(Me and Mr. C wins the Jonathan B. Schuster Memorial / All Photos by Coady Photography)

Me and Mr. C nailed front-running Underdressed on the wire to take the $100,000 Jonathan B. Schuster Memorial by a nose at Horseshoe Indianapolis.

Me and Mr. C came from mid-pack, closing into the slow pace Orlando Mojica was able to nurture over the turf course rated “good.”

“He tries, has a lot of heart. In the stretch, he just dug in,” said winning jockey Gerardo Corrales. “I thought I had it.”

Not so much for John Lynde, assistant trainer to winning trainer Mike Maker. “To be honest, I thought he got beat at first.” 

Orlando Mojica, riding Underdressed for trainer Rey Hernandez, backed down the pace to 24.08 for the first quarter-mile, 49.53 for the half and 1:14.19 for six furlongs. But Me and Mr. C was in full flight, rallying from three lengths back with an eighth mile to go to seize the victory while covering 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.39 

“That hurt, to get beat like that,” Mojica said. “Especially one where you had good position, slow pace. My horse always gives me 100 percent. We got beat by the best horse today — and we were an inch behind. But we’ll be back.”

Me and Mr. C, a 6-year-old Florida-bred gelding by Khozan paid $21.60 to win, $9.20 to place and $5.80 to show as the sixth choice in the field of 10 older horses. He’s now 9-6-3 in 31 starts, earning $457,619. Eight of his wins have been since being claimed for $40,000 by Maker three years ago at Saratoga for owners David Staudacher and Peter Proscia’s Paradise Farms. 

Since then, the gelding has put on the frequent flier miles: Horseshoe Indianapolis was his 10th track for his current connections, an itinerary that includes not just his native Florida tracks but Aqueduct, Belmont, Del Mar, Golden Gate Fields, and Lone Star Park. He was stabled most recently at Maker’s Turfway Park division overseen by Lynde.

“He was down in Miami until recently, came up and has trained very well at Turfway since he’s been there,” Lynde said. “He’s a very professional horse, and he’s very consistent.”

The race is named in honor of the track’s first general manager and vice president Jon Schuster, who passed away in 2019. Schuster, a graduate of the University of Arizona Racetrack Industry Program, has a race named in his honor as well as the paddock, one of the final projects he worked on before his passing. His daughters, Abi Mangone and Rachel Schuster, were trackside to present the trophy in honor of Schuster. Also, an annual donation of $2,500 was provided to the Racetrack Industry Program at University of Arizona in memory of Schuster.

The 21st season of live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing extends through Friday, Nov. 17. Live racing is held Tuesday through Thursday with Saturday racing added in during the summer months. First post Tuesday and Wednesday is 2:30 p.m. Thursday racing begins at 2:10 p.m. The Summer Saturday Racing Series includes four all-Quarter Horse dates July 22, Aug. 12, Sept. 2, and Oct. 7 beginning at 10:45 a.m. For more information on live racing at Horseshoe Indianapolis, visit www.caesars.com/horseshoe-indianapolis.