02/09/2011 6:00PM

Joey P. Just Loves This Game

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I can't say for certain that Joey P. will win Saturday's second race at Gulfstream. There are a few other horses in that race who can also run. But the fact that Joey P. is not merely competitive in this optional claimer/allowance, but also has the best last race Beyer Figure in the field is extremely cool, and worthy of note. Here's why:

Joey P. is 9 years old. He has raced at 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. And his win on Jan. 14 at Gulfstream in his 9-year-old bow means that he has won at least one race each of the eight years he has raced. That is something special.

Let's not stop there. Six of the 18 races Joey P. has won in his career came in New Jersey bred stakes. But another six of his wins came in unrestricted stakes, one of them a Grade 3 event. All but three of Joey P.'s 43 career starts came in races run at six furlongs or less, so he has knocked out his $1,063,217 in career earnings the hard way. And when Joey P. makes his 44th start on Saturday, it will be his 44th start for John Petrini, the man who also bred him. That is cool all by itself.

Most of the time, racing folks are so focused on the search for brilliance that they sometimes miss special things that don't quite meet the traditional definition of what it is they are looking for. I am guilty of this, too. Heck, my last blog post was in praise of the brilliance of Twirling Candy. But Joey P. has a different type of brilliance that merits recognition. He clearly loves the game like few other horses do.

Check out his lifetime past performances:

 

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