The Mike Venezia Memorial Award is presented each year to a jockey who demonstrates the extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship that defined its namesake, who won over 2,300 races.
Already a two-time grade I winner in route races, Sheer Drama opened her 6-year-old season with a top-level win sprinting in the Madison Stakes (gr. I) April 9 at Keeneland.
Undrafted caught a sizzling pace to close into and rallied for the win April 9, taking the $200,000 Shakertown Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland for owners Wes Welker and Sol Kumin.
The Mark Casse trainee would not be denied April 2 as he closed with a sustained rally through the Gulfstream Park stretch and won the $200,000 Pan American Stakes (gr. IIT) by a head.
Battling wide in the lane, Upstart completed a long drive to edge away from Domain's Rap and others for a one-length win in the $350,000 Razorback Handicap (gr. III) March 19 at Oaklawn Park.
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.
A winner in her last five starts over synthetic footing, HnR Nothhaft Horse Racing's Living The Life will head back to the Southern California turf Nov. 1 in the $200,000 Goldikova Stakes (gr. IIT) at Del Mar.
Greenpointcrusader put in the first of two scheduled Keeneland works for the $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) by working five furlongs in 1:01 4/5 over a fast track the morning of Oct. 19.
Annual Report was in tight at the break and trailed the field early on, but the 2-year-old colt rallied with a big late run to win the $200,000 Futurity Stakes (gr. II) Oct 17 at Belmont Park.
St. Elias Stable, MeB Racing Stables, and Brooklyn Boyz Stables' Greenpointcrusader went from last-out maiden winner to grade I winner in the $500,000 Champagne Stakes for 2-year-olds Oct. 3 at Belmont Park.
"The other Casse," Conquest Daddyo was overlooked off a runner-up finish in the Aug. 15 Vandal Stakes at Woodbine Aug. 15, but finds himself a graded stakes victor in just his third start.
Strict Compliance got a stiff challenge from Isabella Sings in the stretch run of the Boiling Springs Stakes (gr. IIIT) Sept. 5 at Monmouth Park, but found just enough in the final strides to earn her first graded score.
Amid the hubbub around a potential budding rivalry between Untappable and Stopchargingmaria, Harold Queen's Sheer Drama played spoiler Aug. 29, defeating both in the $750,000 Personal Ensign at Saratoga Race Course.
Stopchargingmaria and champion Untapable were one-two in the Aug. 2 Shuvee Stakes (gr. III) at Saratoga. They meet again at the same nine-furlong trip Aug. 29 in the $750,000 Personal Ensign Stakes (gr. I).
Even-money Favorite Middleburg had been knocking at the door of graded stakes success in his three previous starts and finally broke through Aug. 23 at Monmouth Park in the Cliff Hanger Stakes (gr. IIIT).
A late rally into second by Watsdachances helped the daughter of Diamond Green to her first grade I victory when she was placed first in the Beverly D. Stakes Aug. 15 at Arlington International Racecourse.
- By Tom LaMarra
- Thoroughbred Racing, Breeders' Cup, Northeast Region, Midwest Region, Mid-Atlanic Region
Cheyenne Stables and Mac Nichol's Madefromlucky, out of the shadow of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, rallied nicely from off the pace to capture the $750,000 West Virginia Derby (gr. II) Aug. 1 at Mountaineer.
Sheer Drama turned the tables on Frivolous to win the $750,000 Delaware Handicap (gr. I) July 18 at Delaware Park and earn the first grade I victory of her career.
Harold Queen's Sheer Drama will attempt to avenge her loss to Frivolous in the June 13 Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) when those two and five other fillies and mares face off in the $750,000 Delaware Handicap (gr. I) July 18.
After finishing second in his two most recent stakes tries, Stanford took care of business Saturday, July 11 to win the $100,000 Long Branch Stakes at Monmouth Park.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Big Blue Kitten surged late to win his second edition of the $500,000 United Nations Stakes (gr. IT) July 5 at Monmouth Park.
The Malibu Moon colt, who had not won a race since his debut maiden victory 14 starts back, had just enough to give in the 1 1/16-mile test, edging out Tencendur and Divining Rod for the victory June 20 at Thistledown.
Jockey Joe Bravo guided in his 5,000th career winner May 23 when Boss Man won the sixth race at Monmouth Park.
When a hole opened up in the stretch, Big Blue Kitten shot through to win the $150,000 Fort Marcy Stakes (gr. IIIT) May 2 at Belmont Park.
Bethlehem Stables, Michael Dubb, and Highclere America's Rosalind snapped a six-race losing streak when she held off the late run of Maximova to take the $200,000 Sheepshead Bay Stakes (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park May 2.
The winners of the past two Belmont Stakes (gr. I) will both make their 2015 debut in the $150,000 Westchester Stakes (gr. III) May 2 at Belmont Park.
Frammento, fourth in the April 4 Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I), worked a half-mile in :48 under jockey Joe Bravo April 24 at Keeneland. Clockers caught the Midshipman colt in fractions of :12 1/5, :24, :48 and out in 1:02 2/5.
The longest price on the board delivered a game performance at Keeneland April 18, 30-1 shot Dramedy putting pressure on frontrunner My Afleet all the way around and then just holding off the late charge of Dynamic Sky.
Harold Queen's homebred Sheer Drama finally got a clean trip over the Gulfstream Park dirt course and showed what she's capable of unencumbered in the $200,000 Royal Delta Stakes (gr. II) March 21.
Joseph Shields Jr.'s House Rules overcame a bump at the start and survived an objection to win her first graded stakes Feb. 21 -- the $100,000 Rampart (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park.
Protonico powered past favorite Bay of Plenty in early stretch and kicked on for a clear win in the $200,000 Discovery Handicap (gr. III) Nov. 1 at Aqueduct Racetrack, completing an easy last-to-first rally.
French import Ball Dancing, making her United States debut, surged late from between horses to edge stablemate Xcellence in the $500,000 Sands Point Stakes (gr. IIT) Sept. 13 at rainy Belmont Park for trainer Chad Brown.
Todd Pletcher recorded his 1,000th career stakes winner when Protonico surged late under Joe Bravo to take the $300,000 Smarty Jones Stakes (gr. III) at Parx Racing on the Labor Day Pennsylvania card Sept. 1.
Condo Commando took all of the drama out of track announcer Tom Durkin's final call when she romped to victory in the $350,000 Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) over a sloppy track at rainy Saratoga Race Course Aug. 31.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's two-time grade I winner Big Blue Kitten was guided out of a pocket in the stretch and completed a last-to-first rally in the $100,000 Lure Stakes in his 2014 debut Aug. 2 at Saratoga Race Course.
Moyglare Stud's homebred wins his third graded stakes on the turf June 8 in New Jersey.
Aron Wellman of Eclipse Thoroughbreds confirmed June 2 that Todd Pletcher trainee Matterhorn will run in the June 7 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), with New Jersey-based jockey Joe Bravo to get the mount.
Sagamore Farm and Mel Paikoff's Happy My Way streaked wire to wire in the $150,000 Maryland Sprint Handicap presented by Jagermeister (gr. III) May 17 at Pimlico Race Course, securing his first graded stakes score.
Danza sent shock waves through the crowd of 63,186 at Oaklawn Park when he took command in upper stretch at odds of 41-1 and rolled to a 4 3/4-length victory in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (gr. I) April 12.
E. Paul Robsham Stables' homebred Sweet N Discreet made a successful try at 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream Park Jan. 18, taking the $300,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Distaff over Devil's Cave.
Favored at 6-5 for his first start since Nov. 29, Waterford Stable's Summer Front ran down pacesetter Tetradrachm in the final sixteenth to win the $200,000 Fort Lauderdale Stakes (gr. IIT) Jan. 11 at Gulfstream Park.
Just Call Kenny immediately shook up the 3-year-old division in South Florida Jan. 4, posting an unlikely victory in the $100,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Showing her affinity for the Gulfstream Park turf, Naples Bay boldly charged between horses in the stretch and pulled clear to win Marshua's River Stakes (gr. IIIT) Jan. 4 in her career finale.
With last year's winner and stablemate Philly Ace scratched, Speaking of Which made the most of an opportunity to shine for trainer Christophe Clement in the Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. III) Dec. 7 at Calder Race Course.
New York shipper Last Gunfighter earned his fourth graded stakes win of the year, closing to get the job done in the $350,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Hawthorne Racecourse Nov. 30.
Waterford Stable's even money favorite Summer Front brought home a third grade III victory with his win in the 35th edition $100,000 Cliff Hanger Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Monmouth Park Aug. 25.
Miami Mile (gr. IIIT) winner Summer Front takes on Howe Great and Hudson Steele, the 2-3 finishers in the Oceanport Stakes (gr. IIIT), in the $100,000 Cliff Hanger Stakes (gr. IIIT) Aug. 25 at Monmouth Park.
Scratches took the field for the $148,500 Philip H. Iselin Stakes (gr. III) from eight to five, but they didn't derail a thrilling race down the lane between victorious odds-on choice Last Gunfighter and San Pablo.
Big Blue Kitten, given a patient ride by Joe Bravo, burst through an opening at mid-stretch and swept past Twilight Eclipse late to post a one-length win in the $600,000 Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT) Aug. 17 at Saratoga.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey's runner burst through on the rail in the $500,000 United Nations Stakes (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park July 6, qualifying for the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT). The 2012 BC Turf winner Little Mike was fourth.
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