Pincay Tops Invitees to Jockey Championship

Pincay Tops Invitees to Jockey Championship
Photo:
Laffit Pincay Jr. heads jockey competition invitees.
Edited Press Release From Lone Star Park
An elite cast of the nation's best jockeys, led by horse racing's all-time win leader Laffit Pincay Jr., will meet again next month in North Texas for the popular NTRA All-Star Jockey Championship at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie.

"I always love coming back to Texas to compete in this great event," said 55-year-old Pincay, the legendary winner of more than 9,300 races who was at Lone Star Park on Tuesday to announce 10 of the 12 jockeys who were invited to participate. "It was great to beat all of those young guys a few years ago. I really hope I do it again next month."

Pincay, who was victorious in the 1999 All-Star Jockey Championship, is one of four active Hall of Fame jockeys expected to battle for bragging rights in the sixth renewal of horse racing's all-star game, slated for Friday, June 21.

Russell Baze, the nation's win-leader with 175 trips to the winner's circle through Monday, received his first invitation to compete in the event. The 44-year-old kingpin of Northern California, who was inducted into racing's Hall of Fame in 1999, ranks fourth in career wins with more than 7,800 victories and could pose a serious threat to Pincay's all-time mark down the road.

"I don't plan on retiring anytime soon," quipped Pincay, who was tied for second in the Hollywood Park jockey standings. "Who knows? Maybe one day I'll get to 10,000, but that's a lot of wins."

Eddie Delahoussaye and Chris McCarron are the other Hall of Fame jockeys who will compete. Hall of Famers Jerry Bailey, last year's champion, and Pat Day received invitations to compete, but could not due to scheduling conflicts.

David Flores and Gary Stevens already had prior riding commitments at Royal Ascot in England.

Baze, Delahoussaye, McCarron and Pincay are all based in California, as are invitees Kent Desormeaux,Victor Espinoza and Alex Solis. Robby Albarado was invited to represent the Kentucky jockey colony. Jorge Chavez and 2000 event champion Edgar Prado were invited to represent New York.

"This event continues to grow each year," Lone Star Park president and general manager Corey Johnsen said. "I'm very excited about this year's group of outstanding riders. It's should be another exciting event on June 21."

The final two spots in the 12-jockey competition will be decided at week's end. Horseracing fans will have the opportunity to choose the 11th national jockey through an online poll at http://www.ntra.com. The 12th and final berth annually goes to Lone Star Park's leading rider through Sunday, June 2.

Online voters can choose between any of the following jockeys for the 11th national invitation: Javier Castellano, Jon Court, Ramon Dominguez, Eddie Martin Jr., Richard Migliore, Corey Nakatani, Jeremy Rose, Mike Smith, Pat Valenzuela and John Velazquez.

The NTRA All-Star Jockey Championship annually raises money for disabled and injured jockeys. A percentage of the wagering on the four all-star races will benefit the Disabled Jockey's Endowment. A portion of the proceeds from a memorabilia auction, autograph session and golf tournament also go to the fund.

More than $500,000 has been raised in the event's five-year history. Joe Hirsch, Daily Racing Form's award-winning executive columnist, will be the guest of honor at this year's NTRA All-Star Jockey Championship.

"We are privileged to honor such a legendary figure in the sport of
Thoroughbred racing," said Johnsen said. "Joe is a class act and his love of horseracing has been evident in his daily column for decades."

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