When Conquest Mo Money defeated the Doug O'Neill-trained California shipper Irap in last Saturday's Mine That Bird Derby at Sunland Park, his trainer Miguel Hernandez was understandably thrilled. Formerly a very successful jockey on the local circuit, Hernandez suffered a broken back in 2013 that brought his 33-year riding career to an end, according to the El Paso Times.
“I love the training aspect of it and it gives me a chance to stay a part of the sport that has been such a big part of my life,” Hernandez said. “I try to stay calm as a trainer and use my knowledge of the sport to my benefit. I'm fortunate I have a great team around me. I couldn't be successful without those close to me and those who have given me a chance. When I was injured, I didn't know what was going to happen. There was so much uncertainty.”
As a jockey, Hernandez was never able to win the Sunland Park Derby, but he may now be able to win it as a trainer. Conquest Mo Money's two-length win in the Mine That Bird, the local prep race, convinced his trainer that the son of Uncle Mo deserves a shot against graded stakes company and a chance to earn qualifying points toward the 2017 Kentucky Derby.
“I hope he runs the same way as he's running right now,” Hernandez told drf.com. “It's going to be tougher company. They'll bring in some pretty nice horses. It's going to be a pretty good race for him to see what kind of a horse he is.”
Conquest Mo Money was bred in New York by Twin Creeks Farm, and originally commanded $180,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale from Conquest Stables. The colt did not start as a 2-year-old, and was part of the Conquest dispersal at Keeneland's November mixed sale. Tom and Sandra McKenna, of Judge Lanier Racing, paid $8,500 for him there, and the colt has since been undefeated in three starts at Sunland for the leading owners, earning $132,900.
“Conquest Mo Money is a serious minded horse and he's been impressive so far,” Hernandez continued. “He's run well so far in his young career and he's getting better all the time. We'll take it one race at a time.”
Read more at the El Paso Times.
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