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.
In all, 1,200 ballots have been mailed to the permanent addresses of members eligible to vote in the election. Guild representatives have visited racetracks currently open to encourage jockeys to cast their votes. Ballots are due June 3.
"We're trying to get the word out to jockeys that it is important they vote," Guild interim national manager Darrell Haire said in a statement. "The ballots are being received and tabulated by an independent accounting firm, and that should instill confidence in the election process."
The tabulation is scheduled for June 5 beginning at 1 p.m. EDT at the office of Stuedle, Spears and Francke in Louisville.
The election represents a milestone in the Guild's continued efforts to rebuild the organization since the firing of its controversial management team during an emergency meeting last November.
Under an amended bylaw that was approved in March, nine senators will be elected from three regions, and members choose which region in which they will vote. If they vote in more than one region or for more than nine people, their ballot will be disqualified.
The three regions are: Western (west of the Missouri River), Central (Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Alabama), and Eastern (the remaining eastern states). In the Western region, at least three of the senators must be Quarter Horse riders.
In all, 58 jockeys have placed their names on the ballot. Previously, one senate position was given to almost every track in the country that raced for at least five weeks.
The new senate will be in charge of electing a new board of directors and officers and selecting a national manager or management team.
Here are the jockeys running for the 27 senate seats:Eastern region:
Josiah Hampshire Jr.
Jose Velez Jr.Central region:
Rex Stokes III
Mike ZieglerWestern region:
Jose Valdivia Jr.Quarter Horse riders:
James Gonzales II