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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.