There will be no 11th-hour travel drama when Joe Talamo rides Madame Cactus for trainer Peter Eurton in the Grade I La Brea Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on opening day.
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
Such was the case prior to the Grade II Raven Run Stakes at Keeneland last Oct. 19, when Talamo was scheduled to ride the daughter of Cactus Ridge for owners Mr. and Mrs. Marc Ferrell, but due to Murphy’s Law, stayed at Santa Anita and missed what turned out to be an 11-1 upset victory from the 14th post position with Joe Rocco Jr. in the saddle.
Talamo’s agent, Scotty McClellan, describes what happened.
“There were 16 horses entered in the Raven Run, and she was No. 16, but didn’t have enough graded earnings to get in. They entered three hours at Keeneland before we entered at Santa Anita, and I had taken off like six, seven horses here to ride her at Keeneland.”
But when it was thought Madame Cactus wouldn’t draw in, McClellan scurried to regain his mounts at Santa Anita.
“I was able to get back on a few and wound up winning two with two seconds, but I couldn’t put Joe on a plane,” he said. “Madame Cactus wasn’t in the (body of the) race. I said, ‘Pete, I can’t put him on a plane. Do you want to pay for him to go back and not ride?’
“At noon in Kentucky, we got a call and were told the horse got in the race. She ran and won. That’s how it all happened.
“I’ve been working her since and we planned on the La Brea all along.”