiful animal! They all are!
Arrieta, said she is going to win, and he expects she’ll win her next race.