FOTH: Why do you like to torment me so much and what started with you calling me Christopher?
MR: It is very easy for me to pick on you because we both can dish it out as well as taking it. I call you “Christopher” aka as “Foot Licker because that’s you.
FOTH: Now you have been backing riding full time for a while now. How long did it exactly for you to know you were back in riding shape and I imagine for the first couple months your bones were aching pretty good?
MR: It took a lot longer this time because I know this is my last chance at coming back. In saying that, I wanted to look the best I have every looked in my career. I hunt for a couple weeks, but I always bounce back pretty quickly.
FOTH: What was the feeling like getting your first win at Parx in a long time a few months back?
MR: It felt good, like I was finally back in action.
FOTH: You now have 2 kids. How do you find time to juggle stuff around with that and do they know that mommy is a jockey yet?
MR: They know I have to work. I always try to put them 1st and on off days I do as much as I can with them. It’s very hard at times, but with family and friends I have, we always make it work.
FOTH: I know you have been up to Penn National a few times since you have been back. Even though I know you’re not very fond of the place, do you ever when you are in the jock’s room or out of the track do you ever think about your 1st win which was up at Penn National?
MR: No I don’t. The only thing I think about is when I go up there is going back home and eating pizza from the little joint outside the track.
FOTH: Recently you went up to Aqueduct and rode in a $200,000 stakes race for Ramon Preciado. You lost the race by a head bob going off at 44-1 to one. You also opened up quite a few yes with that ride. What did you take from the race and what are your thoughts on it now and have you ever watched a replay of the race?
MR: Watch a replay? I think I watched it a million times lol. (Hopefully on your You Tube page ha ha-cf). It was a really nice surprise. “Siete” is a very nice horse and I am glad that a girl and a Parx horse/trainer shut up a lot of people that day. Especially when we went back and ran 3rd in the “Withers Stakes” in NY. They don’t give “Siete” or “Ramon Preciado” enough credit.
FOTH: You also went down to Laurel to ride in a stake race down there for Trainer Dave Dotolo. What was that experience like?
MR: Like any other. A race is a race and if you have the horse you will win. I am very lucky to have the opportunity to ride these nice horses.
FOTH: In an earlier interview I asked you how long you wanted to ride for and you said 5 years and we are beyond 5 years. How long do you think you would want to ride for or do you take things day by day?
MR: I take things day by day. You never know what tomorrow brings.
FOTH: Take me what you do in a typical day now.
MR: Can’t. It is way too long. You would get tired just listening to it. Basically a lot of mom stuff, mixed in with jockey stuff.
FOTH: On a scale of say 1 to 10, what number would you put yourself as a rider and do you learn something new every week or even nowadays?
MR: Wow, I don’t have a number. I let other people decide that. Everyone has an opinion. So in saying that someone might give you a “5” while others give you an “8”.
FOTH: Tell me what goes through your mind when you do these things:
Being in the jocks room getting dressed and getting ready to ride: MR: I think it is time to go and in the winter I ask myself if I have enough clothes on lol.
Walking down the Parx steps: MR: I usually walk down with another rider and we just talk about stuff or I am um, harassing someone. (For me the paddock will never be the same now-cf).
Being put up on the horse you’re riding and heading out to the track: MR: Thinking about what the trainer said to do.
The post parade: MR: Just warming up, usually talking with my pony person.
You being loaded in the gate: MR: It’s go time. Let’s see what we are working with.
FOTH: I assume the feeling of winning a race is awesome and every time you win it just gets better and better.
MR: It definably does. It feels like everything clicked and went right for the time frame you were just on that horse.
FOTH: Now that is has been a few years now, what are some memories you have of doing the Hoosier Park Jockey Challenge?
MR: Wow. I remember the limo ride and going out after (lol). I remember it was a lot of fun and we all came together and did something very good to promote woman in the sport.
FOTH: Same thing goes for the 2011 Female Jockey challenge at Parx.
MR: Much better. Everything is always better at Parx, because it is our home and we know the trainers and horses. The one thing that stands out the most was the fact that my son was there.
FOTH: Take me through a typical day and how do you prepare to go out in the cold in the morning?
MR: I put on winter clothes, face mask and gloves. That’s about it. Can’t wear too many because we have to maintain a certain weight. It’s always cold, but it everybody else can do it, then I can as well.
FOTH: Answer me this, if you weren’t a jockey you would be?
MR: I have recently wanted to be a race car driver, but honestly I would be in the dentist field. Not cleaning teeth, but actually making them. I went to school for that.
FOTH: Since I am always interviewing you, you can ask me a couple questions and I will answer them for you?
MR Here is a funny one. How did it feel kissing my feet at the Parx Party cause the expression on your face was funny.
CF: It wasn’t as bad as I thought, wish I had the thumb up, but you took me by surprise.
MF: Good cause next time they might go deep into your mouth foot-licker.
CF: Great…something to look forward too…
FOTH: What is the best and worst thing about being a jockey?
MR: The best thing is everything you can accomplish. The worst thing is the temperature change or when a horse breaks down. I never get used to that.
FOTH: Now a few months after this interview comes out you will be going down to ride the Atlantic City Race Course 6 day turf festival. Are you excited to be going back down there again because it has been a few years and any special plans you have in mind and will you go to any of the casinos when you are down there?
MR: No casino for me. Well to gamble anyways. Will definitely be staying overnight and having fun. I am very excited and looking forward to that meet. I love riding the turf.
FOTH: Is there any track you would like to ride at one day that you haven’t?
MR: Maybe overseas.
FOTH: I know back in 2011 a few weeks after you had your 1st baby; you rode and won a race at Delaware Park on a 19-1 shot. How was that feeling a race so quickly back after giving birth?
MR: I will never be able to explain the feeling I had that day. It was my mom’s horse. My old step dad trained that horse and I rode him 4 weeks after my daughter was born. I felt like I was the best. Both my kids were there and the picture is hanging in my house.
FOTH: What are some of your favorite moments that stick out in your mind in say the last 4 years that you won’t soon forget?
MR: Going to Jamaica to ride. Riding my stake horses. Winning for my mom and just having fun with my best friends at the track.
FOTH: I know you have your own picture website and You Tube Page (cheap plug ha ha) what are your thoughts on having both of them?
MR: I think it’s cool and thank you very much for doing it as well. I look at it and see a lot of amazing memories I forgot. (links at the end of this interview-cf)
FOTH: When I say Parx Racing what do you think of? What has been some of your favorite moments (say 3-4) at the track and what has been some of the funniest?
MR: You always ask me this. The funniest are me being me.
FOTH: When you hang up your boots so to speak, would you ever consider being a trainer like your mom?
MR: No way. Training is a whole other ball game. Definitely not for me. Maybe just an ex-rider or something.
FOTH: Which do you prefer the dirt of the turf or you like both equally?
MR: I like the turf. Love it actually, my style of riding and its more focus because everyone is closer together.
FOTH: Does your thumb ever get tired of putting it up?
MR: Sometimes, but I will always do it for you Christopher.
FOTH: Do you think you’re a better jockey now, because I do, than say 2009 or 2010?
MR: Yes definitely. I am more serious now. I want to be good and make it so I am more determined than ever.
FOTH: OK I have bothered you enough. I am going to have a ball typing this all up and any last words to wrap up this interview?
MR: Lick my toes!
CF: You got a deal, but only if we can film it for your You Tube page.
You Tube Page: