VIDEO OF THE DAY

Saturday’s 11th at Pimlico was most unusual. 

From MJC: It did not make SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays, but Spicer Cub’s eventful trip in Saturday’s 11th at Pimlico Race Course has gone viral and is generating interest outside of horse racing circles. The Mary Eppler trainee took the early lead but bolted midway on the far turn before jockey Xavier Perez was able to straighten the son of Louis Quatorze at the head of the stretch. 

The 4-year old gelding regained the lead at the top of the stretch but bolted again, causing Perez to lose his irons inside the three-sixteenths pole. The duo then raced between the parked starting gate and the outside rail in midstretch and closed determinedly under strong urging to just miss breaking his maiden, losing by a nose to Turbin.

 “It was wild. He didn’t give me any warning, especially the second time and went straight for the gate,” Perez said. “My life went before my eyes for a few seconds. I was thinking about bailing but saw there was enough space between the gate and the rail to get through, so I grabbed his mane and hoped for the best. Once we cleared the gate he re-broke again and almost won the race. It was really close. In fact, Forest Boyce (who was aboard Turbin) congratulated me after the wire.” 

 The replay of the race on YouTube has been viewed more than 44,000 times by 3:45pm on Monday, and it has been well received on both Twitter and Facebook. “I have watched the replay many times with my fiancé and I still cannot believe what happened. I am grateful to be here,” added Perez, who has been a regular rider in Maryland since September 2011. 

“The guys in the room were impressed. When I came back to the jocks room it was funny because nothing bad happened but Mary Eppler was apologizing to me, but this is part of the business. I had ridden him three times before and he never did anything like that before. He is a nice, kind horse.”

Eppler reported Sunday afternoon that Spicer Cub “is fine” with no nicks or cuts from his adventure.