11/03/2017 1:20PM

Castanon grateful he avoided injury in spill

Keeneland/Coady Photography
Jockey Jesus Castanon

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Jockey Jesus Castanon was back breezing horses Friday, one day after tumbling to the Churchill Downs turf when his mount in the eighth race, Good Offense, ducked out suddenly near the wire while seemingly on his way to victory and unseated him. He said he was sore but “pretty lucky” to have fallen outside of trailing horses.

Good Offense, a 2-year-old First Defense gelding owned by Amerman Racing, also avoided injury, trainer Paul McGee said.

That meant most of the pain was felt by the horse’s disappointed connections and bettors who backed him at 7-1 odds and were within mere yards of collecting a rewarding payoff. Instead, Stormcast, who had been passed by Good Offense, won by default at a $69 mutuel.

The incident illustrated the racetrack maxim that there are a million ways to lose a horse race. “Make that a million and one,” McGee said.

Castanon speculated that his mount, making just his third start, shied from lights at the finish line or from the infield timing display. He said that as he fell to the turf, he hoped he was clear of other horses. “After a couple seconds, I knew I was okay,” he said.

Castanon did not have any scheduled mounts Friday and planned to resume riding Saturday.

As for Good Offense, he is a work in progress for McGee, who said the horse has always been a skittish 2-year-old. “He sees ghosts,” McGee quipped.

Already, the horse runs in blinkers, and more than likely will become more professional with racing experience.