Mystacallie brings quite a resumé to GP Downs

The People's Horse will make her debut Saturday in the Miss Josephine County Purse. Mystacallie, a 5-year-old monstrous gray mare, received that moniker in 2008 and 2009 when she ran on behalf of her honorary owners and the fans of 95.5-FM The Game. Portland Meadows agreed to match what she earned and donate it to The Oregon National Guard Emergency Relief Fund.

Mystacallie became a sensation, winning seven races and more than $30,000.

Now, the People's Horse is trained by Mary Boyle, who cautions people to curb their enthusiasm.

"She hasn't run for more than a year," Boyle said as she watched Mystacallie during a workout Wednesday. "Plus she's a miler, although she can run short."

The much-dappled mare will be wearing blinkers and other equipment featured on posters of her circulated by her many honorary owners, some of whom are traveling south to Grants Pass for the race.

She will be ridden by Shyann Garcia, fresh from her record-breaking triumph last Sunday at 5 furlongs.

The inside scoop on Mystacallie comes from her groom, Rob Lowther.

"She's fit. All she wants to do is run," he said. "She gets mad every time she has to come off the track."


JEFF BAKER HAS A COMPANION goat for his three thoroughbreds at Grants Pass Downs.

"A horse kicked her and broke her leg in Seattle last year. They were going to put her down, so we took her," he said. "We outfitted her leg with a piece of PV pipe. She healed fine. Now I can't give her away."

The goat, named Nanny, isn't the only pal accompanying Jeff, his wife Tammy and their daughter Shali.

"We also have our pony horse, a miniature horse, a dog and two cats. We brought the farm down here for a month," Baker said.

He has a promising entry in the first race Saturday, Nuclear Prospect. The 5-year-old gelding posted three wins, a second and two thirds at Portland this season.

"He's in a five-horse field, so he should be tough," said Baker.


JAMES YOUNG AND HIS UNCLE, Don Young, have 20 stalls at GP Downs this year. James will be running Scarlett's Mark Saturday in the Southern Belle Stakes. The 5-year-old mare won last weekend, but she faces tough competition from Miss Slewledo, ridden by leading jockey Luis Torres.

"The track is great this year," said Young. "It's settled down. The problem is, my horses drift out on the far turn, leaving the rail open."

His seven entries Saturday may give him a chance to remedy that.


TRAINERS SOMETIMES REVEAL personal thoughts while judging workouts from the bleachers along the backstretch. As one of Tony Hoover's horses passed by recently, going none-too-fast, he said, "My dad asked me to spread his ashes on a racetrack. I just couldn't do that to him. He's at home on a windowsill."

Dan Guthrie can be reached at

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