Hall of Fame Jockeys to Compete at Pimlico

Hall of Fame Jockeys to Compete at Pimlico
Photo: Rick Samuels
Gary Stevens

One of the unique offerings on this year's Black-Eyed Susan (gr. II) day card at Pimlico Race Course May 16 is the $50,000 Jockey Challenge Presented by Xpressbet that will feature seven active Hall of Fame riders.

The riders, who have combined to win more than 44,000 races with earnings of $1.6 billion (through March 11), are Gary Stevens (1997 Hall of Fame inductee), Russell Baze (1999), Mike Smith (2003), Kent Desormeaux (2004), Edgar Prado (2008), John Velazquez (2012), and Calvin Borel (2013). They will compete in four races, with points awarded based upon their finish.

"Throughout the years we have had many formats for the Jockey Challenge and getting the active Hall of Famers is a coup," said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. "As an added bonus, Russell Baze, who has more than 50,000 career mounts, has never ridden at Pimlico. That will be fun."

The jockey with the most points at the end of a four-race competition will be crowned champion. Riding assignments are determined by a drawing May 11, and jockeys receive points for finishing first (12 points), second (6), third (4), and fourth (3) in each race. The champion jockey will earn $20,000. Other prize money: $12,000 (second), $8,000 (third), $6,000 (fourth), $2,000 (fifth) and $1,000 (sixth and seventh).

Another jockey competition on the same card is the fifth annual Lady Legends For the Cure race, which was the first ever pari-mutuel race showcasing retired female riders.

Mary Russ-Tortora will not be back to defend her title but four of the original riders return: Patti Cooksey, Jennifer Rowland-Small, Barbara Jo Rubin, and Cheryl White. Abby Fuller, Andrea Seefeldt-Knight, and Stacie Clark-Rogers are also veterans of the event.

Tami Purcell-Burkland is the new shooter. The Texas native is the only female jockey to win Quarter Horse racing's All American Futurity.

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