SHAKOPEE, MN – The only question for jockey Orlando Mojica wasn’t if he had enough horse left but if he was on the right part of the race track aboard the favored One Mean Man in the $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby.
“I knew I had a lot of horse left,” he said, “but the inside of the course is a little deep and I wasn’t sure we had the footing.”
Mojica led One Mean Man up the rail and got up just in time to take the one mile Mystic Lake Derby in 1:39.71.
Trainer Bernie Flint noted Mojica’s ride, “He waited on him and waited and waited him and he did an excellent job over a tough field of horses.”
Longshots Bushrod and Pinnacle Peak led the way through 3/4 of a mile but gave way to the stalking Way Striking at the top of the stretch. First Whatawonderflworld and then One Mean Man overtook that one late along with a hard charging Hay Dakota.
In the best finish of a Mystic Lake Derby since its inception in 2012, it took a long look at a photo to determine that One Mean Man ($4.40) had just caught Whatawonderflworld ($3.20) at the wire by a head bob. Hay Dakota ($4.20) was third.
“This horse is named after me,” laughed co-owner Ron Hillerich. “My wife says she has two wonderful children and one mean man. This is one of the biggest thrills I’ve ever had.”