Jockey Jorge Carreno came to Fonner Park in mid February with one plan in mind.
“That’s the Plan A is to win races,” Carreno said. “Plan B is to win races, Plan C is to win races. That’s always the plan is to win races.”
So far, that plan has worked out well.
After three weekends of racing, Carreno is tied with Jake Olesiak in the jockey standings with 12 wins. That includes the three wins he picked up Sunday.
Carreno won the first race on Runarounddancing for trainer James Compton. He later won the fourth race on Kenhedoit for trainer Dalton Dieter and finished the day winning the ninth race on Texican for trainer Isai Gonzalez.
“It was a great day,” Carreno said. “The trainers trust in me and my agent (Danny Coughlin), it’s working out.”
Carreno has, like so many, been up and down in his career. In 2017 he was up when he rode Conquest Mo Money to a seventh-place finish in the Preakness Stakes.
Carreno’s best memory on Conquest Mo Money came earlier in the Arkansas Derby.
“It was a great experience,” Carreno said. “Especially when I ran second in the Arkansas Derby because we needed more points to be in the Kentucky Derby, so I had to run no worse than second.”
In the end, trainer Miguel Hernandez decided to skip the Kentucky Derby that year and get ready for the Preakness.
More recently, Carreno has hit a streak of bad luck.
“My business dropped a bit,” Carreno said. “I was looking for a place where I could get my heart back a little bit, feel like a winner again. I was feeling like I was getting my butt kicked a little bit.”
So he contacted his former agent Chad Anderson, son of Fonner Park assistant racing secretary Wayne Anderson, and told him he was looking for some place where he could ride and win.
Chad Anderson got him in contact with agent Danny Coughlin, and Carreno ended up in Grand Island at Fonner Park in February.
What does he think of Grand Island?
“I think it’s cold brother,” he said. “I’ve never been in weather this bad. They told me this was the worst for years, so if I come back I am expecting better weather.”
Carreno has ridden on 5/8th-mile tracks like the one at Fonner before, but every track has some differences. The more he’s on it, the more he knows about the track.
“You get used to it,” Carreno said. “Every day you work horses, you gallop horses, you adjust to the track.”
Gold Eclipse wins feature race
Gold Eclipse edged ahead in the closing yards to win the Fonner Park feature race Sunday.
The 4-year-old son of Harbor the Gold and Little Cascadian who was bred in Oregon held off Rocketringo and Como Se Llama to get the win under the hands of jockey Scott Bethke in the four-furlong race by a neck in 46.20..
Gold Eclipse paid $1520, $7.40 and $4.80 to win in the $7,500 claiming race. Roceketringo paid $4.40 and $3.80 to place and Como Se Llama $2.60 to show.
It was the fifth career win in 21 starts for Good Eclipse, trained by Kyndra McKinney and owned by George Hurliman.
The victory was worth $4,560 and brought Gold Eclipse’s career earnings to $29.642.
Orphan Kist nominations
The nominations are in for the 23rd running of the $10,000 Orphan Kist Stakes Saturday at Fonner Park.
Thirteen fillies and mares were nominated for the six-furlong event. The list includes Chub’s Charmer, winner of the Orphan Kist and the Runza Stakes last year, Ubetcha Ima Bumper, who won the Orphan Kist in 2016 and 2017 and Love at Night, winner of the Bold Accent Stakes this past weekend.
Orphan Kist nominations
Chubs Charmer (David Anderson), Cowgirl Judge (Marissa Black), Give Me That Wink (Schuyler Condon), Hold Fast Cat (Bill Krause), Judge on the Run (Marissa Black), Let’s Go Places (Gregorio Rivera), Lost Key (Marissa Black), Love at Night (Terrell Hemmer), Mine for a Song (Steve Hall), P R Girl Crush (Alonzo Quinn), P R Kipling’s Gold (Elisabeth Emerson), Tea at Noon (Elisabeth Emerson), Ubetcha Ima Bumper (Brian Roberts).
Breeders’ Association winners announced
The Nebraska Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association announced their winners for the 2018 racing season.
-- 3-year-old filly of the year: Judge on the Run, By Judge Bill out of Retro Runner, bred by Landis Stables L.L.C. Runnerup: Buy Gold, By Holiday Justice out of B G Golden Time, bred by Leland Steffen.
-- 3-year-old colt of the year: P R Cash King, By Gold Schleiger out of Cash Treet, bred by Judy Pryor. Runnerup: L B Gold, by Mine for Gold out of Magic Player, bred by Kathleen Ann Krause.
-- 4-up mare of the year: Chub’s Charmer, by Hey Chub out of Gaelic Bay, bred by Cheryl M. Stejskal. Runnerup: Let’s Go Places, By Monhocracy out of Lucky Feather, bred by Leland Steffen.
-- 4-up horse of the year: Be My Shadow, by Shadow Hawk out of Shesaluckyflag, bred by Deloris Barney. Runnerup: Go Gold, by Mine for Gold out of Statsie’s Charmer, bred by Herb Reicken.
-- Breeder of the year: Leland Steffen.
-- Mare of the year: Shesaluckyflag, Deloris Barney.
— The husband and wife team of jockey Armando Martinez and trainer Kelli Martinez won two more Sunday at Fonner. They won with Retaliated in the second and Attack the Shack in the third.
— Kelli Martinez has moved to the top of the trainer’s standings with seven wins. David Anderson and Mark Hibdon have six each and Isai Gonzalez has five.
— Jockey Scott Bethke had two wins on How Creative for trainer Mark Lemburg in the sixth and on Gold Eclipse in the feature race.