American Mule Racing Association

Featured Stories (for additional news clips)

Inside Bay Area (California)
By Dennis Miller, STAFF WRITER
July 8, 2006 Saturday
Cloned mule draws media like flies

PLEASANTON -- Cameras and reporters from every major television station in the Bay Area visited the winner's circle Friday afternoon at the Alameda County Fair.

Three major newspapers also had photographers on hand, creating a logjam around the finish line never seen before for the horse races.

Why was everyone here? Was there a Triple Crown winner being 
paraded around the track? How about a celebrity on hand to present an award?

Not even close. What brought everyone out was a cloned mule -- Idaho Gem -- running in the fourth race of a 10-race card.

"I think half the Bay Area (media) is here," said Jeanne Wasserman, the director of operations for racing. "In all my years here, this is the most media I have ever seen at the track. We've tried all sorts of things to get people out, but all it took was one cloned mule to create all this excitement."

For the record, Idaho Gem ran fourth in the race won by Out Of My 
League, but the real story is the world's first cloned equine horse was even taking part in the race. His brother, Idaho Star, also a clone, ran on thefirst day and finished out of the money as well.

Ruby Thomas, the trainer of Idaho Gem, has been a media magnet 
since the mule made its first start June 3 in Winnemucca, Nev. And she's still shaking her head about it all.

"I don't think you ever get used to it," Thomas said. "Sometimes I 
wonder what (the media) is all doing here."

So intense is the media attention, Thomas' 7-year-old grandson Jayme was holding court with one television station right after the race. "He loves it," said Thomas of her grandson. For his part, Jayme seems to have a pretty good idea of what's going on.
"This is fun," said Jayme. "It's not a regular mule, it's a cloned mule. There's a difference with it and the rest of the mules. But he's fast and he gets a lot of attention."

The race Friday was set up to be a battle between Bar JF Hot Ticket, an undefeated mule, and Idaho Gem, who had two wins in three starts. But post position killed any chances either had. Bar JF Hot Ticket had the outside post and went even further outside when the gate opened, rallying some, but only getting back to second. Idaho Gem drew the No.3 post, much to the ire of Thomas.

"The inside of the track is dead," Thomas said. "We didn't expect much of anything from there."


Featured News

California Exposition and State Fair Announces New Appointment
 to Board of Directors

SACRAMENTO, CA (February 14, 2007) - The California Exposition and State Fair today announced the appointment of Bert Johnson, M.D., as the newest Director on the Cal Expo Board of Directors.
Dr. Johnson, of Los Gatos, currently serves as a clinical professor of Obstretrics-Gynecology at the Stanford Medical Center in Stanford, California.  As a rancher, he is also a member of several organizations including the California Cattleman’s Association, National Cattleman’s Association, California Beef Council, and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.
Dr. Johnson graduated from Stanford University with a Doctorate in Medicine in 1952.  Among his many accomplishments, he is also the founder, and past resident, of the Los Olivos Women’s Clinic in Los Gatos, California. 
Dr. Johnson was appointed to the Cal Expo Board of Directors by the Senate Rules Committee.  His term ends December 31, 2010.
The Board of Directors serves as the policymaking body for the California Exposition and State Fair and has full responsibility for the year-round management and operation of all facilities of the California Exposition and State Fair. 
The 2007 California State Fair will be held from August 17 to September 3, 2007.
Press Releases

Press Releases 2003

Press Releases 2001

Press Release Archive 2000

News Clips/Articles
Stem cell research may lead to race horse cloning 
Katharine Lackey,
Collegian, Penn State University, Nov 8, 2007

Current Penn State research could immortalize future racehorses and could have produced offspring from horse racing greats, such as the late 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro. By allowing for continual sperm production from the stem cells in gonads, a horse could continue to pass on its genes after castration or even death, said Jon Oatley, assistant professor of reproductive biology in the department of dairy and animal sciences...

Races feature more than horses - Celebrity mule returns to Stockton

< style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">By Record Staff Writer, June 16, 2007 6:00 AM
< style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">STOCKTON - Ruby Thomas will gladly tell you that those prone to attributing the trait of stubbornness to mules simply haven't spent enough time getting to know the unfairly maligned creatures. "I think that's just a saying," Thomas said on a steamy Friday afternoon, shortly after one of the mules she trains, Navaho Lady, finished second to Jo De Nelson in the 350-yard second race on the second day of the San Joaquin Fair.

Cloning still at the starting line
By Gary Mihoces, USA TODAY, June 5, 2007
For the 29th year in a row, Saturday's Belmont Stakes will not produce a Triple Crown champion. So we know great Thoroughbreds can't be ordered up. However, two years ago, the owners of Funny Cide were approached by a California firm with an offer to clone their horse, to make a DNA duplicate of the 2003 winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness.

Ferndale expects another big fair
Eureka Reporter, Mike Morrow, Aug 6, 2006
...Horse racing and mule racing continue to be a major attraction, Titus said, and this year’s event will be of particular interest because of the presence of Idaho Gem and Idaho Star, 3-year-old cloned mules. This year’s cloned mules will be a first and will be participating as part of the regular racing program....

Cloned mules are racing
The Australian, Australia - Jun 4, 2006
... Scientists at the University of Idaho cloned the mules with the help of funding from the president of the American Mule Racing Association, Don Jacklin... 

Clones' Debut Is a Test of Genetics, and Bettors' Wits
New York Times, United States - Jun 3, 2006
... Jacklin is the president of the American Mule Racing Association, and he said one of the reasons he took part in the cloning project was to drum up publicity ... 

Investor sees mules as a boon to betting
Capital Press (subscription), Oregon - Jun 2, 2006
Don Jacklin loves mule racing so much he is the principal investor in the half-million-dollar project at the University of Idaho and Utah State University that ... 

First-ever mule clones ready to race
Logan Herald Journal, UT - Jun 3, 2006
... Don Jacklin, who heads the American Mule Racing Association and helped finance the project, is racing Idaho Gem. Idaho Star is sponsored ... 

Heady stuff riding on cloned mules
Seattle Post Intelligencer - Jun 1, 2006
... If you're actually wagering on mule racing, I would guess that someone at some point has called you a loser. I've bet on thoroughbreds ... 

Murphy: For equine entertainment, Mr. Ed has nothing on cloned ..., ID - Jun 2, 2006
... going to be a huge turnout to see how they compete," said Don Jacklin, an innovator in the cloning project and president of the American Mule Racing Association ... 

Feature bill: 'Clone Wars'
San Francisco Chronicle,  USA - Jun 14, 2006
... Now three years old, Idaho Gem and Idaho Star began their racing careers at Nevada's annual Humboldt County Fair mule festival in Winnemucca on June 3-4. The ... 

Clones to square off at racetrack
Capital Press (subscription), Oregon - Jun 2, 2006
... The first California mule races will be held in Stockton during the San Joaquin County Fair. Playing the part of mule racing’s PT Barnum is Jacklin. ... 

Nature vs. Nurture: Cloned mule to race brethren
Globe and Mail, Canada - May 20, 2006
... Playing the part of mule racing's PT Barnum is Jacklin, a mild-mannered Idaho resident and the president of the American Mule Racing Association and the ...

< style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">Divide and mule
By Rachel Pagones, March 17, 2006, (Financial Times)
Winnemucca, Nevada, seems an unlikely spot to glimpse the future of anything. The high desert town, first settled by beaver trappers in the early 1800s, is home to such nostalgic events as Shooting The West XVIII photography weekends and something called Run-A-Mucca motorcycle rallies - action-packed affairs, but hardly paradigm-changing.

Cloned mules to race in Nevada showdown (Sac Bee)

Mule race soon to see double (Coeur d'Alene Press)

Still a Crossbreed, but This Baby Mule Is a Full-Blooded Clone -  The creation of Idaho Gem by scientists is a first for any member of the horse family (LA Times)

Idaho Researchers Create Mule Clone (LA Times)

Black Ruby Might Get a New Challenger (LA Times)

Black Ruby Does It Again (Bloodhorse)

In the Mule Heavyweight Championship, Black Ruby again proved she's queen of her breed. more...

Del Mar Catches Black Ruby Fever (Bloodhorse)

Black Ruby, the all-time great racing mule, defeated rival Taz in a $10,000 match race, "The Mule Duel," at Del Mar Sunday. more...

Horse Racing Beat: Black Ruby, Taz will meet again in Del Mar match race (Sac Bee)

Black Ruby, Taz Set for Two-Mule Del Mar Battle 

Mule racing moves to the big stage Sept. 8 when Del Mar hosts a match race between Black Ruby, a winner of 47 races, and Taz, who upset her last time out at the California State Fair in Sacramento. TVG will cover the race live. more...

8/18/2002 Del Mar Schedules Match Race For Mules Black Ruby, Taz
Black Ruby, muledom's star of stars, will make her first appearance ever at Del Mar for a match race Sunday, Sept. 8, with arch-rival Taz for a purse of $10,000. more...