Edited from a release
Jorge Chavez, the Eclipse Award winning jockey of 1999, was the selected to join the NTRA All-Star Jockey Championship field by horse racing fans nationwide through an online vote at ntra.com. Chavez earned 16.0% of the votes, edging Kent Desormeaux who garnered 12.6%.
The NTRA All-Star Jockey Championship, horse racing's all-star game for the nation's top jockeys, is an evenly matched, four-race competition. It will be staged for the seventh consecutive year at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas - home of the 2004 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships - on Friday night, June 20.
Chavez joins a lineup that was previously chosen by a seven-member committee. The other All-Stars are Robby Albarado, Russell Baze, Ryan Fogelsonger, Edgar Prado, Jose Santos, Shane Sellers, Mike Smith, Alex Solis, Pat Valenzuela and John Velazquez. In addition, Eddie Martin Jr. earned a berth as Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie's leading rider through June 1.
Here are the complete results of the online poll at ntra.com: Jorge Chavez (16.0%), Kent Desormeaux (12.6%), Rosemary Homeister Jr. (11.1%), Ramon Dominguez (10.7%), Eibar Coa (9.5%), Richard Migliore (9.2%), Victor Espinoza (8.8%), David Flores (7.6%), Rene Douglas (4.2%), Cornelio Velasquez (4.2%), Javier Castellano (3.4%) and Corey Nakatani (2.7%).
Chavez will compete in the event for the fourth straight year. He has finished among the top five jockeys in each of the previous three competitions, including a fifth last year.
Albarado (1999-2003), Prado (1999-2003), Sellers (1997-2000, '03) and Smith (1997-98, 2000, '02-03) are five-time All-Stars. Solis (1999, 2000, '02-03) is a four-time All-Star. Baze (2002-03), Martin (1999, 2003), Santos (2000, '03) and Velazquez (2002-03) are two-time All-Stars (2002-03). This year Fogelsonger and Valenzuela received their first invites to the competition.
Chavez, Prado, Santos and Velazquez all ride in New York. Smith, Solis and Valenzuela represent the Southern California riding colony. Meanwhile, Albarado and Sellers compete in Kentucky, while Baze and Fogelsonger represent Northern California and Maryland, respectively. In addition to Lone Star Park, Martin is a regular in Louisiana.
The NTRA All-Star Jockey Championship, co-sponsored by Daily Racing Form
, annually raises money for disabled and injured jockeys. A percentage of the wagering on the four all-star races will benefit the Disabled Jockeys' Endowment. A portion of the proceeds from a luncheon, memorabilia auction, autograph session and golf tournament also go to the fund. More than $600,000 has been raised in the event's six-year history.
The jockey with the most points at the end of the unique four-race competition is crowned champion. Riding assignments are determined by a drawing Wednesday, June 18, and jockeys receive points for finishing first (12 points), second (6), third (4) and fourth (3) in each race.
Previous winners are Gary Stevens (1997), Sellers (1998), Laffit Pincay Jr. (1999), Prado (2000), Jerry Bailey (2001) and Chris McCarron (2002).
Jockeys will vie for a record $200,000 in prize money in 2003. Along with the prestige of winning the event, the champion jockey will earn $25,000. Other prize money: $20,000 (second); $18,000 (third); $17,000 (fourth); and $15,000 (fifth through 12th).
In addition, the NTRA All-Star Jockey Championship annually pays tribute to a Guest of Honor. This year's special guest is 1999 champ Pincay, who recently retired as horse racing's all-time win leader. There will also be a salute to the upcoming Universal Pictures film "Seabiscuit."