Scace saddled her second winner of the day with her homebred On the Vineyard in the featured race Pelican Prep, this time with Carlos Cruz aboard. On the Vineyard is a four-year-old half-brother to Vineyard Haven; that two-year-old is the winner of both the Grade I Hopeful Stakes and the Grade I Champagne Stakes and was also bred by Scace.
Born on July 5, 1972 in Hollywood, FL, Homeister started her life with horses at a very early age: her mother, Rosemary, is a trainer and her father was an exercise rider. “I just fell in love with it because my mother and father were at the races every day and working in the morning. I was always around the riders and the horses. I lived on a farm with my own horses so it was just in my blood growing up. Actually from when I was two, I knew that I wanted to be a jockey,” Homeister has said of her calling.
Homeister began her life on the racetrack as an exercise rider and breaking yearlings before beginning her riding apprenticeship in 1992. Homeister found her first career victory in that year at Calder Race Course aboard Mezanotty, and continued riding with great success that year, becoming the first female to win the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey in the United States. Homeister is one of only five female riders to compete in the Kentucky Derby, and says that it is a feat that she would like to repeat – “But next time I want to win!”
Every time she wins a race, Homeister winks and blows a kiss to the camera. She explains that this grew out of her love for her Grandfather. “My grandpa is number one; he is my number one fan in the entire world. He goes to the Meadowlands every single day to watch me ride. I don't know (how it came about), just one day, I think I talked to him in the morning and I said, ‘I ride so many races that if I win I am going to blow you a kiss to let you know that I know you are watching me.’ I won, I blew him a kiss and I do it every time I win and it became a trademark.”
Racing resumes tomorrow, December 20 with an eleven race card; the Pick 6 carryover is $9,400.29, and the High 5 carryover is $5,215.07. The Silks Poker room is open daily from 12:30 PM through 12:30 AM; the Downs Golf Practice Facility is open on Mondays from 10:00 AM through 10:00 PM and on Tuesdays through Sundays from 8:30 AM through 10:00 PM.