The win streak continues for Hooked on Jordan and Juan Galvan. The duo crossed under the finish line with an impressive performance to win the 17th running of the $118,200 Blue River Derby Saturday, July 20 at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino.
Hooked on Jordan was just waiting for the starting gate to open to get to business. Galvan had him out of the gate in one big leap and on top of the nine-horse field. The Fast Prize Jordan gelding had control early on, rallying home by a neck to win his fourth straight victory in :20.040 seconds. A very tight photo determined Cause for Corona and Gerardo Garrido for second over Nacho Binez and Fernando Morin for third.
“He (Hooked on Jordan) was perfect,” said Galvan, through his wife, Nikki, who translated his comments following the race. “We had a good header and my respect goes out to all of them. He is such a strong horse. And, he gets very good care, too. They have done an excellent job with him. I want to thank Ron (Raper) and Jeannette (Hoover) for letting me ride him. He’s definitely a very strong competitor.”
Hooked on Jordan now has four wins in five starts for 2019 and boosted his career earnings tally to more than $118,000. As the fastest qualifier from the trials, Hooked on Jordan was one of the favorites, paying $7.40, $4.80, $3.20 across the board. The chestnut gelding is owned by Jeannette Hoover and trained by Ron Raper, who is also the breeder.
“We raised him and he’s very spoiled,” smiled Hoover. “His nickname is ‘MJ’ for Michael Jordan.”
Hooked on Jordan reminds Raper of his mother, Hooked on Laveaux, who also raced for his stable in Indiana more than a decade ago. He sees a lot of similarities in the two.
“He (Hooked on Jordan) runs just like his mother,” said Raper. “He’s honest and he’s not as big as the others, but he runs his hardest every time. He broke on top big tonight, and that was important. He’s a great horse to be around and easy to work with. He goes out for 20 minutes of grass every day. That’s his treat.”
Hooked on Jordan inherited the will to win from his dam. Hooked on Laveaux won several stakes races for Raper in three different stakes before retiring with 13 wins in 32 starts. However, Hoover and Raper have one factor that has changed the gelding’s success this season.
“Maturity is everything with this horse,” added Raper. “Plus, he was a stallion last year and we gelded him over the winter. This year, he’s all business. And Juan (Galvan) has done a good job riding him. That is the key.”
Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing continues through Wednesday, Nov. 6. Racing is conducted Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 2:15 p.m. and Saturday at 6:15 p.m.