Racketeer’s victory in Saturday’s first race, ending a four-year,
35-race losing streak, justified the decision trainer Jack Carava made
to reclaim the 8-year-old gelding one race after losing him.
Carava, who trains for La Canada Stable, acquired Racketeer from
trainer Barry Abrams and owner Madeline Auerbach for $10,000 in mid
June, lost the 8-year-old Awesome Again gelding for $12,500 from a
second-place finish on July 3 at Hollywood Park and claimed him back
from trainer Linda Mikus and owner Francis Mikus for $16,000 on July 20,
opening day of the Del Mar meeting.
“He ran a huge race and had a bunch of trouble in the one for me at
Hollywood Park,” Carava said Sunday morning. “After the race, I asked
(Joel) Rosario, do you think I could win a race with this horse if I
claim him back or does he just not want to win.
“Rosario said he thought he could win, so when he ran here (for
$16,000) on opening day, which was only 16 days later, we claimed him
Racketeer’s career traces back to when he was trained by the late
Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel and competed at high levels. But Racketeer
hadn’t won since an allowance race on May 26, 2007 and had apparently
developed a “herd mentality” rather than a winning one.
Jockey Martin Pedroza told Carava after the race that Racketeer was
trying to “put the brakes on” and looking for company in the late going
of the win. But Pedroza managed to get him home a head in front of
Gilligan and prevent the latter from a fifth straight win.