Only a few days after researchers announced the cloning of a full sibling to the 9-year-old racing mule Taz, he upset 11-year-old Black Ruby in a $900 open event at the Humboldt County Fair in Winnemucca, Nev.
With Jack Kaenel in the irons June 1 for owner Donald Jacklin, who contributed $400,000 to the mule-cloning project, Taz broke on top in the six-mule field and tenaciously held Black Ruby at bay to win by a nose. Mary and Sonny McPherson's Black Ruby, with James Burns in the saddle, was six lengths ahead of third-place finisher Fancy.
Time for the 400-yard race was 23.59. The six-race program featured only mule racing. The Humboldt County Fair in Nevada holds a two-day meet that features mule racing. (The Humboldt County Fair in Ferndale, Calif., also offers mule racing as part of its meet in August.)
Idaho-bred Taz, defeated by Utah-bred Black Ruby in a $10,000 match race May 23 at Los Alamitos in Southern California, paid $7.60 to win as the second choice. Taz and Black Ruby both paid $2.20 show. (The win-place-show pool was only $737, so there were no bridge-jumpers.)
The race summary comments said Taz "upset the queen," and Black Ruby "could not get by." The trainers listed for Taz and Black Ruby, respectively, were Ruth Burdick and Harold McPherson.