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Friday, April 29, 2016

Voting opens Friday for Venezia Award

Racing fans will decide which of five outstanding jockeys will be the recipient of the 21st Mike Venezia Memorial Award, to be presented by The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) in a special ceremony at Belmont Park on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30.

 

Beginning tomorrow, Friday, April 29, fans can choose among Javier Castellano, Joe Bravo, Cornelio Velasquez, Aaron Gryder and Mario Pino and vote for their choice online at www.nyra.com/veneziaaward.

 

Voting will close at midnight on Monday, May 16 with the winner announced on Tuesday, May 17.

 

Created in 1989, the Mike Venezia Memorial Award is given to jockeys who display the extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship that defined Venezia, who died as the result of injuries he suffered in a spill in 1988. Venezia, a Brooklyn, New York native, won more than 2,300 races during his 25-year career.

Each of the finalists is an accomplished athlete whose aptitude on the track is rivaled only by the respect they garner off it.

  • Castellano, 38, who won his third straight Eclipse Award as Outstanding Jockey in 2015, led the nation in earnings last year with a record $28.1 million. Among his victories was a record fifth Travers, in which he piloted Keen Ice to upset Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.
  •  Bravo, 39 had the best year of his career in 2015 with more than $8.39 million in purses earned and three Grade 1 wins in New York: the Personal Ensign with Sheer Drama, the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic with Big Blue Kitten and the Champagne with Greenpointcrusader.
  •  Velasquez, perenially among NYRA's top jockeys, this year won the Grade 1 Carter Handicap and the Grade 3 Tom Fool with Salutos Amigos. The 48-year-old native of Panama has more than 3,700 winners of $164 million since he came to the United States in the late 1980's.
  • Gryder, 45, has won dozens of stakes races throughout his career, including a victory aboard Well Armed in the 2009 World Cup. He is the co-founder of The Giving Circle, based in Saratoga Springs, which connects donors with communities in need.
  • Pino, 54, currently is third among active jockeys and 10th overall in career victories, having ridden 6,707 winners of more than $124 million. Only all-time leader Russell Baze (12,812 and counting) and No. 8 Edgar Prado (6,882 and counting) have more wins among active jockeys.

The first Venezia Award was awarded posthumously to Venezia in 1989. Previous winners of the award include Jon Court (2015), Hall of Famer John Velazquez (2014) and newly minted Hall of Famer Ramon Dominguez (2013).

 

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

‘Old Race Tracker’ Guidry Enjoying New Career As Jockey Agent

Mark Guidry tried to get the race track out of his system. There were dalliances with golf and fishing and other activities but nothing filled the void created when he retired from riding in 2007 after 33 years in the saddle.

“I'm an old race tracker and I'm going to die an old race tracker because there ain't nothing like it,” Guidry said recently while at Keeneland.

After a turn as a trainer and then a brief return to riding, Guidry retired for good in 2014 and began searching for a way to stay involved in racing. At the encouragement of friends, he decided to become a jockey agent and picked up James Graham as a client when the rider moved his tack from Santa Anita to Fair Grounds at the outset of 2016.

It was the opportunity Guidry had been seeking.

“I knew I had to do something,” Guidry said. “When I had the opportunity to be an agent it was a good thing and I thought I would like it a whole lot and I really, really do. James (Graham) gave me an opportunity.

“I love doing it. You get to work with your rider on a regular basis and see your people. That's what I missed most about the game, (talking) every morning with everybody. It works good. It's a good job.”



Guidry, who rode his first horse at age 4, won 5,222 races and rode the earners of more than $106.3 million during his career, winning the Kentucky Oaks (G1) in 2006 aboard Lemons Forever. As he looked out at the Keeneland track where he won 87 races and 11 stakes, including the 2002 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) on Riskaverse, he said he was thankful to remain in the game.

“I love my job,” Guidry said. “I know I have a lot to learn, but it's something that I love to do so you want to learn and be better. You're not stuck in a job you don't like and just going through the motions.

“As somebody who is probably going to die on a race track this is something I could do for a long time. It gets me out every day, gets me out socializing with people, and I get to work with (Graham) so I love it. That's all I need.”

http://www.paulickreport.com/news/people/old-racetracker-guidry-enjoying-new-career-jockey-agent/


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Derby Day Silent Auction Fundraiser Benefits PDJF

A consortium of racing organizations has announced the second annual Derby Day Silent Auction Fundraiser to be held on Saturday, May 7, 2016 at 29 tracks and racing venues across the U.S. to raise funds for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF).

Proceeds from the collaborative effort by the Thoroughbred Racing Associations (TRA), PDJF, JockeyTalk360, and the Jockeys' Guild will provide aid for permanently disabled jockeys' health care and living expenses.

Each participating track will hold a silent auction of framed, autographed photographs of Secretariat (signed by jockey Ron Turcotte), American Pharoah (signed by jockey Victor Espinoza), American Pharoah winning the Kentucky Derby (signed by trainer Bob Baffert), and a collage of American Pharoah's Triple Crown victories (signed by trainer Bob Baffert).

“We had a successful Derby Day Silent Auction in 2015 and look forward to this year's event,” said PDJF President Nancy LaSala. “We have some outstanding items and would like to thank Reed Palmer Photography, Skip Dickstein, Ron Turcotte, Victor Espinoza, Bob Baffert and all the racing venues. Without their generous support, this auction would not happen.”



TRA-member tracks participating include: Arlington Park, Belmont Park, Churchill Downs, Ellis Park, Finger Lakes, Gulfstream Park, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course, Horseman's Park, Keeneland, Kentucky Downs, Laurel Park, Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie, Louisiana Downs, Monmouth Park, Parx Racing, Prairie Meadows, Remington Park, Sam Houston Race Park, Santa Anita Park, Tampa Bay Downs, and Turfway Park.

Non-TRA facilities participating are Emerald Downs, Golden Gate Fields, Los Alamitos, Will Rogers Downs, Wyoming Horse Racing, and Zia Park.


http://www.paulickreport.com/news/people/derby-day-silent-auction-fundraiser-benefits-pdjf/

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

LEPAROUX REFLECTS ON 400 WINS AT “FAVORITE TRACK”

When Julien Leparoux first arrived at Keeneland for the 2005 Fall Meet, he often was reminded how challenging it is for even the world’s top jockeys to have success here given the depth and talent of the jockey colony. Eleven years and 400 victories later, Leparoux marvels at how far he’s come.

“The first time I came here (to ride) in 2005, I won one race and it was the last day of the meet,” Leparoux said Tuesday morning. “I was really happy to just have won one, so I wasn’t really expecting (success like this). I remember winning races at Turfway (Park) and people reminding me that going to Keeneland wasn’t going to be the same.

“It’s great company here. Every meet is tough and full of good jockeys. It’s a pleasure to be here every meet. Every time you come to Keeneland it’s beautiful, the people are nice, the races are great, so to be able to do good is fun.”

In Sunday’s ninth and final race, Leparoux became the fifth rider to reach 400 wins at Keeneland when he rode Jim and Susan Hill’s Gio’s Calling to victory for trainer Brian Lynch. He joined Pat Day (918 wins), Don Brumfield (716), Robby Albarado (478) and Shane Sellers (412) as riders to reach that mark.

“I didn’t even know it was coming,” Leparoux said with a laugh. “I saw it on Twitter when Keeneland tweeted something, so that’s how I knew. It’s my favorite race track so it’s very, very nice to be able to be here and do good. The jockeys in front of me (on the Keeneland all-time wins list) … are big names.”

Leparoux became just the fifth jockey to win 50 stakes at Keeneland when he rode Robert Masterson’s champion Tepin to victory in the Coolmore Jenny Wiley (G1) on April 16. The winner of a total of three stakes during the 2016 Spring Meet, he now has 51 career stakes wins at Keeneland.

Leparoux also has 10 Keeneland riding titles to tie for third in that category with Steve Brooks, claiming the titles in Spring 2006 (tied as an apprentice with Rafael Bejarano), 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2014 and Fall 2006, 2010-2012. On April 20, 2012, he won six races to join Randy Romero and Craig Perret as the only jockeys to accomplish that feat at Keeneland.

“The atmosphere here with all the people and the fans that all love racing makes me want to do good,” Leparoux said. “Those big weekends when you’ve got 20,000 to 30,000 fans, it’s fun to be here and why I race at Keeneland and why it’s my favorite track.” Keeneland Communications Department

Monday, April 25, 2016

Castellano Named Jockey of the Week

Jockey Javier Castellano took his game on the road this weekend chasing the massive purse money available in West Virginia on Charles Town Classic day.  It was mission accomplished when he piloted Stanford to a wire to wire victory in the Grade 2, $1.25 million Charles Town Classic on his way to being named the Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week Award for the week of April 18th to April 24th. The award is voted on by a panel of experts for riding accomplishments by members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 riders in North America.

After just seven editions, the Charles Town Classic has become an annual stop for some of the top horses in the handicap division with its runners racking up a total of 25 wins in Grade 1 events including the Pacific Classic, Santa Anita Gold Cup, Stephen Foster, Metropolitan Handicap and Jockey Club Gold Cup.

The Todd Pletcher trainee previously finished second in the Grade 3 Fred W. Hooper Stakes followed up with another second-place finish in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap. Both of those races were at the one-turn-mile distance. Stanford, and his front-running style, would relish the sharper turns and shorter stretch run at the Charles Town, West Virginia oval.

“I really like the way he did it,” Castellano said of Stanford. “He broke sharply and there wasn’t much speed in the race. He usually just falls into position, and I’m satisfied with how he did it today. I think it’s helpful (the tighter turns) with horses that have speed. I think this race will help the horse go forward.”

The 38-year-old Venezuelan won 17 Grade 1 races on his way to winning his third straight Eclipse Award for Outstanding Rider last year. He is currently the second leading jockey in wins at the Keeneland Spring Meet which concludes this Friday. Castellano is second in total wins among North American riders and leads in total purses won with a total of $5,737,951.

For the week, Castellano finished with five wins from his 21 mounts, adding five second place finishes, and four thirds. His mounts led North America in earnings with $933,738.

JockeyTalk360.com spotlights the riders across North America and around the world who may be the bravest, toughest and most accomplished of all athletes. The Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week is selected by a vote of representatives of America’s Best Racing, The Daily Racing Form, Equibase, Horse Racing Nation, The Jockeys’ Guild, The Paulick Report, The Thoroughbred Daily News, National Thoroughbred Racing Association, National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, Thoroughbred Racing Associations, and Turf Publicists of America.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Ramon Dominguez Inducted Into Hall of Fame

Champion racehorses Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta, multiple Eclipse Award-winning jockey Ramon Dominguez and multiple Eclipse Award-winning trainer Steve Asmussen have been elected to the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in the contemporary category. The electees will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday, Aug. 12 at 10:30 a.m. at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion.

Rachel Alexandra (Medaglia d’Oro—Lotta Kim, by Roar) was named Horse of the Year and Champion 3-Year-Old Filly in 2009 and posted a career record of 13-5-0 from 19 starts and earned $3,506,730. Bred in Kentucky by original owner Dolphus Morrison, Rachel Alexandra was trained by Hal Wiggins until a private sale to Jess Jackson’s Stonestreet Stables and Harold McCormick following her 20¼-length victory in the 2009 Kentucky Oaks. From then on, she was trained by fellow 2016 Hall of Fame inductee Asmussen. After being ridden by Brian Hernandez early in her career, Rachel Alexandra was piloted by Hall of Famer Calvin Borel for her final 14 career starts.

As a 2-year-old in 2008, Rachel Alexandra broke her maiden in her second career start at Churchill Downs, added an allowance win at Keeneland and returned to Churchill to conclude her season with a win in the Grade 2 Golden Rod Stakes (setting a stakes record) in her first pairing with Borel. She posted a record of 3-2-0 from six starts and earnings of $201,440 as a juvenile.

As a 3-year-old in 2009, Rachel Alexandra delivered a perfect record in eight starts. She won at seven different tracks that year, starting with a victory in the Martha Washington Stakes at Oaklawn Park. She then won the Fair Grounds Oaks and Fantasy Stakes prior to her 20¼-length win in the Kentucky Oaks. Asmussen and her new ownership then entered Rachel Alexandra in the Preakness, in which she became the first filly to win the second jewel of the Triple Crown since 1924 when she defeated Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird. Rachel Alexandra then romped by 19¼ lengths in the Mother Goose, defeated Belmont Stakes winner Summer Bird in the Haskell Invitational by six lengths and topped older males in a dramatic Woodward victory at Saratoga to conclude her undefeated campaign. Her sophomore ledger was 8-0-0 from eight starts with earnings of $2,746,914. She was named Horse of the Year and Champion 3-Year-Old Filly.

Rachel Alexandra returned as a 4-year-old in 2010 and finished second in her first two starts, the New Orleans Ladies Stakes and the La Troienne. She then won the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Handicap and the Lady’s Secret Stakes before finishing second in the Personal Ensign, her final career start. She finished the season with a record of 2-3-0 from five starts and earnings of $558,376.

Zenyatta (Street Cry—Vertigineux, by Kris S.), who posted a career mark of 19-1-0 from 20 starts and earnings of $7,304,580, was named Horse of the Year in 2010 and won a total of four Eclipse Awards in her career. Bred in Kentucky by Maverick Production, Ltd., Zenyatta was a $60,000 purchase by Jerry and Ann Moss at the 2005 Keeneland September yearling sales. Trained throughout her career by John Shirreffs and ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith in 17 of her 20 starts, Zenyatta was named Champion Older Female in 2008, 2009 and 2010 along with her 2010 Horse of the Year honor.

Zenyatta arrived at the races late in 2007 as a 3-year-old, winning both of her starts at Hollywood Park. From that point on, she competed exclusively in graded stakes events, winning 17 consecutive such races to run her record to wins 19 without a defeat. At 4, Zenyatta won the El Encino Stakes, Apple Blossom Handicap, Milady Handicap, Vanity Handicap, Clement L. Hirsch Handicap, Lady’s Secret Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic. She finished the season with a record of 7-0-0 from seven starts and earnings of $2,090,580, winning the first of three consecutive Eclipse Awards as Champion Older Female.

In 2009, at age 5, Zenyatta repeated in the Milady, Hirsch and Lady’s Secret and defeated the likes of Gio Ponti, Summer Bird, Twice Over and Colonel John to become the first filly or mare to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic and earn her second straight Eclipse for Champion Older Female with a record of 5-0-0 from five starts and earnings of $3,330,000.

As a 6-year-old in 2010, Zenyatta won the Santa Margarita Invitational, her second Apple Blossom, and third Vanity, Hirsch and Lady’s Secret. She was undefeated in 19 career races before suffering her lone defeat to Blame in the Breeders’ Cup Classic in what was her final career start. With a record of 5-1-0 from six starts and earnings of $1,830,000, she was named Horse of the Year and earned her third consecutive Champion Older Female award. Overall, Zenyatta won a total of 17 graded stakes, including 13 Grade 1s.

Dominguez, 39, a native of Caracas, Venezuela, won 4,985 races (23 percent) and $191,620,277 in his career and won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in 2010, 2011 and 2012. He led all North American riders in earnings each of those years, setting a record of $25,639,432 in 2012. Dominguez led all jockeys in wins in 2001 and 2003 and was second in wins on seven other occasions. He won a total of 20 individual meet riding titles on the New York Racing Association circuit, including a record 68 wins at Saratoga in 2012.

The overall leading rider in New York in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, Dominguez won a total of 44 Grade 1 races in his career, including 25 from 2010 through 2012. He won three Breeders’ Cup races: the 2004 Turf (Better Talk Now), 2011 Juvenile (Hansen) and 2012 Turf (Little Mike). Dominguez was the regular rider of 2011 Horse of the Year Havre de Grace and his other top mounts included champions Gio Ponti and Hansen, as well as Alpha, Stay Thirsty, Fabulous Strike, Eight Belles, Better Talk Now, Haynesfield and Bluegrass Cat. Dominguez won multiple editions of the Man o’ War, Manhattan Handicap, Beldame, Remsen and Arlington Million, as well as single runnings of the Travers, Sword Dancer, Wood Memorial, Hollywood Derby, Suburban Handicap, Jockey Club Gold Cup, Apple Blossom and Woodward, among others.

Prior to settling in New York, Dominguez was the leading rider at Delaware Park from 2004 through 2007 and won multiple meet titles at Laurel Park and Pimlico in Maryland. He won a total of 160 graded stakes and currently ranks 17th all time in earnings and 32nd in wins.

Asmussen, 50, a native of Gettysburg, S.D., ranks second all time in career wins (7,286 through April 21) and fourth in earnings ($241,026,551) in a training career that began in 1986 after a brief stint as a jockey. The Eclipse Award winner for Outstanding Trainer in 2008 and 2009, Asmussen has led all North American trainers in wins nine times and earnings three times. He has ranked in the top 10 in both wins and earnings every year since 2000. In 2004, Asmussen won 555 races to surpass the single-year record of 496 that had been held by Jack Van Berg since 1976. Asmussen broke his own record in 2008 with 621 wins and topped it once again with 650 wins in 2009.

Asmussen trained Curlin to Horse of the Year honors in 2007 and 2008 and Rachel Alexandra to the Horse of the Year title in 2009. With Curlin, Asmussen won the Preakness, Breeders’ Cup Classic, Woodward, Stephen Foster, Arkansas Derby, Rebel and two editions of the Jockey Club Gold Cup. He won a third Jockey Club Gold Cup with Haynesfield. Asmussen’s key wins with Rachel Alexandra included the Preakness, Woodward, Haskell Invitational and Mother Goose. Asmussen has also trained the champions Kodiak Kowboy, My Miss Aurelia and Untapable.

Asmussen has five Breeders’ Cup victories: the 2007 Classic (Curlin), 2011 Turf Sprint (Regally Ready), 2011 Juvenile Fillies (My Miss Aurelia), 2012 Dirt Mile (Tapizar) and 2014 Distaff (Untapable). Other major wins include multiple editions of the Kentucky Oaks, Saratoga Special, Mother Goose, Woody Stephens, Woodward, Dwyer, Alfred G. Vanderbilt, Cotillion, Frizette and Schuylerville, as well as single runnings of the Spinaway, Futurity, Cigar Mile, Vosburgh, Ballerina, Test, Apple Blossom and Pimlico Special, among others.

Asmussen earned his record 17th leading trainer title at Churchill Downs in the 2015 fall meeting. He has won 13 training titles at Fair Grounds, 11 at Remington Park, 11 at Lone Star Park, eight at Sam Houston and six at Oaklawn Park. He was the first trainer to surpass 1,000 wins at Lone Star. Asmussen has won a total of 190 graded stakes. He has two prospects for this year’s Kentucky Derby in Gun Runner (winner of the Louisiana Derby) and Creator (winner of the Arkansas Derby).

The contemporary electees were chosen from a nationwide voting panel comprised of 188 racing writers, broadcasters, industry officials and historians from a group of 10 finalists selected by the Hall of Fame’s 16-member Nominating Committee.

Results of the Hall of Fame’s Historic Review and Pillars of the Turf categories will be announced in May.

 

Monday, April 25, 2016

BUTLER REACHES CAREER MILESTONE, GETS RIGHT BACK TO WORK

Two weeks after graduating from Saratoga Central Catholic High School in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in 1990, jockey Dean Butler drove cross-country by himself to work for Jack Van Berg, trainer of the legendary Alysheba.


“I had started taking Dean to the racetrack when he was 5, and he always wound up in the jockeys’ room,” recalled his father, John “Ted” Butler. “He told me from the beginning he was going to be a jockey.”


More than a quarter-century later, the elder Butler struggled to keep his emotions in check after watching his 45-year-old son earn career victory No. 2,000 in today’s fifth race on the turf on Impromptu, a 4-year-old gelding owned by Empire Racing and trained by Bernell Rhone.


“I’m thrilled to death,” said Ted Butler, who was joined at Tampa Bay Downs by another son, Dan, one of Dean’s seven older siblings. “It’s not very often you can have an 87-year-old father watch his son get on a horse and reach 2,000 wins.”

For good measure, Butler followed up that triumph by winning the sixth race on 6-year-old Florida-bred horse Palace Barista for breeder-owner Lynne Scace and trainer Ray Stifano.


Butler, who has won four riding titles at both Philadelpha (now Parx Racing) and Canterbury and one at Atlantic City, admitted he was thinking of the milestone as he drove Impromptu to the finish. He shared a heartfelt embrace with his father after the race and was joined in the winner’s-circle celebration by his fellow jockeys and track management.


“The main thing is, I just wanted to do it while my dad was here today,” Butler said. “He has been one of my biggest fans, and that makes it very special to me.”

Butler, the youngest of his family, had good vibes having Dan be part of the afternoon. “He always seems to bring me luck. The first time he ever came to the races was at Philadelphia in 1994, and I had five winners and one second from six mounts.”


Also enjoying the magical moment were Butler’s girlfriend, Danielle Leroux, and her 2-year-old daughter. The jockey’s daughters, 9-year-old Kayleigh and 5-year-old Kendall, were in school.


The three Butler men all experienced strong emotions thinking about Dean’s late mother, Ellen, who died four years ago.


“We had a few tears in our eyes,” Ted Butler said. “She didn’t like to watch the races a whole lot and didn’t care too much when he fell, but she was the best woman in the world. She was so good to all our children.”


“She used to watch the races after they were run,” the rider recalled. “Early in my career, it seemed like every time my parents showed up, I’d get beat. Then one day at the Meadowlands, they didn’t let me know they were coming, and they got there just as I was coming down the lane and crossing the wire.


“I know we all were thinking of her today.”


The entire family remains close, as Ted Butler travels the country to be with all eight children: here in the Tampa Bay area, Saratoga, Nashville and Myrtle Beach.

“His sister Debbie is really the one who helped get him started,” Ted Butler said. “One of her friends had a connection with Jack Van Berg, and it wasn’t long before Dean was on his way.”


In his benchmark victory in the 1-mile turf claiming contest, Butler angled Impromptu over from the outside No. 10 post position and settled into second place behind pace-setter Rasta Friend. After that one tired, Butler secured the inside, gave his horse a breather and withstood major challenges from runner-up Ride Ride Ride and Johnny La Rue to post a half-length victory.


Impromptu paid $7 to win as the slight wagering favorite.


“The race went about the way we had talked about,” said Rhone, who has teamed with Butler at Tampa Bay Downs and Canterbury for scores of victories in recent years. “I’m glad because I wanted to be a part of his milestone.”


Butler, who is always among the first to say racing is “95 percent the horse, 5 percent the jockey,” felt confident throughout aboard Impromptu.


“He was laying pretty comfortably and had his ears pricked the whole way, just waiting for me to move on him,” Butler said. “Even when they kind of jumped on me around the 3/8-mile pole, I wasn’t worried. He was just waiting on me, and when I moved on him he dug in and went on with it.


“Bernell has put me on a lot of good horses over the years, and we’ve always done well together. I can’t thank him enough,” Butler added.


Butler is seventh in the Tampa Bay Downs 2015-2016 standings with 30 victories. His next stop is Canterbury in Shakopee, Minn., in pursuit of a 10th career meeting title. Tampa Bay Press Box
Friday, April 22, 2016

Owner-Breeder Charles Fipke Donates $100,000 To PDJF

Thoroughbred breeder and multiple graded stakes-winning owner Charles E. (Chuck) Fipke has made a $100,000 donation to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys' Fund (PDJF), opining that “jockeys have a raw deal in the racing industry.”

“Too often jockeys suffer career-ending, life-altering injuries leaving them incapable of providing for themselves and their families,” Fipke notes. “Injured riders have limited medical coverage and those who are catastrophically injured may then become eligible for PDJF assistance. The Fund is only able to provide $1,000 to per month to these men and women. For the most part, the PDJF relies on donations and has insufficient funding to increase this monthly stipend for jockeys and their families. Sure, we can continue to rely on owners and others to donate, but this is just not working.”

“Racing provides entertainment for spectators as well as potential profits to bettors. The tracks that put on the show should address this issue and make every effort to find a solution to this unfortunate dilemma,” Fipke advocates.



“We are extremely grateful to Mr. Fipke for his generosity and for recognizing that the PDJF does not have permanent, guaranteed funding coming from existing revenue streams within the horse racing industry,” said PDJF President Nancy LaSala. PDJF Board Member John Velazquez also expressed gratitude for the donation on behalf of jockeys. Velazquez recently won the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) aboard Fipke's homebred, Forever Unbridled, at Oaklawn Park, Hot Springs, Ark.

Mr. Fipke, a geologist, has been active in North American Thoroughbred racing since 1981. Winning at the highest level, he has bred and campaigned Grade I winners Unbridled Forever (a full sister to Forever Unbridled), Jersey Town, Tale of Ekati, Internallyflawless, Perfect Shirl and Perfect Soul as well as Graded stakes-placed Golden Soul, Danish Dynaformer and Tale of Verve, and the Queen's Plate winner Not Bourbon, among others.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Keeneland To Honor Hall Of Fame Jockeys On Friday

On Friday, Keeneland will honor one of the largest contingents of Racing Hall of Fame jockeys ever assembled. Fans are invited to help celebrate these riding legends during a day filled with recognition, highlighted by an autograph signing from 2-3 p.m. on the North Terrace.

Among the jockeys scheduled to appear are Keeneland's all-time leading rider, Pat Day, winner of the 1992 Kentucky Derby (G1) with Lil E. Tee; 1978 Triple Crown winner Steve Cauthen; Don Brumfield, who holds 16 Keeneland riding titles and won the 1966 Kentucky Derby and Preakness with Kauai King; three-time Derby winner Gary Stevens (Winning Colors in 1988, Thunder Gulch in 1995 and Silver Charm in 1997); three-time Derby winner and recently retired Calvin Borel (Street Sense in 2007, Mine That Bird in 2009 and Super Saver in 2010); two-time Derby winner Chris McCarron, (Go For Gin in 1994 and Alysheba in 1987); two-time Derby winner Jacinto Vasquez (Foolish Pleasure in 1975 and Genuine Risk in 1980); Laffit Pincay Jr., aboard Derby winner Swale in 1984; and Randy Romero, one of only three jockeys to win six races in one day at Keeneland.

Riders will talk about their accomplished careers during a Q&A session in the Keeneland Walking Ring that begins at 12:05 p.m.

Fans can meet the jockeys during an autograph signing from 2-3 p.m. in the North Terrace.

Jockeys will sign a commemorative poster featuring works by renowned racing artist Peb that can be acquired with a suggested donation of $15 per poster. Proceeds from the signing will benefit the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

PDJF

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