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The Horse That Changed My Life | Jettastic

"It would be a blessing to ride another as classy as him"
(PHOTO - JETTASTIC gets his nose in front in the 2015 Alex Picov Memorial Championship at Ajax Downs under Mike Holmes - New Image Media Photo)

Ajax Downs is a home away from home for Mike Holmes, who lives in Oak Park, Michigan and rides Quarter Horses in Ontario during the racing season. His approachable personality and love for his sport makes him popular with fans and it was in Ontario where he says he rode his most memorable horse.

Jettastic shipped in to Ajax Downs for trainer Tony Cunningham in September 2015 to  take part in a trial race for the prestigious $100,000 Alex Picov Memorial  Championship. A multiple stakes winner, the jet-black colt finished fourth in his trial but advanced to the final and Holmes was pumped.

"I know [Tony] was concerned," said Holmes, whose father Donny was a very successful jockey in Detroit. "He thought the 440 yards might be too far for him but I said the longer the better. I had no doubt."

Holmes might have said that with a bit of tongue-in-cheek but he did get Jettastic to surge from just over a length off the pace to get up to win the Memorial Championship by inches.He edged formidable rivals in Mesa Marvel and Jesskissmytexas in that victory, his eighth career win.

"He was probably one of the best horses I have ever ridden," said the rider who has been to many tracks in North America but says Ajax is his favouirte. "That win was the most memorable for me and I have had some of my best times in racing [at Ajax]."

The 43-year-old Holmes, who is also a mechanic, is coming off a career year on horseback according to his Equibase statistics in Quarter Horse racing. He won 40 races in 2016, topping his previous high of 39 in 2010. Holmes has 277 career Quarter Horse wins and 142 Thoroughbred victories.

Jettastic is back in action for 2017. He was retired from racing, had a short stint as a barrel horse and then entered stud in Indiana. While his first foals are yearlings of 2017, Jettastic has returned to training at Remington Park as a 6-year-old.

Mike Holmes may just see his most favourite horse once again in the near future.

(Photo below from the JETTASTIC Facebook page)

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