Black Ruby Just Keeps Going And Going

Black Ruby, Mule racing's version of the Energizer Bunny, won the 43rd of her career in her 49th start June 23 at the San Joaquin County Fair in Stockton, Calif. The 10-year-old queen of racing Mules has now banked more than $140,000 in her career.

With regular rider James Burns in the saddle for the $7,000 allowance event for Mules, Black Ruby, the 1-5 favorite, broke on top from post position one and wired the field in :20.78 seconds for the 350 yards. Taz, who has beaten Black Ruby four times since 1998, finished second as the second choice, a half-length back in second. Fancy, third behind Black Ruby in her last two starts, checked in third again.

Black Ruby, owned by Mary and Sonny McPherson, and trained by Jerry Jackson, is a Utah-bred that began her racing career in 1998 at the Humboldt County Fair in Ferndale, Calif. She has won from 250 yards to 870 yards at various fairs in California, and never has finished worse than third.

This year, Black Ruby is three-for-three. Prior to her Stockton victory, she had won on back-to-back days at Humboldt County Fair in early June.

A couple of Thoroughbred races on the closing-day Stockton program generated win-place-shows pool of more than $100,000, but no pool was higher than that of Black Ruby's race. With show wagering available, bridgejumpers helped push the pool to $150,789.