As quoted by Red Rabbit Racing Partner Poet Jeff Johnson,
Saturday, September 20, General Charley ran in the $50,000 added John Henry Stakes race held on closing weekend at Arlington park. The John Henry was the 10th race of the day and was contested on the turf at a mile and a sixteenth for 3yr olds and up.
This was the second stakes race we had entered the General in after he was victorious in the Tin Man Stakes in mid-August.
Nine horses were in the field, a couple of which we had mowed down in the Tin Man. Trainer Chris Block had Charley dead fit and ready following a nice layoff from his last race on 16-Aug.
At the last minute, we even toyed with scratching out of the John Henry to run in the $150k Robert F Carey that was to run at Hawthorne the next week. Chris thought we could be competitive - but in the end we stayed where we were as we thought it gave Charley the best chance to win.
Jockey Eddie Perez was aboard again and gave Charley every chance to win. Chris had given Eddie race instructions similar to last time by telling him to lay 2nd or 3rd off the speed, hold him there until well into the stretch and then turn him loose to see if he can beat 'em all.
Eddie rode him exactly to plan - he broke Charley well and kept him 3rd on the outside all the way round the backstretch and into the stretch.
He then tapped Charley a couple times and he responded by pushing his nose in front of a couple fading horses. However, the horse on the rail, Cape San Luis, drifted off the rail and allowed Dynaman (#6) to sweep on thru and beat us by a length and a quarter.
Picture above shows us in the middle between Dynaman on the right who is powering onto victory with a hard charging Tom Archdeacon (#8) closing fast trying to steal 2nd.
But our General Charley, dug down deep and won place money by a head in a tremendous display of equine courage. Video left is of the big race.
As always, many friends and family came to the race. Traveling the farthest, Mary Ann Thrun, mother to partners Jean & Rick, flew up from Sarasota Fl to take in her 1st race. She absolutely loved it. Picture below is of many of the Rabbit fans in the Paddock prior to the race. All the way down is a snap after the race of Mom feeding her first carrot to Charley. Very confident, wouldn't you say?
This was Charley's 4th race for us this summer after we claimed him on June 1st. He had 2 wins and 2 seconds for us - in this most succesful summer for us at Red Rabbit Racing.
Now that Arlington has closed for the season, we are shipping the General down to Keeneland's fall meeting and hopefully get a race down there in late October.
Following that the thought is to take him further south and base him at Fairgrounds in New Orleans for the winter - for any races there or to move on over to Texas for any attractive races as well.