Husband And Wife Jockeys Ride On Same Card At Monmouth Park
OCEANPORT, N.J. — Despite having ridden in nearly 6,900 races during his 25-year career, jockey Francisco Maysonett said he was as nervous as he has ever been for a race prior to the 13th race on Monmouth Park’s card on Aug. 11.
The reason? Maysonett’s wife, Maria, made her U.S. riding debut in that race, creating a rare daily double in the sport — Husband and wife jockeys riding on the same card.
Francisco Maysonnet had a mount in the sixth race.
“I was probably more nervous than she was before her race,” said Francisco Maysonett.
Maria Maysonett, 22, said her riding experience consisted of “10 to 15 races” at Hipodromo de las Americas in Mexico City in 2017 and 2018 before she relocated to Florida to work as an exercise rider at Palm Meadows. That’s where she met Francisco, with the two having been married for a year now.
“We’ve been hoping this would happen,” said Francisco Maysonett. “It’s wonderful to be riding on the same card. It’s exciting. I know it hasn’t happened a lot, so we know it’s something special.”
Francisco Maysonett finished off the board in the sixth race aboard first-time starter Casper Joe. Maria Maysonett finished second aboard Candy For All in the finale.
“I’ve always wanted to ride in the United States so this is exciting, and to ride on the same card as he did makes it special,” said Maria Maysonett, who hails from Torreon, Mexico. “I just wanted to enjoy the moment and the whole experience.”
Francisco Maysonett said he and his wife said little about their mounts prior to the card, though he did give her some advice prior to coming to Monmouth Park today.
“I just told her to be confident in the saddle because she has done this before,” Francisco Maysonett said. “I told her to break out of there, get position, ride smart and don’t be intimidated by anybody in the race.”
Both said they would review her ride at night, away from the racetrack.
“It helps when he gives me criticism,” she said. “I want to learn. I want to improve. I want to ask him questions about what he saw and thought. We’re a team. That’s what makes this so much fun.”
First Deal Is An Afternoon Delight
First Deal, a horse that trainer Jorge Navarro said hates the mornings but loves the afternoons, continued to pay big dividends on his modest purchase price with a sharp 3½-length victory in Sunday’s $75,000 Jersey Shore Stakes at Monmouth Park.
Purchased for $17,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales as a 2-year-old last year, First Deal notched his fifth win in eight lifetime starts, all this year. He has never been off the board, with the lone third-place showing of his career three races ago against 3-year-old sprint sensation Shancelot.
First Deal covered the six furlongs in 1:10.05, returning $5.60 as the favorite in the field of seven 3-year-olds.
“I’m not taking the credit for this one,” said Navarro, who is well on his way to a record seventh straight Monmouth Park training title. “I have to give credit to my guys — my assistants. From day one they told me how nice a horse this was. He’s just not the type of horse I like to train. He’s lazy and slow in the morning. But they kept telling me `train him, train him, train him. He’s doing good.’ They were not lying.
“I can’t believe he wakes up in the afternoon. He’s so lazy. His workouts are in 50 (seconds) and change. Usually my workouts are 46 or 47 seconds. That’s just the type of horse he is. You put him in a race and he’s a completely different horse.”
Following a dazzling victory in his last start, Navarro opted to try stakes company for the first time with the son of Turbo Compressor-Afleet Memories by Afleet Alex.
As a four-horse speed duel developed early, jockey Hector Diaz, Jr. was able to bide his time behind the early leaders before sweeping wide coming out of the turn and simply running away from the field. Bronzed, coming off a victory in the Lookin at Lucky Stakes on June 2, was second. It was another 1¾-lengths in third to the Navarro-trained Admiral Lynch.
“Jorge Navarro told me the first time I rode this horse (last race) `just help him out of the gate. I don’t know the reason but he’s a little lazy.’ I did it and he was very good once he got running, just like this race,” said Diaz. “I was patient this race because I knew they were flying up front. This is a good horse. After the big number he ran in his last race against older horses I thought he deserved this chance in a stakes race. I was confident coming into this race. The trip was perfect. You think about a plan in your head before the race and that’s how it worked out.”
Navarro also owns half of First Deal, too.
“He really has been a great bargain,” said Navarro. “We bought him for $17,000 at the sales last year and I own 50 percent of him and now he has won over $100,000 (officially $128,905) this year. A pretty good deal.”
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