Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Back in saddle and bored no more

Veteran Pruitt riding again after nursing busted ankle

  • Print

Feeling a little like the old singing cowboy Gene Autry, Jerry Pruitt is glad to be "back in the saddle again."

Mind you, Pruitt doesn't ride the range while strumming a guitar. He will, however, ride Maub, a Manitoba-bred dark brown filly out of Smile Again-Cemmec by Rebmec, in the sixth race tonight at Assiniboia Downs. The morning line has Maub a 15-1 long shot over the six furlongs, but as far as Pruitt is concerned, a horse is a horse. At least for now.

"Yeah (it feels good to be back)," Pruitt said Thursday. "I've been getting pretty bored."

On Saturday he's riding Tony's Lil Polly, a mare he rode to a third on May 15, his last race since breaking an ankle at the track a week after opening day, May 10.

Pruitt first sprained the ankle on May 10 when Little Known Fact tossed him in the gate. A week later, the same horse tossed him again, this time in front of the grandstand during a morning workout.

"I took him to the gate and he was fine," Pruitt recalled. "He didn't do nothing wrong in the gate. But then I was backtracking him home and right by the grandstand he lunged into the air like he did in the gate that day and he collided with another horse, knocking us (the other rider) both off, and that was when I (compound) fractured the ankle. When he hit that other horse he hit him hard."

Just turned 58, the 11th all-time leading jockey at Assiniboia Downs, with 790 wins, can't remember how many horses he's ridden. "But I have won more than 4,000 races," he said. "I do know that."

A native of San Diego, Pruitt has raced in some of the best tracks in the United States, including Santa Anita, Hollywood Park and Del Mar. In "1986 or '87," he was ranked 10th in the American Jockey Standings. So far this year he has two races under his belt, with only one third-place finish.

Pruitt, one of the most consistent jockeys in 15 years at the Downs, has never won the leading-jockey title there, and he's pretty sure it isn't going to happen this year. "I don't know, its a little bit late now so I'm not really worried about it. I've been a leading rider everywhere (other tracks), so I'm not worried about it."

Pruitt has actually been galloping horses for a good two weeks now, and though jockey's insurance has been paying his way since the accident, he says he's ready to start making some real money. "I'm not feeling the pinch yet," he said, adding that it helps that his wife, Lise Pruitt, is a trainer at the Downs. "It works good," he said, adding he met Lise about five years after coming here. "We're a good team together. We also have two girls going to school here."

Lise says that he doesn't complain a whole lot about the horses she provides for him to ride. "No, we get along pretty good. I know he tries really hard and the horses try real hard for him, and that's all you want. He's never been hurt too many times, so this is kind of new to us, but it happens, I guess. This is a dangerous business." Actually, Pruitt says he broke his collarbone in Miami once and his other ankle when he was 21 while riding quarter-horses.

While racing at the big American tracks, Pruitt said that Brooke Mobley, a trainer he was riding for at Yakima, Wash., said he wanted to go to another track, so "I said I'd go with him. He said it was in Canada, so I said, 'I've never been there, so I'll go too.

"I did really good the first year. I think I won seven stakes races. I was riding for Tom Dodd then, but now I just ride for anybody, but mostly for my wife."

Altough he'll do his best to bring Maub to the winner's circle today, at 15-1, he may have to settle for just hitting the board.

allan.besson@freepress.mb.ca

 

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 19, 2009 C5

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Mayor Bowman reacts to Caspian investigation

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 060710 The full moon rises above the prairie south of Winnipeg Monday evening.
  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Winnipeg Free Press 090528 STAND UP...(Weather) One to oversee the pecking order, a pack of pelican's fishes the eddies under the Red River control structure at Lockport Thursday morning......

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who should get more playing time in Jets net?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google