Monday Morning Message with Jason Beem Feb. 21, 2022

Profile Picture: Jason Beem

February 21st, 2022

A good Monday to you all and hope you’re enjoying a nice Presidents’ Day holiday today. Maybe even soaking up some holiday racing as lots of tracks are running.

So my plan with this Monday column was generally to recap some of the big racing from the weekend or just feature a person or story I found interesting from the weekend that just finished up. And while we could obviously talk about some of the great performances and races from Fair Grounds on Saturday, I actually want to talk about a cool horse and story out of Maryland.

Article Image

Cordmaker wins the Harrison E. Johnson Memorial at Laurel Park in May of 2019. (Photo by Jim MccCue/Maryland Jockey Club)


On Saturday, Cordmaker, a seven-year-old gelding, took home the top honors in the General George (G3) at Laurel Park

Cordmaker was riding a three racing winning streak coming into the race and was sent off as the favorite. He stalked the pace and moved up the inside to gut out a win, just holding off long shot War Tocsin who tried to re-rally late. The performance was the first graded stakes win for Cordmaker, who now has run his career earnings to over $989,000. I had the good pleasure to call Cordmaker winning a stakes at Colonial this past summer, so I’ve been very interested in watching him as he’s been on this hot streak.  

After the race was over I was watching the connections in the winner’s circle as they collected the trophy for the General George. I realized I didn’t really know anything about winning trainer Rodney Jenkins as he started his interview with Laurel’s own Naomi Tukker. He was very soft-spoken, clearly proud of his horse, and just came across like a lovely person in the interview. As did his owner, who talked about how Rodney and she had won the General George together back in 2014 with Bandbox.

After the interview, I immediately went to Googling Rodney Jenkins just to learn more about him.

I think one of the great things about our sport is truly everyone involved has a story and so often they are very unique. Rodney it turns out was born into a family who was involved with horses and he became a very successful show horse rider.

How successful? Well Rodney is a member of the United States Show Jumping Hall of Fame. He won two silver medals at the 1987 Pan American games and won dozens of competitions over the course of several decades.  

Rodney transitioned into training racehorses in the early 1990s, starting out with steeplechase runners and then eventually running more and more on the flats.

Obviously being based in the Mid-Atlantic, there’s a lot of steeplechase racing, so I suppose you could really do both if you wanted to. Many horsemen at Colonial do just that. But he’s won over 930 Thoroughbred races including multiple graded stakes in his long career.

Cordmaker is his most successful horse and if he wins or runs second in his next start, no matter where that is, it should put him over the $1 million career earnings mark. Quite an achievement!

You can read more about Rodney Jenkins life with horses HERE 

I hope you all have a great week and look forward to catching up with you guys on Thursday!