‘Terra Was Riding With Us’: The Emotional Story Of Juvenile Filly Terra’s Angel

by | 12.17.2017 | 3:18pm
Jockey Sasha Risenhoover celebrates after Terra’s Angel's victory in the $100,000 Del Mar Juvenile Turf, Monday, September 4, 2017 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar CA.

Jockey Sasha Risenhoover and owner/trainer Terry Eoff will team up once again with the juvenile filly Terra's Angel in Sunday evening's Trapeze Stakes at Remington Park. The Drosselmeyer filly gave Risenhoover her first win in California in the Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf Stakes in September, but there is a bigger reason that the ride will be an emotional one for the team, reports TVG.

Terra's Angel, a $7,500 purchase at the Keeneland September sale, is named for Eoff's late daughter. Terra Eoff had developed cancer and then gone into remission, but the cancer returned in 2016.

“This time it came back a little more aggressive, and the doctors weren't giving her much time,” Eoff said. “For Christmas, I told her to come out to the barn. I told her ‘I'm going to name this horse after you, and I'm going to give you a little piece of it too.'”

Risenhoover began to ride the filly in her morning workouts in mid-2017, and the two developed a strong connection.

“I didn't realize she was named for Terry's daughter,” the jockey said. “I know what its like to grow up without a mother, and to know that that was about to happen to (Terra's three children)… She told me all she wanted was for the filly to win a race. It breaks my heart, and it just set a fire underneath me.”

In her first start, Terra's Angel won a maiden special weight event at Lone Star Park by three lengths. Four days later, Terra Eoff passed away.

When Risenhoover rode Terra's Angel to victory at Del Mar, she recalls feeling something special: “When we turned for home and she just took off again, this feeling came over me. It was like we were being carried, like Terra was riding with us.”

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