Page 50 - The Hunt - Spring 2019
P. 50

                                blessed to have these horses and the team that has surrounded me all year, through the hot days, the cold days and the rainy days,” says Mahoney.
The North American championship award is determined by a pool of voters that includes the National Thoroughbred Racing Association racing secretaries,
Daily Racing Form editorial employees,
and members of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters. Other finalists were Rosbrian’s Optimus Prime, also trained by Zanjabeel’s trainer, Ricky Hendriks, and winner of Saratoga Race Course’s $175,000 New York Turf Writers Cup; and $450,000 Grand National victor Jury Duty, who was the year’s leading earner. “Ricky was a very
able jockey in his own right and has been training horses for many years,” Mahoney says. “I have the highest regard for him.”
In a stellar year, Mahoney watched three
of his horses compete to pass the finish line first in a Grade 1 race. “Talk about anxiety attacks,” he said in an interview with This Is Horse Racing. “Stressful—the anxiety is off the charts. You’re not rooting for or against any of them, so it can be a little bit hard to watch—just like you’re not rooting against your children if they’re on the same team. It’s a good problem to have three Grade 1 horses, and I don’t want to sound boastful about that. They have to run against each other.”
In his native Ireland, jump jockey Jack Kennedy rode Zanjabeel a number
of times. One of those ended in a painful 48-length defeat at Punchestown in County Kildare in November 2016. After coming to America, fortunes improved for both horse and rider. Kennedy and Zanjabeel bettered their record to two-for-two over hurdles in the U.S., galloping away with the $175,000 Lonesome Glory Handicap at Belmont Park, putting them on the path to the Eclipse.
Jockey Darren Nagle
Darren Nagle is riding tall in the
saddle. For the second year running, he
is the National Steeplechase Association champion jockey, an honor bestowed to the top rider based on the number of wins.
Nagle had 17 victories in 2018, coming
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“ I t ’ s a g o o d p r o b l e m “t o h a v e t h r e e G r a d e 1 horses, and I don’t want to sound boastful. They have to run against each other.”
    Some enchanted evening.
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