Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter
Sunday Race Recap
News - Misc
Monday, July 22, 2013

Only Have Eyesa for Lajolla

Mr Shakem Diva upset in NDQHA Derby

By Annise Montplaisir


 Sunday’s $5,000 NDQHA Derby ensued to be an interesting race when Eyesa Lajolla pulled off an upset over the favorite, Mr Shakem Diva. A bad break from ‘Diva, who came out of post position seven and ran wide gave ‘Lajolla the edge he needed to take the race for his own. As confirmed by trainer Kenny Olson, “If the horse doesn’t run straight, you have an advantage.”


Breaking sharply from post three, Eyesa Lajolla, the 2-1 second choice, turned it on the the lane, pulling away from early leaders Kb Runner and Genuine Firefly. The son of Eyesa Special withheld the late surge of Mr Shakem Diva to prevail by a neck. The winner stopped the clock in 20.940 and earned a speed index of 80.  


When asked if he had a strategy for his horse, Olson simply states “Run hard and fast,” and with a laugh adds, “There’s not much of a strategy for Quarter Horses.”


Perhaps a contributing factor to the win was pairing veteran jockey Jordan Olesiak with ‘Lajolla for the race. Olesiak, who opted not to race on Friday and Saturday but came out for the day of races on Sunday is no rookie to the North Dakota Horse Park racing scene. "Nothing like coming back to places where you started,” says Olesiak. “It means a lot. Can't forget about these places because riding here is what helped us along."


Eyesa Lajolla came into the Derby after a strong win at Canterbury Park on July 7th, breaking his maiden. ‘Lajolla’s training at Canterbury may have given him a slight advantage in the race. "Canterbury is deeper so I think when they come here they are a little bit fitter and that sometimes gives them an edge over horses coming from other places,” states Olesiak.


After putting the well-built grey gelding out on a mechanical hotwalker, Olson expressed his feelings for the race: “Feels great, always feels good to win.”


The road of Eyesa Lajolla’s career is expected to take him back to Canterbury Park- in the words of Olson “to see what he can do.” And with two consecutive wins under his belt, spectators should definitely keep their eyes on ‘Lajolla when he returns to Canterbury.


"He is always competitive and runs hard,” says Olesiak. “He's a good honest horse."



 Prepare to Get Wild

Owner Dave Wisdom wins another big stake at the Horse Park

By Annise Montplaisir

Good preparation and care were a winning combination that separated Separate Wild from the field in Sunday’s NDQHRA Futurity. The two year old bay gelding broke cleanly and powered to the front of the pack, proving he was a worthy favorite in the race. 

‘Wild was piloted by jockey Mark Luark, who came up from Canterbury Park to ride on the last day of the North Dakota Horse Park’s 2013 race meet. When asked how he thought the race played out, Luark responded “He broke sharp and just kept on running. 

Separate Wild came into the race with two starts under his belt; breaking his maiden at Fort Pierre in April, and taking ninth in a trial race for the $100,000 plus Northlands Futurity in June. ‘Wild, who is regularly trained at Canterbury Park took well to the dirt at the North Dakota Horse Park. Luark commented that the transistion to the new track was a factor in the victory. “The track at Canterbury is really deep so when he comes here, yes, it’s a drop in class, but the track also has a lot to do with it. 

This year’s $5,000 NDQHRA Futurity was yet another to be added to the list of Dave Wisdom. The prominent owner has now won this race a respectable five times since 2003, with other impressive horses such as Mr Hawkin in 2006, and Shake Em Diva in 2008. When asked about Separate Wild’s fantastic win, trainer Hardy said “He didn’t run the best at Canterbury in his last start, but he ran great today.

So what’s next for this flashy gelding? It seems that a future at the track is not likely, as sources say he will be retired from racing and turned into a different kind of racehorse: a barrel racing horse. 

It’s safe to say, it’s just another wild yet exciting twist in the career of Separate Wild.