Trumansburg, NY --- If one could have placed bets on the inaugural New York Racing Under Saddle Fair Series Final, most probably would not have had their money on the No. 4 horse John-Michael.
His trainer, Michael Miller, had no intentions on racing the 6-year-old gelding under saddle and the horse has proven he has a mind of his own when it comes to racing. His rider, Tara Hynes, had only ridden him twice before taking the title at Tompkins County Fair in Trumansburg on Tuesday (Aug. 19).
“Winning the final of course felt amazing as any win does,” said the 24-year-old rider after the race. “This one was particularly special since John-Michael can be a handful.”
The duo got out in front of the rest of the field early and stayed there, winning in a time of 2:09.1. Truth In Action, ridden by owner and trainer Karen Isbell, put up the biggest threat for John-Michael by tailing him most of the race and placing second.
John-Michael, owned by Terry Miller, went into the final race having earned 21 points. He raced in Afton and Norwich, taking second in both. He also earned a point for showing up for the race in Bath. That race had to be canceled because of rain.
The victory aboard John-Michael marked Hynes’ 24th start behind the gate. The Freehold, N.J., resident has done quite a bit of traveling to participate in the series. However, she says win or lose it is always worth it because without miles on the track she would not be able to improve.
“I am passionate and determined to be the best I can be,” she said. “Anyone who knows me knows I am always open to suggestions and advice. I have been very lucky this year to have the help and support of owners and also from trainer Paul Fusco who took a lot of these long journeys with me when I was scared to drive to far and unfamiliar places. I am also thankful for his continuous help at the farm and jogging/taking care of my other race horses when I go on these adventures.”
John-Michael (Dream Vacation-Imatagtoo) has a lifetime mark of 1:58.2 on a half and has earned $38,203. His fastest RUS mark came during a qualifier at Monticello Raceway in 2013 with a time of 2:08.1. The bay gelding has earned $2,200 racing under saddle ($1,800 in 2014).