Hawthorne Racecourse (12/17/11)
Contact: Ron Uchman
INEZ-SHE’S BACK AND GIVING BACK
A Feel-Good Story
Inez Karlsson recently returned to riding after taking a bit over a year off. That time was taken to bring the beautiful Sophia into the world.
Inez has been the darling of Chicagoland racing since she became a jockey and much has been written about her so we won’t go into the distant past but instead we’ll just give a little bit of an update and tell you about a recent purchase.
“I feel great,” was the way Inez started off the interview. “I really hadn’t planned on coming back until the spring but I realized that if I did want to come back then, I would have to go someplace over the break to get fit. I didn’t want to travel with a baby so I decided to come back here this fall. I’ve only been taking a few mounts, just getting my strength back. I’m not trying to hustle too many horses. I just want to take my time, ride for good people, and get back in shape. It’s working out well.
“But, I’m really planning on coming back 100% in the spring.
“Sophia got to see Santa Claus yesterday. She was very brave. She’s growing. She’s still not sleeping at night. That’s another reason why I didn’t want to come back full time yet. I have so much else to do. I’m up at 6:00 am with her every morning, even if I do have the opportunity to sleep in. She has to go to the babysitter for two and a half hours every morning while I’m at workouts. Then I watch her until Anthony gets home, he watches her while have to go ride, and then I come home and take over again, making dinner and doing things around the house.
“But, I wouldn’t have changed it for anything. I’m really happy right now. Everything is intense but since I came back I feel better than ever. I feel better physically, I feel better mentally, and I really have more energy. Obviously waking up a couple of times a night can take its toll, but when I come home and see my daughter smiling at me, it’s all worth it. I’m so happy. I love my life right now.
“Everybody comments on how happy I am now. It was great having my daughter. It was great coming back.”
I had heard that Inez just made an interesting purchase so I asked about it.
“Death Valley was the very first winner that I rode. Chris Block had him at the time. I won seven or eight races on him. He’s just one of those hard-knocking horses that tries so hard. He’s gotten claimed a number of times, a few by Jimmy DiVito because he always liked him too. I always told Jimmy that I wanted to buy him when he was done with racing and give him a good home. Then he got claimed and went to Prairie Meadows. Jimmy claimed him back because he also wanted to see him have a good home.
“Right now he’s in DiVito’s barn. If somebody has any suggestions, they can always talk to me. I’ve spoken to Jan Ely about the Galloping Out Thoroughbred Rescue (www.gallopingout.org) I’m signing him up for that.
“Winning that first race on Death Valley was one of the happiest moments of my life, along with giving birth to Sophia of course. At one of the rare moments when I’m feeling a little down and out, thinking about that cheers me up.
“I rode him in his last race. He’s still a good horse. He’s sound, he’s happy. I really wanted to take him now and find him a good home. I think that he’ll make a good riding horse. I don’t expect any money for him. I don’t want any credit. I just want him to have a good life. It’s my way of giving back.”
It is the season of giving. We thank all of you for all that you do.