Jeranimo a barn favorite for Pender
Jeranimo is a rare horse in today’s short-attention span society. Not only did the bay son of Congaree make history by winning the San Gabriel three times, he is still competing at a world-class level as a full horse at the grand old age of eight.
The durable Florida-bred was seventh, beaten just 3 1/2 lengths, in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at about 6 1/2 furlongs last November 2. In a display of his versatility, he returned to the races on January 4 to win the San Gabriel at 1 1/8 miles on turf.
“How many full eight-year olds do you know right now who are still running at this level,” trainer Mike Pender asked rhetorically. “The San Gabriel probably was one of his best races even though he didn’t top a hundred Beyer (he earned a 98). He’s a wonderful horse, to win the San Gabriel three times.
“Around the barn, we all agree that he’s part human. He plays games with us; he’s like a little puppy. He’s always looking for something to do, something to stimulate himself. We play games with him and he looks forward to the interaction.
“But he’s so spoiled, we worry that when his career ends, he’ll become depressed away from the race track, because he really has a home and a family here. Even when I gave him a three-month break during his four-year-old year, I visited him on the farm and he was not happy. The quicker we got him back to the track, the better.”
In 39 career starts, Jeranimo has an 11-6-5 record with earnings of $1,521,364 for owners Robert LaPenta and B. J. Wright.