In the words of Trainer Chris Block our General Charley
finishing a game 3rd against some quite good horses at a mile on the turf. Closing out the 2008 racing year our General Charley was entered in a $62,500 Allowance Optional Claiming race for a purse of $48,000 at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans on December 28th.
None of the partners were able to travel down to New Orleans - which was a first for us. So back in Chicago, Partner Jeff Rabbit went to the OTB, while the Johnsons, Gregorio's, Gallo's & Perryman's watched from Rick & Kathy's home.
Sr. Partner Peggy watched from her home in El Paso, IL. However, we all agreed that in the future we have to go see our boy run in person, if we possibly can.
Neil Pessin, our winter trainer down in the Big Easy, had Charley ready. He was concerned that rainshowers would move the race off the turf, but they held off and we were able to run on the grass.
Neil had jockey James Graham on Charley for the 2nd time down at the Fair Grounds. James looked quite at home on Charley and gave him a good ride, keeping him just off the pace through most of the race and then letting him go at the stretch pole.
James reported to Neil that he wanted to wait a bit more before turning him loose - but he was afraid he would lose the lead horse if he didn't move when he did. James also wore a red cap rather than the usual blue.
Unbelievably, as none of us were down there, we have no pictures from the race. However, image upper left is Charley in the Post Parade that I extracted from the video on the TV. Image to the right is Charley leading the charge at the head of the stretch. He ran so hard down the lane but just couldn't hold off the 2 late chargers.
However as you can see from the video (all the way at the end of the page) he dug in hard late in the stretch to keep 3rd place - and earn yet another paycheck for us. All the way on the bottom of the page is of the group watching the Race at Rick's house...
Neil Pessin reports that Charley looks to have come through the race just fine and we now start a look for Charley's next test, which should be a the Fair Grounds towards the end of January.