As promised, here I am — yep it’s Ocotillo with an update on racing fun in California. As I had reported previously, Tonight at Eleven was scheduled to race on Friday, September 20th at Fairplex in Pamona, Ca. Well it sure was his day and it sure was his race. Tonight at Eleven amazed everyone. At post time, he went off at about 54-1.
This is how it is officially recorded: “Tonight at Eleven settled just off the rail, came out some nearing second turn, advanced rapidly and three wide around the bend, came three deep into the stretch, rallied and reached the front inside sixteenth marker and edged away under urging.”
In the morning, I heard Tonight at Eleven talking to Pursuxit and he told him that he had it covered. He said that it was his turn to take one for the team. I was very confused as I listened to them. Remember, I’m just a 2-year old and I don’t always understand the big boys. Tonight at Eleven reminded Pursuxit that he was going to be good just like his dad Thunder Gulch and run on this track even though it was a little deep. Tonight at Eleven said he was breed to run on turf so the surface would be okay for him. Pursuxit seemed a little anxious and told Tonight at Eleven that he should do his best but if all else failed, there was still a change for the team to make progress when Pursuxit ran on Saturday.
Well, Tonight at Eleven seemed really ready to go. He was off to the races and we all listened as the announcer gave the call. Tonight at Eleven won the race! In the barn, we were all cheering. We knew that our trainer Drew Fulmer would come back with the biggest smile on his face and that he would be proud of Tonight at Eleven.
It seemed like too much time had passed and we started to worry. We hoped that nothing happened to Tonight at Eleven, because you know horse racing can sometimes be dangerous. Finally, we saw Drew come back with Tonight at Eleven. Tonight at Eleven was strutting around like he owned the world. It had been a while since he won a race and he was feeling triumphant. After Drew checked him all out and cooled him off, we finally had a chance to talk to Tonight at Eleven. He just laughed and said what a wonderful time he had and how confident he felt. He also said that he hoped Dorothy knew that he won the race and how happy he was that she never lost faith in him.
Then we asked him why it took so long in the Test Barn. Tonight at Eleven just laughed and said he was so excited that he just couldn’t stop to take a drink. His heart was pounding and he was feeling excited. Finally Drew convinced him to drink enough water so that they could test his urine. Tonight at Eleven said he wanted to give Drew a hard time because he wanted to remind him that he was really a great horse and didn’t want Drew to ever forget it again.
That night I heard Tonight at Eleven and Pursuxit discussing the coming race for Pursuxit. Pursuxit said he was concerned that the surface was difficult for him to run on and that he might not be as successful as Tonight at Eleven was. Tonight at Eleven then reminded him that in New Mexico Pursuxit was the team’s MVP and gave them the needed win for the team. Pursuxit responded by saying it was easy because his stable mate and friend, Renegade Cielo was also in the race. The two raced head to head and came in 1st and 2nd. To Pursuxit it was a game. Renegade Cielo made him feel relaxed when the two ran head to head. Pursuxit said this race would be different. To that Tonight at Eleven reminded him that they were all part of a team or a family and that Tonight at Eleven had already covered their backs for this meet, so whatever happened, it would be ok. It would be ok with Drew and it would be ok with Dorothy and nothing else mattered.
Pursuxit’s race on Saturday was not as successful. The jockey is young and the horses came in too close. The young jockey hesitated to split horses and Pursuxit realized that he didn’t have a chance to catch up after that. The good news is that the pressure was already off of him because of Tonight at Eleven’s previous day’s performance so he settled in and finished the race with grace and ease. Pursuxit is way to smart to do anything that would jeopardize his future as a race horse. He pulled up good and knew that they would soon be on their way back home.
That pretty much sums up our adventures in California. We have been watching Drew pack up our things. There is a lot of equipment that goes along with horses. Drew has a lot of work to do to get us ready and we will be back home by Monday, I think.
Remember that opening day at Turf Paradise is October 5th. We will all be there racing. When we get back to Phoenix, I promise to make sure that Dorothy shares pictures with you from her “photo op”. It may be a few days after our return before we get everything together, but look for our next post which will probably be entitled Back Home Again.