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.
Jockeys Terry Houghton and Derek Bell have been given approval to ride at the spring Hawthorne meet that begins Feb. 23. The riders were among seven jockeys banned from the grounds of Tampa Bay Downs Dec. 19, 2006.
The Jockeys' Guild has launched a federal and state legislative agenda for 2007 aimed at improving pay and other benefits for riders.
Jockeys' representatives said they have struck a deal with management at Philadelphia Park Racetrack & Casino to increase minimum insurance coverage for on-track accidents.
The Jockeys' Guild has filed a petition with the California Horse Racing Board asking that a jockey be paid his share of the purse from a Bay Meadows race in which his mount was later disqualified for a drug positive.
The Jockeys' Guild is protesting the banning of jockeys at racetracks in Florida and Pennsylvania and said the tracks have a "constitutional obligation" to let the riders return to work.
A director of the Delaware Jockey Association is helping riders at Philadelphia Park Racetrack & Casino negotiate for more comprehensive on-track accident insurance and other health and welfare benefits.
Jockey Rene Douglas, banned from Calder Race Course in south Florida for unknown reasons, was back in the saddle Jan. 1, riding James DiVito-trained Gostoso to a seventh-place finish in the seventh race at Hawthorne.
The Florida Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association is contributing $23,000 to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, but not without voicing displeasure with the Jockeys' Guild.
Frankie Pennington, 19, broke the single-season mark for wins by a jockey Dec. 19 at Philadelphia Park.
Tampa Bay Downs ruled off seven jockeys effective Dec. 19 because of what management called an "ongoing investigation" being conducted by the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau.
Jockey Rene Douglas was barred from the grounds at Calder Race Course Dec. 15, though he wasn't notified of the reason for the ban, said the jockey's agent, Danny Mellul.
Representatives of horsemen's groups criticized for not supporting the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund questioned jockeys' support for the fund and said pursuit of legislation that would amend the Interstate Horseracing Act has damaged relations between horsemen and jockeys.
A two-vehicle crash on Interstate 10 in south-central Louisiana Dec. 13 caused the death of Jerri Nichols-Leblanc, a 35-year-old jockey who predominantly rode at Louisiana racetracks.
In a continuing effort to increase catastrophic on-track accident insurance for riders, Philadelphia Park Jockeys has taken the unprecedented step of affiliating itself with a labor union to help resolve the issue.
Jockeys in California, concerned over the rising costs of insurance offered by the national Jockeys' Guild, are looking elsewhere for alternative coverage, though they're continuing talks with Guild management, several California jockeys confirmed Dec. 12.
Members of the Jockeys' Guild are taking part in a health survey that could lead to federal funding for further studies and provide information necessary for legislative pursuits.
The Jockeys' Guild has asked the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to consider the catastrophic on-track accident insurance policy at Philadelphia Park before it grants the racetrack a permanent license to operate slot machines.
Jockeys' Guild officials suggested the inability of the industry to thus far sufficiently support the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund could turn into a public relations nightmare for horse racing.
Anthony Black, Philadelphia Park's all-time wins leader and president of Philadelphia Park Jockeys, made an impassioned plea to the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission Nov. 30, less than one month after sustaining injuries in a race at the Bensalem Township racetrack.
Russell Baze, with 9,519 career wins, still needs 11 victories to equal Laffit Pincay Jr.'s record as the winningest jockey of all time. But both riders are already getting geared up for the big moment.
The Jockeys' Guild has been named a member of the Unsecured Creditors Committee in the bankruptcy proceedings of the New York Racing Association.
Jockey John Velazquez took off his scheduled mounts at Belmont Park Thursday, citing the ankle pain that has been bothering him for several days.
Changing consumer standards will be the theme at the 14th International Simulcast Conference Oct. 16-18 in Philadelphia. The conference will feature sessions on the impact of Internet wagering, the disparity between commercial television and simulcast signal quality, and heightened concern about equine welfare issues.
The helmets arrived in the nick of time. The Kentucky Horse Racing Authority's new regulations on safety helmets for jockeys took effect with the Sept. 6 opening of Turfway Park, and three hours before the first post of 7 p.m. EDT, a shipment of regulation helmets hadn't arrived.
Embattled jockey Patrick Valenzuela, who hasn't ridden since the conclusion of the spring/summer meet at Hollywood Park July 16, was given clearance to resume exercising horses Sept. 7 after meeting with Del Mar stewards the morning of Sept. 6.
With 10 mounts on Monday's closing card at Saratoga, jockey Edgar Prado rode three winners to earn the third riding title of his career at the Spa.
Prairie Meadows jockey Vicki Warhol is out indefinitely after having a shoulder and five ribs broken while being trampled by a horse in its stall.
Jockeys at Philadelphia Park again have asked the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission to facilitate an agreement between riders and track management on catastrophic-injury insurance coverage.
The Delaware Jockeys Health and Welfare Benefit Board will match the $18,000 previouly pledged by Delaware Park to the NTRA Charities-Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
The Jockeys' Guild added a regional manager to its ranks Aug. 14 when Jeff Johnston became an employee of the organization only a day after he wrapped up his 20-year career as a jockey based in Kentucky and Ohio.
A possible interruption of Saturday's live card at Philadelphia Park was averted Friday when management at the Bensalem Township, Pa., racetrack assured jockeys they are indeed covered by insurance should they be injured while performing the duties of their profession.
Jockeys at Philadelphia Park have asked state officials in Pennsylvania to assist them in their push to get a new catastrophic on-track accident insurance policy.
Jockey Alex Solis, who was instrumental in bringing sports agent and rare-coin collector Dwight Manley to the attention of the Jockeys' Guild, said he's committed to turning around the Guild and hopes to bring it back to prominence in the Thoroughbred industry.
Jockeys at two racetracks in the Mid-Atlantic region are taking a grassroots approach to representation given what they believe to be ongoing conflict at the Jockeys' Guild, which represents riders around the country.
The apparent hiring of the team of sports agent Dwight Manley and civil rights activist the Rev. Jesse Jackson as national manager has created uneasiness among some members of the Jockeys' Guild who put their support behind Dave Stevenson, a former rider and consultant with knowledge of the inner workings and politics of the pari-mutuel industry.
Paul Nicol Jr. enjoyed Tuesday's wet weather at Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack when he passed the 3,000 mark in career wins. The 45-year-old from Annapolis, Md., joins Leslie Hulet and Kevin Whitley as the only Finger Lakes jockeys to reach the milestone.
Jockey Beverly Burress broke her arm in a spill June 27 in the second race at Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino.
- By Tom LaMarra
Jockeys' Guild officials are optimistic the organization's finances will improve, but much hinges upon the resolution of lawsuits, payments by some jockeys for health insurance, and contributions from racetracks.
Jockeys would be required to wear safety helmets and flak jackets during races and workouts under legislation approved June 22 by the Delaware House of Representatives.
Jockeys must "leverage their share of power" in the horse racing industry and have the right to bargain collectively, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said June 26 as Jockeys' Guild leadership moved toward a decision on the individual or company that will serve as its national manager.
The American Quarter Horse Association's all-time winningest rider, Alvin Brossette, was one of four jockeys injured June 9 during a 870-yard claiming race at Delta Downs.
Many of the jockeys who were instrumental in overthrowing the controversial management team at the Jockeys' Guild last fall and moving the organization in a new direction were re-elected to the organization's senate after the ballots were counted June 5.
The Jockeys' Guild will have a better idea of its future direction June 5 after the ballots are counted in the election for 27 seats on the organization's senate.
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