The loss of the 2004 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) by Smarty Jones still plays in Stewart Elliott's mind, especially around this time of year. He thinks of the pressure going into that race, remembering the media frenzy and build-up of public recognition.
Ryan Fogelsonger will attempt to add to his more than 1,800 career victories when he begins riding at Presque Isle Downs in Pennsylvania May 9, when the 100-day meet gets under way.
NetJets, Inc. announced May 2 that it will sponsor each jockey "running for the roses" at this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands, held on Saturday, May 3, 2008.
John Velazquez is well-known for his successful partnership with trainer Todd Pletcher, so it is extremely fitting that his Derby contender this year come from Pletcher's stable. Cowboy Cal is Velazquez's mount, and if the jockey improves off his second-place finish aboard Invisible Ink in 2001, he'll have himself a winner.
Who can forget Edgar Prado's winning ride aboard Barbaro in the 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I)? The experience seemed once-in-a-lifetime, but Prado is back this year aboard the H. Graham Motion-trained Adriano seeking a second Derby win.
Jockey Orlando Mojica, one of the top riders at the recent winter/spring meet at Turfway Park, booted home his 1,000th career winner April 26 at Indiana Downs.
Julien Leparoux adds a bit of French flair to the American racing scene, having developed a strong career in Central Kentucky at tracks such as Keeneland and Churchill Downs after getting his start on horseback in his native country.
Jose Lezcano answered the questions for this interview on the telephone, through the interpretation of his agent, Jason Bidas, while laughing hysterically in the background.
In 2006, Ramon Dominguez rode Bluegrass Cat to a second-place finish behind Barbaro in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). He was close enough to practically taste the victory, and this year he's chasing it with renewed determination aboard the Todd Pletcher-trained Monba, his fifth Derby contender.
An attorney for jockey Jeremy Rose is petitioning a judge in Kentucky to strike down an amended regulation, enacted prior to the 2005 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), that control whether riders can wear advertising on their pants. Rose and Kent Desormeaux were both penalized by the state's racing authority for wearing advertising during the 2005 Derby.
- By Claire Novak
When you meet Thornton in person, you think he is a very, very nice young man. You wonder how he remained steady and well-mannered even after encountering the racetrack's fast-paced lifestyle. When you hear of his multiple injuries and comebacks, you wonder why he hasn't given up on riding or spiraled into oblivion. Then you speak to his mother, and it all makes perfect sense.
A group of New York jockeys is asking all parties in the ongoing negotiations for the New York racing franchise to come up with creative solutions to the problems facing the industry.
Stronach Stables, Todd Pletcher, and Garrett Gomez top the individual lists of the leading owners, trainers, and jockeys, respectively, by North American earnings in 2007, according to final statistics released Jan. 1 by Equibase, the Thoroughbred industry's official database for racing information.
Darren Beadman is poised to make an astonishing recovery from a potentially serious knee injury inflicted when an unraced 3-year-old went berserk in the barriers before the second race at Sha Tin Racecourse Nov. 17.
Live racing at Aqueduct Race Track was cancelled after the second race Nov. 15 due to unsatisfactory track conditions, although the facility remained open for simulcasting.
Tara Hemmings won two of the five legs of the Female Jockey Challenge to earn 13 points and the title in this year's event at Hoosier Park.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela returns to California for the first time in nearly one year Nov. 17 at Hollywood Park.
The Jockeys' Guild is encouraging members to secure their own health insurance as the current policy, the organization's self-funded program, may be terminated as soon as Dec. 31. Meanwhile, Guild officials met with industry representatives Nov. 13 at Keeneland Race Course to seek emergency financial support.
Criticism that the turf flat season in Great Britain tends to end with a whimper rather than a bang looked somewhat misplaced at Doncaster Nov. 9 when the race for champion jockey ended in a tie for the first time in 84 years.
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.
- By Claire Novak
A federal agency published a paper Oct. 29 on its Web site that raises concerns about new occupation health risks for jockeys.
Exposure to lead from saddle weights and to residue from synthetic surfaces were among several concerns raised on a new topic page about jockeys' safety posted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) on their Web site, the Department of Health and Human Services division reported Oct. 29.
Garrett Gomez was named the 2007 recipient of the AIG Bill Shoemaker Award, presented to the outstanding jockey in the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Monmouth Park Oct. 26-27, as voted on by the international media covering the event
Two separate pieces of legislation passed by both houses of the California legislature and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger provide for an increase in mount fees for jockeys as well as a contribution to a pension plan for riders.
Australia's champion jockey, Darren Beadman, is returning to Hong Kong to serve as the retained rider for top trainer John Moore.
Terry Meyocks, a former official with the New York Racing Association and National Thoroughbred Racing Association, was officially named national manager of the Jockeys' Guild Sept. 6.
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.
New Mexico became the second state to adopt a "safety reins" rule when the New Mexico Racing Commission approved the measure Aug. 21. The Ohio State Racing Commission adopted a similar rule in March.
Jockey Perry Ouzts won the 5,000th race of his career Aug. 21 when he booted Kandinsky home in the first race at River Downs in Ohio.
An Aug. 9 meeting among members of the racing industry and jockeys at Saratoga Race Course was a deemed a success by Bruce Johnstone, the New York Racing Association's manager of racing relations, as discussions took place over the recent issues before the starts of several races at the New York oval.
In separate incidents, two horses fell during the running of the second race at Monmouth Park Aug. 3. One jockey was injured, and a horse was euthanized.
Jockey Jose Santos announced his retirement July 30 at Saratoga Race Course. The 46-year-old native of Concepcion, Chile, had been trying to come back from injuries suffered in a three-horse spill at Aqueduct on Feb. 1.
Veteran jockey Mark Guidry still plans to end his career in the saddle by the end of the year, but the date for his final ride has been moved back a bit.
The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association will address distribution of racing content, equine drug testing, and health insurance during workshop discussions at its summer convention scheduled for July 19-22 in Williamsburg, Va.
Jockey Julien Leparoux won six of the first eight races on a nine-race card at Churchill Downs June 27, including a dead-heat.
Jockey Victor Molina - who was caught on camera kicking a 2-year-old colt prior to the start of the third race at Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack June 18 - had a formal hearing before track stewards June 22, but no decision was made by the stewards as to what, if any, penalties Molina will receive.
Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino will hold its first "Cajun Jockey Challenge" the evening of July 13. A brunch to assist the Race Track Chaplaincy of America will be held earlier that day.
Joe Judice, one of seven jockeys banned from Tampa Bay Downs this past December because of an investigation into alleged race-fixing, returned to the saddle June 3 at River Downs and promptly won with his first two mounts of the meet.
Jockey Rajiv Maragh was injured in a bizarre spill at Belmont Park Saturday afternoon just as it appeared he was about to win the opening race.
Two congressmen introduced legislation May 4 that would provide injury insurance for jockeys and others who work in horse racing, but last year the proposal was met with stiff resistance from groups in the racing industry.
Retired Kentucky Derby-winning jockeys Ray York and Bill Boland are back in Kentucky for Derby week, and they enjoy being spectators this time around.
The racing industry's equine stars have one shot at winning the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr.I). Their riders, on the other hand, keep coming back for more. Here are the Derby records of several jockeys with prospective mounts in this year's Run for the Roses.
Hall of Fame jockeys took questions from racing fans and signed autographs at Keeneland in an April 18 event that supported the Permanently Disabled Jockeys' Fund.
Trainer Todd Pletcher has assigned jockeys to all of his potential starters for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). Meanwhile, with 15 days remaining until the running of the 133rd Derby, top agents are ironing out plans for their riders' May 5 mounts.
Delaware Park jockeys will be entitled to a $2-million on-track accident insurance policy--twice the industry standard--and pay a mount fee toward their premiums in what is being called a precedent-setting agreement.
Orange County, Calif., building contractor Michael Bello, owner of multiple stakes winner Megahertz, is donating $58,000 to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys' Fund and another $250,000 to assist the Jockeys' Guild
Julien Leparoux, the Eclipse Award-winning apprentice jockey of 2006, spent some time out of town during the Turfway Park winter/spring meet but still won the riding title by one victory in the next-to-last race of the meet.
Jockey agent Ron Anderson said he and Garrett Gomez, currently the leading rider at Santa Anita Park, are headed to Kentucky for the Keeneland meet that begins April 6.
Ron Franklin's exercise rider's license has been restored, but he must wait six months for a decision on his jockey's license.
Top British jockey Robert Winston was banned from race riding for 12 months at a resumed Horseracing Regulatory Authority disciplinary hearing in London Feb. 16. Winston is one of four riders found guilty, under British racing's rules, of providing information for reward or corrupt gain.
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