KINGSTON, Jamaica – Former rider Allen “Bongo John” Maragh, who was recently in the island for a short stay from his place of abode in Florida, USA, paying respect to his close friend and former owner Joseph “Fudgie” Duany, visited Caymanas Park on Saturday, October 31 for the Jamaica Derby on his last stop before returning home.
“I came down here a month ago to look for my good friend Fudgie as he was ill. He then passed away when I was supposed to leave, so I stayed for the funeral and then the Derby came up the next day and so I stayed back for the Derby,” Maragh said.
During his time riding at Caymanas Park, Maragh rode many winners for Duany, including Miracle Man who won the 2005 Jamaica Derby.
“ I realised that he needed the blinkers because he was not going at his best and I had to keep digging into him so that he could keep on finding more.
“So after the Derby, I said it is three things, first there is one thing we can try is the blinkers and from we tried it he (Miracle Man) improved a lot more. He went on to win the Superstakes that year by six lengths. The following year he went to Puerto Rico and won the Confraternity and the next year he won the Superstakes again plus a lot of big races,” Maragh said.
Maragh, who now trains in Florida, said he might have put the brakes on his career as a conditioner.
Based on statistics taken from Equibase, Maragh has won 37 races, finished 47 seconds and 46 thirds from 322 starts with earnings of US$779,731. Some of the top horses were Aces for John, Fafa, Dixie Hot Shot, Reggae Boy, Pampam, Inmyfathersimage, Sky Guy, Sundown Kid and All About Hay.
“I trained in Florida but at this moment, before I came here, due to COVID-19 and the racing situation, I sold all of my horses. I ran my last horse at the end of August. I won a lot of races and the last race I won was with a horse named Sundown Kid,” Maragh shared.