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    Born to Run-  Idaho Gem, the First Cloned Mule

    Mule Racing? 

    Those who follow the Triple Crown races every spring may not have noticed that mule racing is taking off in many western states. "California is the real mule racing hotbed," says Don Jacklin, president of the American Mule Racing Association. "Fans just love it."

    Approximately 70 mules race on the circuit. Mules tend to be better sprinters than distance runners. They can run faster than Arabians and appaloosas, but not as fast as quarterhorses and thoroughbreds. 

    A typical day at the mule races starts with two or three races each run by quarterhorses and thoroughbreds, and a mixed breed race. The same jockeys that ride horses ride mules. Because there are so few competitors, there is usually only one mule race, and often it is the featured race at the end of the day.

    But all that could all change with the cloning of Idaho Gem. He is a genetic brother of Taz, a world champion three-year-old and the circuit's runner-up for the last three years. The current world champion mule racer is Black Ruby, a female mule. 

    "The best racing mules are females," says Jacklin. "Everyone wants Black Ruby."

    Maybe she should be cloned. 

    American Miniature Mule Society (AMMS)

    Blue Hen Farms

    California Authority of Racing

    Carolina Mule Association

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