Victor Espinoza, a 43-year-old native of Mexico City, has been selected by a vote of jockeys nationwide as the winner of Santa Anita's highly coveted 2016 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award.
"Once the races start everything comes at you all at once," says valet Doug Gilbert. "The job is non-stop and fast-paced. Everybody is trying to get to where they have to be for the next race. You can't be half-stepping."
Paul and Andrena Van Doren's Rise Up continued to impress with a sparkling gate-to-wire victory in the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes (gr. III) Nov. 23.
With his 6 1/2-length romp in the Jean Lafitte Stakes at Delta Downs the night of Oct. 26, Rise Up stamped his ticket for the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot (gr. III) next month.
Gerard Melancon became the 65th North American jockey to ride 4,000 winners when he guided Doc R U It to victory in the sixth race at Delta Downs Jan. 30.
Star Guitar, the all-time leading Louisiana-bred earner, added to his legacy June 30 when he rallied to win the $100,000 Louisiana Legends Night Classic at Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino in track record time.
It's a long ways down the road but Sabercat locked up a spot in next year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) with an emphatic win in the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes (gr. III) for 2-year-olds Nov. 19.
Z Humor went gate to wire to win the $150,000 Maxxam Gold Cup at Sam Houston Race Park on the night of March 5, turning back a serious challenge in the stretch for an 11-1 upset.
Expansion closed with determination between horses to score a 32-1 surprise by a head in the $125,000 Fair Grounds Handicap (gr. IIIT)Feb. 19 at the New Orleans track.
By Gary McMillen - Records are made to be broken. Yada, yada, yada. You never hear anybody say that records are made to be smashed.
Liberty Bull, third behind Denis of Cork and Sierra Sunset in the Southwest Stakes (gr. III) last time out, made that race look even better with a sharp two-length victory in the rich $600,000 WinStar Derby at New Mexico's Sunland Park March 16.
Calvin Borel, winner of this year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Bands (gr. I) aboard Street Sense, won the Inaugural "Cajun Jockey Challenge" at Evangeline Downs on Friday night.
Jockey Gerard Melancon recorded the 3,000th victory of his career in the ninth race, a $31,000 entry level allowance race for Louisiana breds, Thursday evening at Evangeline Downs Racetrack and Casino.
Delicate Dynamite rallied boldly with an explosive mid-stretch move and drew clear for a surprising two-length victory in the $75,000 Truly Bound Handicap Saturday at Fair Grounds Race Course.
Trainer Al Stall Jr. couldn't make the trip to Houston from Louisiana, but he liked what he saw via simulcast as Middleweight captured the $100,000 Maxxam Gold Cup Handicap Saturday night at Sam Houston Race Park.
Outsider Fantasticat held off perennial bridesmaid Borrego to grind out victory in the $500,000 Super Derby (gr. II) by a half-length at muddy Louisiana Downs Saturday.
Heavy favorite Placid Star kept her perfect record intact, streaking home to win the $100,000 Sarah Lane's Oates Handicap for 3-year-old Louisiana-bred fillies in impressive fashion Saturday at Fair Grounds.
Out of My Way, dismissed at odds of 28-1, outfought Cat Genius to win the $75,000 Taylor's Special Handicap Sunday by a nose at Fair Grounds.
Both $60,000 co-features Saturday at Fair Grounds provided thrilling stretch duels, with Movant prevailing over Sister Swank in the Thelma and Skate Away turning the tables on Warleigh in the Col E.R. Bradley.
There was no snow at Fair Grounds on Saturday, but fans saw plenty of Snowdrops, who captured the $75,000 Pago Hop Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.
Rags to riches Bluesthestandard became a multiple graded stakes winner Saturday with an authoritative four-length score over Bonapaw in the $300,000 Texas Mile (gr. III) at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Fuse It became a two-time stakes winner at the Fair Grounds meet Sunday, winning the $100,000 Red Camelia Handicap for Louisiana bred mares by a length over Mysia Jo.
Racing for the first time on the grass, 16-1 shot Zarb's Music cashed in with a solid victory over the Stall-Wilson turf course in the $100,000 Gentilly Handicap Saturday at Fair Grounds.
With a short field and a sharp horse on his hands, trainer Bob Holthus took a chance on Cojet, who won the $75,000 Colonel Power Handicap at Fair Grounds Sunday.
Louisiana-based Bonapaw continues his world tour with a grade I victory in the Vosburgh.
Late Bloomer Rochester Takes Kentucky Cup Turf.
Bonapaw, the 6-year-old gelding who traveled to Dubai earlier this year and finished sixth in the Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) sprint, stretched out to a mile and won the Hanshin Cup (gr. III) by 2 1/4 lengths at Arlington Park.
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.
For the second consecutive year, Jim and Dennis Richard's Bonapaw set a stakes record while winning the Thanksgiving Day Handicap on the opening-day card at Fair Grounds in New Orleans.
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