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Wednesday Notes: Jermaine Bridgmohan Scores His First FG Hat Trick
Jockey Jermaine Bridgmohan, who elected to hang his tack full-time in New Orleans for the first time this winter, won one-third of Sunday’s Fair Grounds races by scoring a riding triple during the nine-race afternoon.
Born in Spanish Town, Jamaica, Bridgmohan won Sunday’s second race aboard JRita Young Thoroughbreds’ Artic Sea for trainer Allen Milligan, took the fifth on Spendthrift Farm’s Treasured Up for two-time Fair Grounds training champion Al Stall Jr., and came back to the winner’s circle after the finale astride Miss Inclined, owned by Mueller Thoroughbred Stable and conditioned by Malcolm Pierce.
Sunday’s hat trick, coming as the Fair Grounds began the last quarter of its 2011-2012 meeting, also put the most successful stamp to date on the 23-year-old reinsman’s inaugural Crescent City season.
“Actually, I got off to a decent start here this winter,” said Bridgmohan shortly after completing his active morning during training hours Wednesday at Fair Grounds. “I won two races on the second day of the meeting, but then a couple of things happened that slowed down my momentum and it took me awhile to get things going again.
“First of all, shortly after riding those two winners, I got in some traffic problems in a race a couple of days after that and picked up a suspension. Then, not long after that, I was on a horse that flipped in the gate on the day after Christmas and was off a few days with a sprained ankle. That’s what prolonged me doing any better any sooner, but things have really picked up for me during the second half of the meeting. Hopefully, I’ve done some things that will help build toward some future years down here.
“New Orleans seems like a pretty nice place to be in the winter time,” said Bridgmohan, who was raised in South Florida and was the leading rider during the Tropical-at-Calder meeting during 2006. “The weather here has been pretty nice – almost like being in Florida – and, of course, the food here is really great. Also, I think what really proved that New Orleans is a great city is the way the people here have bounced back after Katrina.”
Although he has won the Grade II Carry Back Stakes at Calder and the Grade II Davona Dale and Grade III Mr. Prospector at Gulfstream during his young career, Bridgmohan’s local reputation has so far been overshadowed by that of older brother Shaun Bridgmohan, who celebrated a five-win day earlier this winter on Dec. 17 and was Fair Grounds’ jockey champion during the 2009-2010 season.
However, the younger Bridgmohan downplays any comparisons to his older brother’s career.
“Shaun is nine years older than me,” Jermaine explained, “so really, we’re from two different generations. He started riding in 1998 when he was 18, so I would have been nine years old at the time. I remember going to Calder to watch him ride when he first started out, because the whole family lives in Ft. Lauderdale now. But I didn’t start riding until 2006, and he had left the South Florida circuit years earlier, so we really have not ridden against each other that much.”
However, one such battle of the brothers took place in Chicago last summer, when Jermaine Bridgmohan won the $100,000 Arlington Sprint aboard Silverton Hill’s Havelock and Shaun Bridgmohan finished second on Richard, Bertram and Elaine Klein’s Country Day, who won last Saturday’s $75,000 Colonel Power Stakes at Fair Grounds.
“I didn’t get any special feeling about beating my brother (in last summer’s Arlington Sprint),” said Jermaine Bridgmohan a few days after that encounter. “I was just happy about winning the race.”
JOCKEY, TRAINER STANDINGS AT SEASON’S THREE-QUARTER MARK – Fair Grounds’ 2011-2012 racing season officially began its last quarter at the conclusion of last Saturday’s Louisiana Derby Preview Day program, and there were no surprises in either its jockey or its trainer standings at the time.
Defending jockey champion and current leading rider Rosie Napravnik was comfortably in front in the jockey standings, ending the 63rd day of the 84-day current session with 77 wins, 18 more than her nearest competitors at the time.
Similarly, defending trainer champion and current leading conditioner Steve Asmussen was credited with 45 wins this season through Saturday as he goes after his 11th Fair Grounds title, while current runner-up Tom Amoss, a nine-time trainer champion at Fair Grounds, had saddled 29 winners through Saturday’s races.
GENERAL QUARTERS COMMENCING NEW CAREER IN OCALA – General Quarters, owned and trained by the septuagenarian Tom McCarthy during a career that included wins in Keeneland’s Grade I Blue Grass in 2009 and Churchill’s Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic in 2010, is commencing a stud career at Stonewall Farm in Ocala, Florida, McCarthy reported during a recent visit to New Orleans.
“His book has drawn a lot of interest and is filling up very rapidly,” said McCarthy after leaving Ocala and stopping off for a brief visit to the Crescent City last week before heading back to Louisville, Kentucky.
General Quarters finished second in Fair Grounds’ Grade II New Orleans, Grade III Mineshaft and $100,000 Louisville handicaps two years ago.
Stonewall Farm is also the home of Leroisdesanimaux, sire of last spring’s Kentucky Derby winner and Team Valor International color bearer Animal Kingdom.