Musings on a sunny, albeit somewhat close, afternoon, ideal for watching the horses emerge from the paddock, follow the lead ponies as they parade past the grandstand, gradually make their ways to the gate and then either delight or disappoint the patrons who backed them:
Anyone with a dollar or two on Score More in race three was clearly delighted the last 1/8 of a mile as the 5-year-old mare scored a win with plenty to spare under Lori Keith, who celebrated her sixth win of the meet. Score More, trained by Mike Biehler, won for the second time since her maiden victory under Keith on May 23.
Race four produced a cliff-hanger over the final 1/16th with Bet Your Socks, trained by Bernell Rhone and 4-1 under Geovanni Franco, nosing out 15-1 Bold Advantage and Leandro Goncalves. Second in the rider standings, Goncalves has been involved in these spine tinglers several times this meet, with always the same reaction. “Exciting? Would have been even better had I won.’’ Just the same, Cheryl Sprick and Richard Bremer, who own the winner, were in an upbeat mood as they departed Canterbury Saturday afternoon.
Franco certainly left in fine fettle himself after having himself a fine two-day outing, with a win on Friday night’s card and two more on Saturday.
Goncalves had to settle for place once more in race five after Cassidilly made it two in a row, both times under Israel Hernandez, with a late run to subdue the Nevada Liftin-conditioned Hawkeye Honey.
It occurred in race eight. Yes, once more Goncalves had settled for next best after Bernie the Jet and Glen Murphy overtook him and Cactus Son to finish off the 7 ½ furlong sprint.
Consequently, Goncalves now has finished second on 27 horses during the meet. There are others who’ve had to settle for second even more. Take leading rider Dean Butler, who has finished second a colony-leading 42 times. Then again, he’s had a colony-leading 219 mounts. Denny Velasquez has ridden second-place horses 28 times and Hugo Sanchez 30 times.
As a final observation on the day, racing fans are still waiting for the love of 2014 to register her first win of the 2015 season. Sky and Sea, Canterbury’s Horse of the Year in 2014, ran fourth in the seventh race and remained winless in five starts.