In his first race back for us after we stole him back from the Pirate Poachers, General Charley
Ash Wednesday, we apprehensively ran Charley in a $25,000 Claiming Race at a mile and 1/16th on the turf at Tampa Bay Downs in Tampa, Fl. Astride Charley on this day for the 1st time was leading jock Danny Centeno, who gave Charley a good ride. As per usual, he took Charley to the lead and we led the whole way round until literally the last 15 yards, when in the last couple jumps 2 horses overtook us.
When we entered we felt that there was NO WAY that the Poachers would come back for him at that price. But we sweated it out the whole day until we knew no one had put a claim on Charley. The Poachers did claim the winner - so they were in there for someone - but not us this time. (The prayers worked).
At the race was a fine contingent of Florida Rabbits led by Mother Rabbit in full command.
Rabid Rabbit Fans Ken & Barbara Rabbit, Colleen Rabbit and 1st time racer Lorraine Rabbit & son all were stationed on the rail for the days events. Picture upper left shows them all excited to see our Charley. Video of the race is all the way at the bottom of the page.
None of the partners could make it down as Airfares were absurd. But most of us snuck away from work and watched the race live on HRTV or off the Web.
Charley ran a blistering pace and just tired at the end. Perhaps if Danny had known Charley just a bit better he could have got him to slow down in the first 3/4's of a mile to have enough left at the end. But again, Charley ran great, earned us a check, and best of all - came back healthy and to our barn.
Picture left is of Lorraine and Colleen posing with Rabbit Jock Danny and picture all the way on the bottom is of our hero during the Post Parade.
Official Race Video