Q-Racing Blog: Secret Love

This horse is a keeper.

This horse is a keeper.

Adequan Ruidoso Derby Challenge fastest-qualifier Mi Amor Secreto isn’t going anywhere.

“He’s a keeper horse,” owner/breeder Kelly Perez of Seguin, Texas, says. “He’s a sweetheart. When he’s done racing, maybe he’ll be a jumper. He’ll have a second career or be a pasture pet.

“He’s our ‘secret love’ and racing horses is our first passion,” she continues.

She is married to former jockey Salvador Perez, who had his career tragically end when he was thrown from his mount after the finish line at Lone Star Park on October 16, 2008. He is paralyzed from the chest down.

“The horses are therapy for him,” Kelly says. “He can lead Mi Amor Secreto from his wheelchair and brush him.”

Mi Amor Secreto has his racing career before – sometime in the future – he becomes a pasture pet.

The gelding by The Louisiana Cartel took more than 400 yards to race the 400 yards of his Adequan Ruidoso Derby Challenge trial. Starting on the outside in the eighth post positon, Mr Amor Secreto broke well and, midway in the race, he drew away from the horses inside of him. Mi Amor Secreto then bore in under jockey Santos Carrizales and ended up in the fourth path. He defeated SC Vapor Trail by one length with a time of :20.271. It was the top time from four trials.

Jockey Santos Carrizales is the father of trainer Marcos Carrizales.

“The Carrizales are like family to us,” Kelly says. “We’ve known them for, maybe, 20 years.”

This family effort is based around a tall, gangly gelding that is still maturing and growing.

“By the end of the year, he’ll be even better,” Kelly says. “Everything is coming together.”

Mi Amor Secreto didn’t show much in his two starts as a 2-year-old. He was a well-beaten eighth in a Sam Houston Race Park maiden race and then broke in and was steadied in his All American Futurity trial.

The Mi Amor Secreto crew decided to keep the gelding eligible to the $1 million-est. All American Derby (G1).

Following his All American Futurity trial, he was turned out and rested and given time to mature for his 3-year-old campaign.

The homebred gelding made his 2018 debut in the Sam Houston Maiden Classic (not a stakes race) trials and broke his maiden by one-half length with a late rush at 25-1 odds. In the $95,800 Maiden Classic, he got close to winning, but was on the losing end of a head-bobbing finish to Zaire.

Mi Amor Secreto then came to Ruidoso to race in his Adequan Ruidoso Derby trial.

One of the questions about Mi Amor Secreto going into the Adequan Ruidoso Derby is, can he straighten out the error he made in his trial? He’ll need to run straight down the track.

Mi Amor Secreto is still learning this racing game. He has the raw speed and is showing promise.

The best news is that he’ll always have a caring home.

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