07/22/2014 10:21AM

Jerardi: Cure is a throwback to racing days past

Tom Keyser
Cure is having one of his best years in 2014, winning 4 of 6 starts.

What ever happened to horses like Cure, the 10-year-old who has been racing at Penn National since December 2012 and ran in his 90th career race June 18, getting his 19th win?

The Illinois-bred gelding made his debut March 24, 2007. He raced for the next 3 1/2 years at Hawthorne and Arlington Park. Since then, he also has raced at Tampa Bay Downs, Belmont Park, Saratoga, Aqueduct, and Parx Racing. Cure has been claimed 19 times, for as little as $4,000 and as much as $25,000. The horse has run hard for just about everybody.

Incredibly, Cure is having one of his best years in 2014, winning 4 of 6 starts. Most recently, he won an open $10,000 claiming race at Penn National, got a 70 Beyer Speed Figure, and was claimed by owner Joe Besecker, chronicled in this space two weeks ago. Who claims a 10-year-old for $10,000? Well, Besecker is hot, and if you are going to go in on a 10-year-old, this is the one.

In addition to his 19 wins, Cure has been second 24 times and third 20 times, with career earnings of $376,617. The horse has been so good for so long that he has started at double-digit odds just seven times.

Another good claim

It took the Massachusetts-bred Lord Kyle’s Quest 26 tries to win his maiden. When he was entered for $5,000 at Parx on June 16, the 8-year-old had raced 72 times, with five wins. He had run at Charles Town, Laurel, Pimlico, Canterbury, Hoosier, Churchill, Turfway, and Indiana Grand. In the last three years, he had raced exclusively at Suffolk and Parx.

Enter the aforementioned Besecker, who instructed one of his trainers, Scott Lake, to claim the horse on June 16. Lord Kyle’s Quest came back a month after the claim in a $7,500 claiming race at Parx.

The horse had gotten a clear lead just twice in 72 races, both in routes. This was at 6 1/2 furlongs. Lord Kyle’s Quest was starting at 10-1. He quickly cleared the field, won by four lengths (the biggest winning margin of his life), and got a career-best 81 Beyer.

When you’re hot, you’re hot.

Speaking of hot

On July 4 at Parx, Handsup Moneydown won his ninth race of the year. That is not a misprint.

The horse, owned and trained by Ramon Preciado, is 9 for 11 with one second and one third in 2014. He has earned $183,040 this year.

The 5-year-old son of Sharp Humor was claimed for $7,500 last October, then finished second twice before winning by eight lengths in a $10,000 claimer to finish out 2013.

This year, Handsup Moneydown won a $25,000 claimer before disappearing into the world of starter allowances, an optional claimer, and even a first-level allowance. He has won at six furlongs, 6 1/2 furlongs, and seven furlongs. One of his two losses came when he finished second going a mile and 70 yards.

Raising money for disabled jockeys

This Saturday at Delaware Park, the racetrack, the Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, and the Delaware Jockeys’ Association will be working together to raise funds for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund as part of the fund’s Day Across America fundraiser.

“The Delaware Park family has a great appreciation for the contributions and dedication of the jockeys,” said John Mooney, executive director of racing at Delaware Park. “Every race, these great athletes risk injury so we can enjoy this wonderful sport. The Delaware Park family has always been a proud supporter of the PDJF, and we look forward to doing whatever we can to continue our support for this cause.”

Activities scheduled for Saturday include autograph and photograph sessions with jockeys. Some fans will be in the winner’s circle to get prizes from drawings held throughout the day. Bobbleheads of jockeys Ramon Dominguez and Rosie Napravnik will be available to buy.

All proceeds will go toward the PDJF. Delaware Park, the DTHA, the Delaware Jockeys’ Health and Welfare Fund, and the Delaware Arabian Alliance donated a combined $20,000 in 2013 to the PDJF as part of the Ramon Dominguez retirement celebration. The same entities are committed to $20,000 for 2014 and 2015.