Jockeys

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Les Bois Park Back on Track

Racing is scheduled to resume Wednesday night at Les Bois Park. On Sunday the track's jockeys refused to continue racing after the fourth race due to unsafe track conditions. Three horses were injured that day, one catastrophically.

Death of Jockey Chris Valovich Ruled Suicide

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Arkansas native Chris Valovich, who rose up from a leading apprentice rider at Oaklawn Park in 1983 to garner more than 2,000 wins in 20 years, was cremated June 24 in Arizona after he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound four days earlier in Phoenix.

Report: Visa Calls Jockey Advertising 'Ambush'

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Officials for Visa, the title-sponsor of the Triple Crown, are angry about the advertising worn during the Belmont Stakes program by three jockeys, including Jerry Bailey, who won the final leg of the Triple Crown aboard Empire Maker.

Wilson Reaches Top 20 of All-Time Winners

With a victory in today's third race at Laurel Park, jockey Rick Wilson tied Hall of Fame rider Eddie Arcaro for the 20th spot on the all-time win list. Both have 4,779 career wins.

Jack Westrope: Quiet Little Man

To those who knew Jack Westrope best, his election to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is an overdue justice, a final, fitting tribute bestowed on one of the finest the game has ever seen.

Belmont Winning Jockey: Professional Grade

It was a professional ride from a professional rider. After classic setbacks--a disappointing seventh aboard Kentucky Derby (gr. I) favorite Harlan's Holiday, and fourth aboard him again in the Preakness (gr. I)--Edgar Prado finally landed the big one aboard Sarava. While he's always been on the stage, this is Prado's first moment under the heat of the spotlight.

Jockey Houghton Wins 3,000th Race

Terry Houghton, who regularly tops the standings at Great Lakes Downs, moved into an exclusive club June 3 when he became the 99th North American jockey to win his 3,000th race.

Dunkelberger Rides Winner in Aqueduct Return

Travis Dunkelberger returned to Aqueduct March 7, nearly a month after he suffered cracked ribs in a frightening spill. Dunkelberger rode five horses, and won the day's finale on wire-to-wire winner Dancingintherain.

Coa's Suspension Reduced From 30 to 20 Days

Following a 90-minute hearing Feb. 14 that included expert testimony and a bitter exchange, Gulfstream Park's stewards reduced the suspension of jockey Eibar Coa from 30 days to 20, with an additional five days to be lopped off if he does not appeal. Coa's agent, Joe Ferrer, indicated Coa did not plan an appeal.

Crackdown: Rider Gerard Melancon Wins Race Against Addiction

Addiction to crack cocaine can cost you your job, your family, and sometimes your life. Just ask jockey Gerard Melancon, who came close to losing the whole package. Melancon, currently vying for the top spot among riders at Fair Grounds, tumbled as far as a man can fall since his heady days of early stardom nearly 20 years ago.

Bailey Regains Position on Top of Jockeys' Standings

In 1999 and again in 2000, Jerry Bailey lost photo finishes to Pat Day for leading rider by North American earnings. In 2001, however, Bailey made sure the camera was not necessary by finishing a furlong ahead of his competition. By the time his 12-month rampage across the continent (plus the Dubai World Cup, UAE-I) was in the books, Bailey had absolutely shattered Gary Stevens' three-year-old record for earnings, his $22,597,720 besting the old mark by better than $4 million.

Jockey Jose Valdivia Jr., Southern California's Rising Star

Jose Valdivia Jr. is a rising star in the bright constellation that is the Southern California riding colony. His recent win aboard Val Royal in the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) showed the rest of the world what two continents have already learned--Valdivia, 27, is a profound talent who is carrying forth the grand racing tradition of his family.

CHRB Approves Guidelines For Ads on Jockeys' Attire

Advertising on jockey attire, owners' silks and track saddle cloths is now legal at California tracks. Although some concerns were raised regarding conflicts that advertising could cause, the California Horse Racing Board gave the change in race regulations unanimous approval Friday, Nov. 30.

Retired Jockey Sam Maple Dies from Cancer

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Retired jockey Sam Maple, who won more than 2,500 races, died Nov. 13 of cancer at his Wilmore, Ky., home. Maple, whose older brother Eddie was an established New York rider for years, scored aboard such major winners as champion Smart Angle, plus Smarten, Jatski, and Heatherten.

Sellers to Make Comeback at Prairie Meadows

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Shane Sellers will ride for the first time since a January spill put his career in jeopardy when he gets aboard Momentous in the $75,000 Prairie Meadows Oaks for 3-year-old fillies.

Fans to Select All-Star Jockeys

For the first time, racing fans will have the opportunity to elect two of their favorite riders to berths in the NTRA All-Star Jockey Championship, a four-race event featuring 12 of America's top jockeys to be run June 22.

Valenzuela Denied Reinstatement of License to Ride

The California Horse Racing Board, meeting in executive session, denied Patrick Valenzuela's license application by upholding the stewards recommendation that the 38-year-old jockey not be relicensed. However, the racing commissioners indicated Valenzuela may reapply for a license in six months if at that time he can prove that he is no longer abusing drugs or alcohol and can show proof that he has regularly attended the Winners' Foundation program without interruption for the entire six-month period.

Jockeys' Guild Can't Pay For Health Insurance

Members of the Jockeys' Guild will not be having a very funny April Fool's Day. On April 1, the family health insurance policy covering 800 Guild members will expire. Because of skyrocketing premiums, Jockeys' Guild national manager John Giovanni said there is not enough money in the association's budget to continue making the premium payment

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