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Pimlico Jockey Challenge Set for Friday

Pimlico Jockey Challenge Set for Friday

The top four riders in the country based on earnings, two Hall of Fame jockeys with Preakness (gr. I) victories, another who has won the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, Maryland's all-time winningest rider, and Eclipse Award winners Kent Desormeaux and Garrett Gomez will do battle in the first Jockey Challenge at Pimlico.

Narrow Miss for Gomez in Earnings Chase

Narrow Miss for Gomez in Earnings Chase

Garrett Gomez made a valiant effort to break the record for purse earnings in a year when he won with his first three mounts at Santa Anita Dec. 31. But in the one race he had to win, the $76,400 Kalookan Queen Handicap, the 2007 Eclipse Award-winning jockey finished third aboard Baroness Thatcher.

Gomez Back, Wins Two Races

Gomez Back, Wins Two Races

Two days after being thrown and a day after cosmetic dental surgery, jockey Garrett Gomez was back aboard horses at Santa Anita Dec. 29, winning two races.

Dreaming of Anna Takes Final CD Stakes

Dreaming of Anna Takes Final CD Stakes

On a day in which short-priced winners in graded stakes produced a Pick 6 that paid a scant $48, champion Dreaming of Anna closed out the action at Churchill Downs June 14 with a win in the Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (gr. III).

Fleur de Lis: Gomez Never Had it so Easy

Fleur de Lis: Gomez Never Had it so Easy

Garrett Gomez was the envy of every jockey June 14 at Churchill Downs. Who wouldn't want to pick up the mount for the first time on a horse that had won eight of her previous 18 starts? Not to mention that she loves the distance and the racetrack.

Ventura Pulls Upset in Just a Game

Ventura Pulls Upset in Just a Game

Juddmonte Farms' Ventura sat patiently off the pace, slipped through along the hedge at the head of the lane and pulled clear to win the $400,000 Just a Game Stakes (gr. IT) June 7 at Belmont Park. The victory came by three-quarters of a length over a fast-closing Lady of Venice. Time for the one-mile race over a "firm" Widener Turf Course was 1:32.75.

Communique Works Magic in Bewitch

Communique Works Magic in Bewitch

G. Watts Humphrey Jr.'s homebred Communique worked rail-skimming magic in deep stretch of the $150,000 Grey Goose Bewitch Stakes (gr. IIIT) and swung out just in time to keep Helen Groves' Tejida from a wire-to-wire win in the April 24 event at Keeneland Race Course.

Behindatthebar in Front in Lexington

Behindatthebar in Front in Lexington

Two weeks ago, Todd Pletcher was sitting on the outside of the Derby picture looking in. But when Padua Stables and partners' Behindatthebar followed the hard-knocking efforts of Monba and Cowboy Cal in the April 12 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) with an impressive performance of his own in the $325,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) April 19, the venerable trainer could count not one, but three potential contenders for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

Proud Spell Bewitches Indian Blessing

Proud Spell Bewitches Indian Blessing

Three days ago, trainer Larry Jones said he hoped Proud Spell would pressure Indian Blessing through the early lead in the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II). Although Brereton Jones' homebred Proud Citizen filly didn't exactly do that, she did manage to wear down the Eclipse Award winner and get her own score in the March 8 event in New Orleans.

Proudinsky Tops Daytona at Fair Grounds

Proudinsky Tops Daytona at Fair Grounds

Last December, Gary Tanaka's Proudinsky lost the San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) to the Dan Hendricks-trained Daytona by just three-quarters of a length. But roles were reversed March 8, as Proudinsky nipped Daytona in the stretch of the $600,000 Mervyn Munitz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT).

San Marcos Field Talented, Matched

The eight horses entered in the Jan. 19 San Marcos Stakes (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Jan. are not lacking talent, but which runner will show the best turn of foot in the 1 ¼-mile turf event remains to be seen.

Unspoken Word Heads Tuzla 'Cap

Unspoken Word Heads Tuzla 'Cap

After finishing second for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer in the Dec. 29 La Brea Stakes (gr. I) over the Cushion Track at Santa Anita, 4-year-old Unspoken Word returns to turf and drops down in company to make her seasonal debut in the $100,000 Tuzla Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Santa Anita Jan. 19.

Gomez Breaks Bailey's Stakes Mark

Gomez Breaks Bailey's Stakes Mark

Garrett Gomez established a North American record for stakes wins in a year when he drove favored Spring Awakening to victory in the $108,100 Moccasin Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Hollywood Park Nov. 11. The 71st stakes win of the year for Gomez broke the mark set by Jerry Bailey in 2003.

Jocks Bejarano, Leparoux Shift Tack

Jocks Bejarano, Leparoux Shift Tack

Jockeys Rafael Bejarano and Julien Leparoux, currently among the top 12 riders in the nation by purses won this year, will move their tack to Southern California this winter, both riders' agents said Nov. 9.

Insurance Companies Donate $60,000 to Disabled Jockeys Fund

Insurance Companies Donate $60,000 to Disabled Jockeys Fund

The prominent insurance companies American International Group (AIG) and Maroevich, O'Shea & Coghlan (MOC) Insurance Services have each made significant donations to the NTRA Charities Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund in the past few weeks, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced Nov. 1.

Pletcher Reviews Breeders' Cup Starters

Pletcher Reviews Breeders' Cup Starters

Two days before the Oct. 26-27 Breeders' Cup World Championships, trainer Todd Pletcher reviewed his 11 starters and shared his thoughts on the upcoming races, including possible scratches should the surfaces turn up wet or yielding due to weekend showers.

Les Grands Trois Tackles Perryville Field

Les Grands Trois Tackles Perryville Field

Live Oak Plantation's Les Grands Trois has been the victor in all but one of his four career starts despite an on-again off-again training regimen due to physical issues. The son of Officer looks for his first graded stakes win in the $200,000 Perryville (gr. III) at Keeneland Oct. 13.

Saratoga Riders Jockey For Position

Saratoga Riders Jockey For Position

With eight racing days remaining until the end of the 2007 meet at Saratoga Race Course, the track's jockey colony is tightly bunched as usual, but the shifting fortunes of several riders make for an interesting match-up as we head into closing week. Here's a look at Saratoga's top 10 jockeys and their nearly finished summer seasons heading into Sunday's card.

A Day At The Spa: Aug. 13, This Game's Not Easy

This morning on the backside near the clockers' stand, Ron Anderson and Doc Danner are shooting the breeze, taking a break from the normal routine of lobbying trainers and chatting up owners in the hopes of scoring winning mounts for their riders. Anderson represents Garrett Gomez, currently fifth in the standings at Saratoga. Danner's jock is Shaun Bridgmohan, who ranks tenth.

Saratoga Diary: Go For Wand Saves Day

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One of the worst things a jockey at Saratoga can do to win a race these days is to use the rail in the final furlongs. There is a hard, smooth glide path just off the rail that seems to be more user-friendly to stretch-running horses en route to the winning post.

Maryland's Fastest? It's Friendly Island

Friendly Island attended the early pace, then took over in the stretch to win the $190,000 Emirates Airline Maryland Breeders' Cup Sprint Handicap (gr. III) at Pimlico Saturday by three-quarters of a length. It was the second stakes win in a row for trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey Garrett Gomez.

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