Allie’s Event, jockey pair well
OLDSMAR, Fla. – Jockey Fernando De La Cruz and the 10-year-old gelding Allie’s Event go way back. When the horse made his career debut in September 2008 at Turfway Park, it was De La Cruz who piloted him to a nose victory at 14-1.
Fast forward to 2016, and De La Cruz and Allie’s Event are still winning races. On Jan. 9 at Tampa Bay Downs, they rallied from 10th place early to get up by a neck in a secondlevel optional $32,000 claimer going a mile on turf. They’ll be back at it in the featured ninth race here Saturday, a race at the same class level going 1 1/16 miles on grass.
“He’s kind of a special horse,” said Lori Smock, who bred, owns, and trains Allie’s Event. “He’s had different issues along the way since he was a young horse, so he was lightly raced during his first five years. He’s probably one of the smartest horses I’ve ever been around, and he’s shown me that he still wants to compete. When he shows me that he doesn’t want to go, then we’ll stop.”
Smock also trained the dam of Allie’s Event, the Manlove mare Crewsin’ Allie, who died several years ago while delivering a colt by Put It Back, Smock said. Allie’s Event has done the dam proud, winning 12 of 56 career starts for $450,872.
Allie’s Event went winless in 13 starts in 2015 before returning from a three-month break Jan. 9 to win at 8-1 while wearing bar shoes for the first time. At his age and with his linger- ing foot issues, any start could be the last for Allie’s Event, and if any jockey can send him out a winner, it’s De La Cruz.
“I was glad to get Fernando back on him because [the horse] got into some trouble in a few starts at Presque Isle and was tailing off on me, and I knew that if anyone could get him back running well, it was Fernando,” Smock said.
The race drew a full field of 10 older horses, with three alsoeligibles and one additional runner entered for the main track only.
Allie’s Event, by Wild Event (Last 3 Beyers: 85-78-76)
◗ With the exception of leading jockey Antonio Gallardo, no one has been as hot lately as De La Cruz, who has won 19 races here this month to be second in the local standings.
War Envoy, by War Front (Beyers: 90-87)
◗ He likely will be a short price if he draws into the race from the also-eligible list. He was last in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile on Oct. 30 and returned at this level here Dec. 20, losing by a head to Dannhauser, who returned to win his next start.
Tune Me In, by Concorde’s Tune (Last 3 Beyers: 85-81-86)
◗ This 9-year-old gelding is among five horses in this field who lost to Allie’s Event on Jan. 9, coming up a neck short in second place for the top local tandem of Gallardo and trainer Jamie Ness.