Del Mar completed its 75th season with sizable increases in purses and on-track and all-source wagering, but attendance took a slight dip during the 37-day meet at the Southern California track that ended Sept. 5.
Coil, one of the top 3-year-olds in America last year but unraced since October, showed he hasn't lost a step in the meantime with an authoritative victory in a $78,000 allowance/optional claiming race at Del Mar July 26.
The top four riders in the country based on earnings, two Hall of Fame jockeys with Preakness (gr. I) victories, another who has won the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, Maryland's all-time winningest rider, and Eclipse Award winners Kent Desormeaux and Garrett Gomez will do battle in the first Jockey Challenge at Pimlico.
Jockey Omar Berrio was suspended for six months by Del Mar stewards Aug. 13 after he tested positive for cocaine.
Bold Chieftain, a leading handicap horse in Northern California, seeks his first graded stakes victory in the $100,000 Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) June 7 at Hollywood Park, but will face a full field of older horses, including Commonwealth Stakes (gr. II) winner Rebellion.
He has a new first-rate home base (California) and a new first-call trainer (Bobby Frankel), but Rafael Bejarano, 25, will be back in Kentucky to ride Anak Nakal for trainer Nick Zito in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) the first Saturday in May.
Jockey Rafael Bejarano was back in the saddle April 2, just 21 days after sustaining compressed fractures to his T-5 and T-6 vertebrae in a Santa Anita spill.
Jockey Rafael Bejarano, the leading rider during Santa Anita's current meet, sustained compressed fractures to the T-5 and T-6 vertebra in a March 13 spill and has been replaced by Michael Baze as the rider for George Schwary's 3-year-old Georgie Boy in the March 15 San Felipe Stakes (gr. II).
Rafael Bejarano, currently Santa Anita's leading rider with 60 wins, was injured in a spill during the eighth race March 13 at Santa Anita.
Leading Santa Anita jockey Rafael Bejarano was thrown heavily to the ground in the stretch of the final race March 13 when his mount, Parisian Art, had an apparent heart attack and died. The jockey was put into an ambulance on a stretcher and taken to nearby Arcadia Methodist Hospital.
Passion, under a determined ride from Rafael Bejarano, outlasted favored Ariege in a fierce stretch duel, taking the $100,000 La Habra Stakes (gr. IIIT) by a nose Feb. 2 on the downhill turf course at Santa Anita.
Stronach Stables' Ginger Punch proved why she is a champion against an overmatched field Jan. 26 at Gulfstream Park, romping by 6 3/4 lengths in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Distaff.
Members of the Southern California jockeys' colony, led by top jockey Garrett Gomez, will donate $20,300 to the Winners' Foundation on Dec. 29 at Santa Anita.
If trainer Bobby Frankel could write a perfect scenario for the $400,000 Citation Handicap (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park Nov. 23, it would involve a dry forecast and a one-two finish. Frankel sends out a pair of starters in the 1 1/16-mile turf event -- Silent Name, whose 12th-place finish in the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) was a result of the soft turf, says the trainer, and Proudinsky, whose back-to-back wins in his last two starts have earned him the jump to grade I company for the second time in his career.
Rafael Bejarano, one of the top five leading riders in the nation, is expected to join the Southern California jockey colony on a permanent basis when he begins riding Nov. 21 at Hollywood Park.
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.
The Keeneland Association ended its 17-day fall meet Oct. 27 with record fall attendance of 239,236, the second-highest for any meet in track history.
Stonerside Stable's Country Star entered the $500,000 Darley Alcibiades (gr. I) as one of only two juveniles without a win to her credit. It did not matter, as the Empire Maker filly showed a finishing kick that was plenty good enough to earn a one-length victory on Keeneland's Polytrack in the opening day feature Oct. 5.
Zayat Stables' J Be K, a 2-year-old son of Silver Deputy trained by Bob Baffert, broke the track record at Saratoga Race Course in the first start of his career when he blazed 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.13.
Maimonides, a $4.6-million yearling purchase, won by 11 1/2 lengths in his maiden debut Wednesday at Saratoga. It was a welcome boost for trainer Bob Baffert.
Whether you're from Providence, Boston, New York City, or destinations beyond and between, Saratoga is the summer place to be.
Jockey Julien Leparoux won six of the first eight races on a nine-race card at Churchill Downs June 27, including a dead-heat.
- By Claire Novak
Jockey Rafael Bejarano won his comeback race Wednesday at Turfway Park after more than four weeks on the sidelines, but only after he was involved in an incident on a Lima, Peru-to-Miami flight that sparked an FBI investigation.
Jockey Rafael Bejarano, sidelined since Aug. 25 with rib injuries incurred at Saratoga Race Course, will return to riding at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky. on Wednesday, Sept. 27, or Thursday, Sept. 28, in time for the Sept. 30 Kentucky Cup series.
It is Todd Pletcher day at Churchill Downs Friday. When he sent out Oonagh Maccool to an easy win in the $271,000 Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares, the trainer was notching his fourth winner of the day...and that's from four races in which he had runners.
Rafael Bejarano missed Keeneland's card to ride nine mounts in Southern California Saturday, including Triple Crown candidate Point Determined in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I). The trip proved worthwhile when six of Bejarano's horses – four in succession – brought him to the winner's circle.
Competing internationally for the first time, 23-year-old Rafael Bejarano rode to a fourth-place finish in the 19th World Super Jockey Series at Hanshin Race Course on Sunday.
The 23-year-old Rafael Bejarano and 46-year-old veteran Mark Guidry rode to a tie in the seesaw race for the fall riding title at Churchill Downs on Saturday.
The bettors thought Intercontinental would not like the soft turf but she proved them wrong, going nearly wire-to-wire to win the $972,020 Emirates Airline Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT).
Twenty-three-year-old Rafael Bejarano won the 1,000th race of his career on Thursday when he piloted the Greg Foley-trained Northern Vacation to victory in the first race at Keeneland.
Rafael Bejarano, who was sidelined with a fractured ankle less than one week into the Saratoga meet, will return to racing this weekend. The 24-year-old jockey received clearance to begin galloping horses in Kentucky on Tuesday and worked several Wednesday morning.
Burnish, who liked the sloppy surface at Keeneland in her last start, also enjoyed the off going Friday at Pimlico, splashing home to win the $100,000 Miss Preakness (gr. III) under Rafael Bejarano.
Nick Zito ran five horses in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) -- including the favorite -- and no one has to remind him they finished seventh, eighth, 10th, 14th, and 15th. But the Preakness (gr. I) is a new day, Zito said Friday morning at Pimlico.
Jockeys Rafael Bejarano and Calvin Borel were thrown from their mounts in a spill during Thursday's third race at Churchill Downs, with Bejarano taken to a Louisville hospital for observation.
The inner dirt track meeting at Aqueduct finally ended Thursday with Richard Dutrow Jr. and Rafael Bejarano winning respective titles for top trainer and jockey.
Rafael Bejarano, Aqueduct's leading rider, has been hit with a seven-day suspension and will sit out next week after accepting the ban without appealing.
For the first time in its 10-year history, there is a new winner of the Isaac Murphy Award presented by the National Turf Writers Association. Ramon Dominguez has unseated nine-time winner Russell Baze.
With less than one week remaining, the 2004 American racing season will conclude with new leaders in earnings for jockeys and trainers.
Evening Attire, winner of the Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) this summer, will carry highweight of 123 pounds in Saturday's Queens County Handicap (gr. III) at Aqueduct. The grade I winner and earner of more than $2.3 million will face nine older foes in the 1 3/16ths-miles race that goes at approximately 3:44 p.m. EST.
Despite the absence of 15 riders who were ejected from Churchill Downs for refusal to commit to mounts on the Wednesday and Thursday race cards in a dispute over insurance, jockeys have been named to ride horses entered for those two days, according to a statement from the track.
Turfway Park closed its fall meet Oct. 7 with slight increases in overall and out-of-state wagering and a 10% decline in on-track handle.
Champali and the nation's leading rider by wins, Rafael Bejarano, won the Phoenix Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland Friday.
The short meet at Kentucky Downs concluded Tuesday with the Franklin, Ky. track posting records for total on-track and total handle.
Trainer Paul McGee hopes to continue the luck he enjoyed with jockey Rafael Bejarano at Churchill Downs when the Peruvian-born riding sensation makes his Hollywood Park debut aboard Suave in the $400,000-added Swaps Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds on Saturday.
It was two years ago that jockey Rafael Bejarano won his first race in the United States at River Downs. Since then, the 22-year-old has won riding titles at Hoosier Park, Ellis Park, and Turfway Park. On July 5, he clinched another accolade when he was named leading rider for the 2004 spring meet at Churchill Downs.
Inclemenet weather and ongoing construction at Churchill Downs contributed to declines in attendance and overall wagering during the 53-day spring meet, which ended Monday.
National riding leader Rafael Bejarano continues to impress Churchill Downs trainers, where he is running away with the 2004 jockey title.
Another day, another record for jockey Rafael Bejarano, who Saturday broke the Turfway Park record for most wins in a meet.
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