According to Black, the all-time leader rider at Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack, the measure was approved by the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horseman’s Association board of directors earlier this week.
Before the increase, Philadelphia Park riders received as little as $55 for losing mounts, which was determined by the amount of the purse. Riders who finish in the top three will still earn 10% of the winning purse or 5% for second and third. Black said he believes the $100 mount fee is one of the top, if not the top, pay scale in the country.
“It’s good for the little guy,” said Black, who is still rides at age 56. “The big riders won’t care, but for the kids who gallop horses and only get a few mounts per week, they can now earn $700-$800 per week and make a living.
“We approached (PTHA executive director) Mike Ballezzi a few months ago when the mount increase in New York was being negotiated. They listened and were reluctant at first, but after a few more meetings we started making progress.”
Since forming in 2006, Philadelphia Park Jockeys have helped riders obtain $500,000 in catastrophic insurance for on-track accidents, as well as personal health insurance. They are one of the few jockey colonies with access to the latter.