Jockey's victories worth trip
Jockey Jerry Vaughn took the job on short notice, arrived in Fargo late and had never seen or heard of the horses he was riding. But none of it mattered. Vaughn rode both Stormacash and Getda Money Hun to victory Saturday in two of the largest st...
Jockey Jerry Vaughn took the job on short notice, arrived in Fargo late and had never seen or heard of the horses he was riding.
But none of it mattered.
Vaughn rode both Stormacash and Getda Money Hun to victory Saturday in two of the largest stakes races in the North Dakota Horse Park's short history.
Trainer Bob Johnson, who offered Vaughn the job Tuesday, flew four jockeys in from Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday afternoon specifically for high stakes sixth and ninth races. The races combined for $31,400 in total purse money.
The jockeys arrived in Fargo about an hour before the first race was scheduled to begin.
"I do that a lot," said Johnson of flying in top jockeys. "It's a crap shoot, a gamble."
The gamble paid off in the sixth race when Vaughn, aboard Stormacash, won the Open Quarter Horse Futurity in a photo finish.
Stormacash finished an eyelash ahead of both Cashs Vengance and Featured Traffic in the $17,200 purse, 350-yard race.
"I thought I'd come in third," Johnson said. "I was standing at the wire and I thought we were third."
The sixth wasn't just a race between 10 two-year olds, however. It was also a friendly battle between Johnson and owner Tom Maher.
Johnson trained half of the field and Maher owned the other half.
Maher owned second-place Cashs Vengance and third-place Featured Traffic.
Each entered the race with a 50/50 chance of victory.
"They won by a whisker," said Maher, who owned seven horses that competed Saturday. "I had to go look at it (on replay) a couple of times to make sure. But that's racing."
Vaughn rode Getda Money Hun to victory about an hour later in the $14,200 purse Open Quarter Horse Derby.
Getda Money Hun edged second-place Dr. Meter Reader by about a couple feet. Cartel Dancer, owned by Maher, was third.
"It feels good," Vaughn said of his victories. "Especially when you've got good horses."
The North Dakota Horse Park is scheduled to hold its final Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred races of the year today at 1:15 p.m.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562