In its third year, the International Jockey Challenge has yet to have American representation, thus making Radke the first to participate.
“It’s a tremendous honor to have been asked,” Radke said from the jockey’s room at Portland Meadows. “Over the past few months I have been giving retirement serious consideration but when the opportunity to go abroad and ride in the challenge was offered, I couldn’t pass it up. I am really looking forward to it.”
The International Jockey Challenge at Seoul Racecourse began in 2005. A creation of the Korean Racing Authority, the challenge was instituted at the 30th Asian Racing Conference. This year, five of Korea’s top riders will compete against representatives from Ireland, Macau, South Africa, Japan and the U.S.
Each rider is slated to have two mounts on both days. The winning rider gets $20,000 in prize money, the second place rider earns $10,000 and the third place rider makes $5,000. Each jockey is being compensated to make the trip, understanding they will be sacrificing mounts at their respective home tracks.
The KRA expects better than 50,000 people in the stands over the weekend.
Radke, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, broke his maiden at Thistledown on Nov. 29, 1998 and has won a total of 943 races in his career.