Al­lie’s Event, jockey pair well

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - News - By Nick For­tuna

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.

KEY CON­TENDERS

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.

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