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Jensen to get second chance at Champion of Champions


September 14, 2004     E-mail this page to a friend!

Los Alamitos Racecourse--It appears that Cody Jensen will finally get his chance to ride champion aged horse Catchmeinyourdreams in the Champion of Champions.

Jensen missed the mount on Catchmeinyourdreams in last year's Champion of Champions after breaking his left femur during a training accident. The injured occurred with less than a month to go before the running of Quarter Horse racing's most prestigious race for older horses.

"One of the first things that went through my mind as a laid in the dirt waiting for the paramedics to arrive was knowing that I was not going to get to ride Catchmeinyourdreams in the Champion of Champions," Jensen said. "That was more devastating to me than anything."

Jensen now has another opportunity to be part of the Champion of Champions after guiding Catchmeinyourdreams to victory in the Go Man Go Handicap. That effort earned the gray gelding, who ran second in the Champion Champions last year, a return berth to the $500,000 race.

"I tell you what, that horse and I have been through so much together. I've been with him from day one. I broke him when he was a baby and I've had the pleasure watching him develop into a champion. To have a second chance at the Champion of Champions with him means more to me than I could ever put into words."

Nowadays whenever Catchmeinyourdreams and jockey Cody Jensen join forces, it is a tale of many surgeries. Catchmeinyourdreams underwent minor surgeries to remove chips from his knee and ankle this winter. After running third in the Vessels Maturity, Catchmeinyourdreams daylighted a field that included millionaires Whosleavingwho and AB What A Runner in the Go Man Go. Jensen, meanwhile, had major surgery to repair his broken leg. The Utah native now has a plate protecting his left ankle as well a rod inserted in that leg. But hold on, that's not all. Jensen now needs to have another surgery to remove one of the screws that holds the rod in place.

"The screw went right through my bone and caught a tendon. They need to go back in and take the screw out, scope my knee, and fix the hole that the screw put through the bone. The original surgery needs to be redone," Jensen explained.

To make matters more painful, Jensen suffered a badly bruised ankle when a horse tipped over and landed right on his ankle plate at the All American Futurity trials three weeks ago. That incident left him with two stress fractures.

"My orthopedic surgeon says I'm good to go as long as I can handle the pain," he said with a smile.

And with horses like Catchmeinyourdreams, Jensen has had many reasons to smile this year. In addition to the Go Man Go hero, the 28-year-old has also piloted Heza Secret Diamond to victory in the Ed Burke Memorial Futurity, finished second in the Rainbow Futurity and third in the All American Futurity.

"I've rescheduled knee surgery twice in order to ride in these races. Now I won't have the surgery until after the Champion of Champions. I appreciate that people have given me the opportunity to ride these horses. With Catchmeinyourdreams, for example, I don't know how many more times he is going to run and I want to be part of all of his races. Right now I would much rather grit my teeth through the pain than miss riding these horses