Rhoda truly loves It’s Truly Ahvee. So, even though his race was a $20,000 claiming race, it was her baby’s race.
He looked great in the Paddock, by far the best looking horse in the race. Then, as Rhoda said, “look how nicely he went into the gate!” Then the bell rang and the gate opened. Cornelio Velasquez, who already had two winners (and one breakdown!) earlier on the race card, got him out quickly from the 6-hole. His first steps were a little erratic – out, then in – but Cornelio got him on track, crossed over the horses to his inside and brought him to the head of the pack. We were excited, but we’ve seen him go to the front before and then empty out and fade.
John Imbriale, the track announcer yesterday, pronounced Ahvee as Ahvay (I guess like Renee), but we couldn’t hear him anyway. We just stood and watched It’s Truly Ahvee on the lead and waited with bated breath. Would he fold? Would another horse come up and pass him?
They come around the stretch turn and he continues to lead. As they head into the stretch, he’s still on top. As they near the 1/8th pole, he clears the others by 3 lengths… but by the 1/16th pole, the number 5 is coming on the outside. Cornelio finally uses the crop for the first time. The 5 horse closes the gap a little… but he cannot overtake It’s Truly Ahvee. Cornelio and It’s Truly Ahvee win by 2 lengths. I was sorry that one of my partners got delayed by road problems but happy to be in the Winner’s Circle… especially happy that Rhoda is in the Winner’s Circle with her beautiful baby! YAY!
It may not have been an important race but this 5-yr. old horse has been through a lot. He had two tendon tears, surgery, bled through Lasix and has only run 7 races in his career… 2 third place finishes as a 2-yr. old and, now, 2 wins in his last 3. He’s beautiful to look at and has a lot of heart. Congrats to It’s Truly Ahvee… and his “mom!”