BLACK RUBY EYES TAZ REMATCH AFTER WINNING WINNER-TAKE-ALL RACE AT FAIRPLEX
For Immediate Release Contact: Ed Golden
The beat goes on for Black Ruby, the Little Mule Who Could, and her
Black Ruby, the 10-year-old mare who defeated 8-year-old gelding Taz in
Saturday's $10,000, winner-take-all match race at Fairplex Park, will make
her next start in the $10,000 Fresno Gold Cup at 440 yards on Oct. 6,
co-owner Sonny McPherson said after Black Ruby won for the 49th time in 56
Ed Burdick, as always a good sport in defeat, said Taz came out of his
effort well, was back in Pleasonton, and "absolutely" is being pointed to
the Fresno Gold Cup.
"We aren't giving up. We're never giving up," Burdick said of Taz, who has
been second to Black Ruby 25 times in their last 27 meetings and 30 times in
their 43 meetings overall. "Ruby is just a special individual. We lost, but
the event itself made it so enjoyable. This is what we wanted. The crowd
really got into it."
The outcome was certain until deep stretch, when Black Ruby inched away to
win by a half-length under regular rider James Burns.
"This race was in doubt, even at the 16th pole," Burns said. "Ruby didn't
get away real good. She broke good but she just didn't get her footing
underneath her because she's got that weight (129 pounds to Taz's 124). She
kind of floundered the first 50-100 yards and Taz was in front of me and I
thought, 'Oh gosh, today's the day (Black Ruby gets beat). Taz is a helluva
campaigner and he makes her run hard every time. You can see by the time
(:20.41 for 350 yards)for mules, that's a damn good time. Taz tries to get
by Ruby every time and she just waits. She'll let him get by and she takes
right off again."
On the premise that mules are smarter than horses, Burns says Black Ruby
knows when she wins.
"When I galloped her back (to the winner's circle), she kind of wanted to
play and buck and screw around because she knew (she had won again). She
looks for that wire and as soon as I stand up on her (after they cross the
finish line), she knows we're on the lead and she wins.
"Riding Black Ruby probably is the best thing that's happened to me in my
career. This makes about 44 (races) I've won on her from 49 outs. The five
times I got beat on her it's never been by more than a head. She's my big
mare. Even though she's a mule, I've ridden a lot of good thoroughbreds and
quarter horses, but she's over $180,000 (actually $180,850 in earnings)
Once again, Taz distinguished himself in defeat.
"He ran a tremendous race," said his rider, Cowboy Jack Kaenel. "He was
running against a tremendous mule. It was a heckuva good duel. Neither one
of us knew who was going to win at the 70-yard pole because we were both so
close and going back and forth, but they both ran a tremendous race."