|Bullet Catcher peering out of his stall following Friday morning's adventure
(Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club)
Around 9 a.m. (EST) Friday morning, commuters traveling on
U.S. Route 1 in North Laurel, Maryland, saw something they will never forget: a loose horse
heading south without its rider.
Bullet Catcher, a four-year-old gelding from the Jerry Robb
stable, tossed jockey Jeremy Rose while heading back to the barn after a morning
workout and got loose. The son of Strong Hope then made his way out of the
stable gate, made a left on Whiskey Bottom Road and another left onto Route 1
before being caught, un-injured, after a 1.6 mile journey.
The trip included
parts of Anne Arundel, Howard and Prince George's Counties.
"You think you've seen it all," said former rider Mark
Rosenthal, who co-owns the gelding.
Jockey Abel Castellano captured part of the adventure down Route 1 on his
"I had finished working a horse and was coming to the jocks room when I saw a
horse run by heading out of the stable gate," Castellano said.
"I decided to follow the horse and maybe when he stopped I could catch him.
of a sudden we got to Route 1 and there was a red light. I saw the cars driving
by and I said 'Oh my God, we're going to have an accident' but at that moment it
changed to a green light to make a left and the horse just made a left. I went
'Oh, we're so lucky so far' then we got the point where the road splits, you go
right so that horse he keeps to the right, so we follow him.
"The horse is still running 30 miles an hour. Finally he slowed down in front
of the Chrysler dealership almost to Main Street and we were able to catch him.
The story had a happy ending but it was scary."
Trainer Charles "Snake" Frock was also part of the group
that caught the Maryland-bred, who has one win and three on the board finishes
in six lifetime starts.
"I have never seen anything like it and I have been at the
racetrack for more than 50 years," Frock remarked. "I was coming from the farm in
Westminster and saw him on Whiskey Bottom Road and did a U-turn to try to help.
My trailer was full with hay and I had another horse in the van.