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Thursday, May 28, 2015


The heart-pounding excitement of Thoroughbred racing and the challenge of sports fantasy gaming come together at Race Track Warriors and Jockey Draft, which offers players daily and seasonal games featuring the lowest takeout rates in the industry. Race Track Warriors offers a blended takeout rate of 8.9 percent, the lowest in the sports fantasy-game market, while teaming with charitable endeavors that benefit racing’s equine and human athletes.  The web site also just launched its new “Create a Game” concept, where players can format their own games with a choice of tracks and/or jockeys offered each day – a first for fantasy horse racing.


Launched in 2014 by passionate horse racing fans with a strong background in technology, Race Track Warriors has gained widespread respect within the Thoroughbred industry since collaborating with Tampa Bay Downs on its “Live It Up Challenge” handicapping contest.  Contests produced this year by Race Track Warriors will offer a total of five seats at the 2016 National Thoroughbred Racing Association/National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas.  By giving back to its customers and the industry, Race Track Warriors is fulfilling its missions to support the Sport of Kings and provide a compelling platform for fans to test their skills in head-to-head and multi-player competitions.


Race Track Warriors recently reached an agreement to donate a portion of its daily-game handle (exclusive of its “Jockey Draft” game) to Thoroughbred Charities of America, which is the charitable arm of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. The announcement came after Race Track Warriors struck a deal with the Jockeys’ Guild and the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund to contribute a share of the receipts from “Jockey Draft” to both organizations.“We are excited to be able to contribute back to the sport through TCA, as well as the PDJF and Jockeys’ Guild,” said Jordan Olin, the Chief Information Officer for EQUUS INTERACTIVE, the parent body of Race Track Warriors.“It has been our goal to build a compelling platform for players that is fun and affordable, with the lowest takeout possible, and to also give back to the industry,” Olin said. “Everybody who enjoys racing and loves the amazing Thoroughbred athletes wants to show their support, and part of our mission is to give our players the opportunity to give back across the board.”


Race Track Warriors continues to attract new daily fantasy players with exciting games of skill and low participating costs, made possible by the minimal overhead involved in creating its game platforms. While the game creators strive to provide the best playing experience possible through cutting-edge technological innovation, they know participation is also value-driven. In addition to daily and weekend events, meet-long “Jockey Draft” competitions are planned for both the summer Del Mar and Saratoga meetings. Race Track Warriors is also planning a special PDJF Day game on Saturday, Aug. 1.


Warriors also invites tracks to leverage its platform and does not charge for use of its framework for custom contests, thus, the only expense to the tracks involves prize money.


For further information, visit on the Internet.


About Race Track Warriors

Founded by horse players with an expertise in technology, EQUUS INTERACTIVE is devoted to the thrill of participating in online gaming and the ultimate user experience. EQUUS INTERACTIVE provides multifaceted services to players through its Race Track Warriors fantasy gaming experience, as well as racetracks seeking to deliver and market online contests to their customer base, thereby leveraging the rich features of a fantasy gaming experience. “Jockey Draft” is the newest fantasy game to join the Race Track Warriors platform.



Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) and Preakness Stakes (GI) winner American Pharoah got a day of rest and relaxation after breezing a half-mile in :48 on Tuesday. The homebred son of Pioneerof the Nile did not go to the main track for exercise Wednesday. Instead, he walked around the shed row in Barn 33 where trainer Bob Baffert keeps his string of horses at Churchill Downs.


        “Everything looked very good this morning,” said Jimmy Barnes, Baffert’s chief assistant.


        Barnes also said American Pharoah would return to the track Thursday at 8:30 a.m. for a clockwise jog around the one-mile oval.


        In other Belmont Stakes news, Conquest StablesConquest Curlinate jogged and galloped one mile around the main track Wednesday. Norman Casse, assistant to father Mark, said that the son of Curlin would likely breeze Friday or Saturday morning depending on the weather.


        American Pharoah (Barn 33), Conquest Curlinate (Barn 36) and Keen Ice (Barn 4) are the locally-based Belmont Stakes contenders stabled at Churchill Downs.


BELMONT STAKES POSSIBLE FIELD – The possible 10-horse Belmont Stakes lineup (with jockey and trainer): Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner American Pharoah (Victor Espinoza, Bob Baffert); Blue Grass champ and Kentucky Derby 10th Carpe Diem (undecided, Todd Pletcher); Peter Pan runner-up Conquest Curlinate (Shaun Bridgmohan, Mark Casse); Blue Grass fourth and Kentucky Derby 11th Frammento (Mike Smith, Nick Zito); Wood Memorial and Kentucky Derby 4th Frosted (Joel Rosario, Kiaran McLaughlin); Louisiana Derby 4th and Kentucky Derby 7th Keen Ice (Kent Desormeaux, Dale Romans); Peter Pan winner Madefromlucky (undecided, Todd Pletcher); Florida Derby champ and Kentucky Derby 6th Materiality (undecided, Todd Pletcher); UAE Derby winner and Kentucky Derby 8th Mubtaahij-IRE (Irad Ortiz Jr., Mike de Kock); and Preakness runner-up Tale of Verve (Gary Stevens, Dallas Stewart). 


FANS INVITED TO WATCH SPECIAL 8:30-8:45 A.M. TRAINING FOR BELMONT CONTENDERS – With Triple Crown hopeful American Pharoah and three other Belmont Stakes contenders stabled on the grounds, Churchill Downs Racetrack is offering a special 8:30-8:45 a.m. training period for those horses through Tuesday. Additionally, area horse racing fans are invited to watch those colts train from the first floor of the facility, including the new Courtyard area, free of charge.

Churchill Downs Communications Department

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bravo reaches 5,000 wins

Saturday's sixth race at Monmouth Park proved an extra special one for the jockey aptly nicknamed "Jersey" Joe Bravo when he piloted Boss Man (English Channel) to victory, marking the 43-year-old journeyman's 5,000th trip to the winner's circle. Bravo joins the elite company of just 30 other North American riders to achieve this milestone. 

"I want to thank all the people that were there when I wasn't doing this good," said Bravo, who was born just a few miles from Monmouth Park in Long Branch. "I've been extremely fortunate in my career and to get today's win right here at Monmouth is even more special.  I've been at this for more years than I wish to count now and it's been a great ride so far."

Through Saturday's sixth race, Bravo sports a lifetime record of 5,000 wins, 4,435 seconds and 3,752 thirds from 27,453 mounts, good for earnings of nearly $150 million, making him the 27th all-time money earning rider.

In the annals of New Jersey horse racing, no single rider has accomplished what Bravo has. The resident of Eatontown has won nearly half his career races at Monmouth Park, including all of the track's top events, most notably the $1 million Haskell Invitational (G1) in 2004 atop Lion Heart.

 In 1991 Bravo became the first rider in New Jersey history to win titles at Garden State Park, The Meadowlands and Monmouth Park in a single season. He followed that up with a record 12 more championships at Monmouth Park. On four occasions he rode a then-record six winners on a single card.

"New Jersey is home," Bravo said. "I am so grateful that so many of my friends were here today for this. And a special thank you to the fans. So many people have supported me through the years and I will always be grateful for their kindness, support and most importantly their friendship."

The 5,000 club now features 14 current active riders, among them eight Hall of Fame members, including all-time leader Russell Baze.

For win 5,000, Bravo sat patiently aboard Boss Man before finding clear run near the eighth pole and kicking away to a decisive three-length score.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Colby Hernandez Wins Jockey of the Week

Jockey Colby Hernandez has been a model of consistency as of late and it has paid off this week when he was named the Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week for May 18 – May 25th. 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.

Hernandez continues to sizzle at Evangeline Downs where he put together another week of double digit wins. He currently leads all riders with 76 winners, a staggering 39 wins ahead of the second place rider at his home course in Opelousas, Louisiana.

The 25-year old native of Lafayette Louisiana has picked up right where he left off last year when he cruised to the leading rider title at Evangeline in the 2014 season with a win percentage of 23%.

Hernandez won at least three races each day and had four winners on the May 21st card finishing the week with a 45% win percentage. That’s a great number at any track but the full fields at Evangeline makes the riding feat that much more impressive. 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, 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.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Court Receives MIke Venezia Award

Kentucky-based jockey Jon Court was announced as the 2015 recipient of the Mike Venezia Memorial Award, which was presented on Memorial Day at Belmont Park.


Established in 1989, the Mike Venezia Memorial Award is awarded to jockeys who exemplify extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship. It is named in honor of Mike Venezia, who died as a result of injuries he suffered in a spill in 1988 at Belmont Park. Previous winners include Bill Shoemaker, Angel Cordero, Jr., Jerry Bailey, Mike Smith, Gary Stevens, Richard Migliore and Ramon Dominguez.


Court, 54, received the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 2007. At the age of 50, he captured the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby aboard Archarcharch for the second straight year after piloting Line of David to victory in 2010. He has twice finished among the top 25 jockeys in terms of earnings, first in 2005 and again in 2006.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

‘Thrill Of The Chase’ Drives Stevens’ Desire To Keep Riding

Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens has won three Kentucky Derbies, the first of which came aboard Winning Colors in 1988. Just two weeks ago, Stevens was aboard Firing Line as the pair finished second – beaten just a length – to American Pharoah in the Kentucky Derby.

Stevens will be back in the saddle on Firing Line as the duo try to turn the tables on American Pharoah in the G1 Preakness Stakes.

As Stevens explained in a recent interview with the New York Times, it’s the “thrill of the chase” that has brought him back to the saddle after knee replacement surgery and retirements earlier in his career.

“Every emotion in your body, from head to toe, is lit up as high as it can get,” Stevens said of competing before a huge crowd such as the record one at Churchill Downs on Derby Day.

“The emotions of the Derby, that last sixteenth of a mile, that’s what I live for,” he said.

Read more in the New York Times

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Flavien Prat Named Jockey of the Week

Jockey Flavien Prat captured Sunday’s American Stakes (G3) aboard Bal a Bali (BRZ) at Santa Anita and was named the Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week for May 4 – May 10. 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.

It was the second Grade III victory in less than ten days for the young Frenchman. He broke through with his first graded stakes win on May 2nd at Santa Anita with a win in the $100,000 Precisionist S. with Catch a Flight (ARG) to give top trainer Richard Mandella win number 2,000. Earlier in the card, Prat nearly scored in the Vanity S. (GI)

Mandella, who trained Bal a Bali (BRZ) as well, heaped high praise on his rider after the winner squeezed between horses in the stretch under the guidance of Prat and prevailed by a length to win the American.

“Yes (he had trouble), but he’s a pro,” Mandella said. “He’s run enough times. He knows what he’s doing. Prat is a pro, too.”

Earlier in the card, Prat nearly scored his first Grade I victory in the Vanity S. (GI) aboard another Mandella trainee. Prat couldn’t get the late running Gas Total (BRZ) up in time and was beaten a length by Mike Smith aboard My Sweet Addiction.

Currently the leading rider at Santa Anita, Prat had an incredible win percentage of 42% for the week and was in the money 67% of his mounts. He brought home five wins, two seconds, and one third from twelve starts and earnings of $261,260.

Prat is riding full time in North America now after spiting time between the U.S and Europe since the 2010 season. 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, 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.

Thursday, May 07, 2015


Two prominent congressmen, Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) and  Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA), have submitted a letter to the U.S. Department of Treasury reinforcing their support for amending Treasury regulations regarding withholding and reporting of pari-mutuel winnings. The letter, filed late last week, highlighted the economic impact of Thoroughbred racing in advance of the Kentucky Derby, horseracing’s biggest event, which generated a record $194.3 million in wagering.


“Unfortunately, the rules which regulate the tax treatment of these wagers were first put in place in the 1970s and do not reflect changes in betting over the past four decades,” the letter says.


Yarmuth and Boustany go on to endorse the public comments submitted last month by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and urge the Treasury Department to review and consider those comments as the process moves forward. Last June, Yarmuth and Boustany were joined by a bipartisan group of 15 other congressmen when they sent a letter to the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury urging tax modernization of pari-mutuel regulations relating to pari-mutuel withholding and reporting.


“The entire horse racing industry is united and in agreement that these proposed changes will benefit all participants in the sport, including horseplayers, as well as federal and state governments,” said NTRA President and CEO Alex Waldrop. “We thank Rep. Yarmuth and Rep. Boustany for their continued leadership on this issue. We urge all horse racing organizations, industry stakeholders and horseplayers to make their voices heard before the public comment period ends June 2.”


The NTRA has created an easy-to-use form that makes it easy for the public to submit an e-mail directly to the appropriate IRS and U.S. Treasury officials at Nearly 2,000 comments originating from all 50 states and the District of Columbia have already been submitted via

 To learn more about this issue, visit the Legislative section of at

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Trio Of Pro Athletes Join ‘Jockeys & Jeans’ Honorary Committee

With the second annual Jockeys & Jeans event a little less than one month away, final preparations are underway, and three more celebrity athletes have added their names to the Honorary Committee to help support the event. Rik Smits, former NBA basketball player, Fred McGriff, former MLB baseball player and Denis Savard, Hall of Fame NHL player are now members of the Honorary Committee for Jockeys & Jeans set for Saturday, May 30 at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. The event will raise money for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) during a full evening of activities that includes appearances by the three living Triple Crown winning jockeys, Ron Turcotte, Jean Cruguet and Steve Cauthen.

Smits, the former 7’4 center for the Indiana Pacers, played his entire career in Indiana from 1988-2000. The Dutch native has been very active with the Pacers organization in several philanthropic events in his retirement. Smits is now involved in motocross racing.

McGriff’s career in the Major Leagues was recorded with six teams from 1986-2004. The five time All Star completed his career with 493 home runs. McGriff currently works for the Tampa Bay Rays organization and is also involved in radio as a co-host of “The Baysball Show.”

Savard played in the National Hockey League from 1980-1997, playing a majority of his career with the Chicago Blackhawks. Following his retirement in 1997, his jersey, No. 18, was retired. Savard was inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame in 2000.

Smits, McGriff and Savard join an impressive list of Honorary Committee members that includes 13 other individuals lending their support to the event. Included on the list is Gary Player, professional golfer, Ty Murray, nine-time World Champion Bull Rider and seven time World Champion All Around Cowboy, Mari Hulman George, chairman of the board of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Dan Issel, Hall of Fame professional basketball player, John Ortiz, actor, Richard Papiese, owner of Midwest Thoroughbreds, Keith Hernandez, Major League baseball player, Mel Daniels, NBA Hall of Fame professional basketball player, Don Buse, professional basketball player, Darnel Hillman, professional basketball player, Bobby “Slick” Leonard, Hall of Fame basketball player and coach, Mike Borchetta, horse owner and former record promotions for labels such as Capitol Records, and Thoroughbred Trainer Dale Romans.

Several of the Honorary Committee Members have donated items for the live and silent auctions to be held during the event. Items available for the auction include a championship western saddle, a guitar autographed by Josh Turner, John Deere Gator, jacket signed by George Strait, basketball, Boston Celtics jersey and practice shorts signed by Larry Bird, Army college football jersey signed by Glenn Davis and Pete Dawkins, Heisman Award winners, and four tickets to the 2015 Brickyard 400. Items will also be available online through Jeff Boone & Associates Auctioneers, who are donating their services to the event.

In addition to the Honorary Committee Members, five organizations have stepped up as Gold Sponsors for the event, including Wrangler, John Deere, Walmart, Indiana Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (ITOBA), and American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA). More than 30 other sponsors have stepped up to show their support, including Jeff Boone, owner of Cowpokes Western Wear in Anderson, Ind. Boone and his company, Jeff Boone Auctions, will serve as the official auctioneer for the event.

Jockeys & Jeans is in its second year. The first event, held at Tampa Bay Downs, was formed by a group of former riders looking to make a difference in the sport for some of their fellow riders who experienced career ending injuries. The PDJF was formed in 2006 to assist such riders, and now provides financial support to 61 former jockeys. Members of the Jockeys and Jeans committee include Darrell and Maureen Brown, Gordie Grubin, Kitty and Mike Manganello, Barry and Benjamin Pearl, Barbara Jo Rubin and Rev. Eddie Donnally.

Jockeys & Jeans will raise both awareness and funding for the worthwhile organization with all proceeds going directly to PDJF.

Also assisting with Jockeys and Jeans will be more than a dozen Hall of Fame jockeys, who will be in attendance for the event. Heading the list of impressive legends includes Ron Turcotte, best known as the winner of the Triple Crown aboard Secretariat. Turcotte is serving as the Honorary Chairman of the 2015 event and will be joined by fellow Triple Crown winners Jean Cruguet (Seattle Slew, 1977) and Steve Cauthen (Affirmed, 1978). Other standout jockeys scheduled to appear include Pat Day, Laffit Pincay Jr., Patty Cooksey, Chris McCarron, Sandy Hawley, Randy Romero, Shane Sellers, Jorge Velasquez, Mike Manganello, Jack Kaenel, Earlie Fires, Dave Erb, Walter Blum, Bill Boland, Diane Crump, John Rotz, Barbara Jo Rubin, Mary Russ Tortora, Rev. Eddie Donnally, Darrell Brown and Barry Pearl. All riders will be available for a public meet and greet during Jockeys and Jeans, which gets underway at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 30.

Special guests of the evening include five former jockeys who experienced career ending injuries. They will join Turcotte, who was paralyzed in a racing accident in 1978, in support of PDJF and Jockeys and Jeans and include Jack Fires, Michael Straight, Anne Von Rosen, Tad Leggett and Stacy Burton.

Tickets are still available for Jockeys & Jeans. The event price is $50 per person and includes food, beverages and exclusive access to the event, which will be held in the Clubhouse Dining at Indiana Grand. Nationally known racing analyst and on-air personality Peter Lurie will serve as the emcee of the event.

To reserve a seat, call Indiana Grand during regular business hours (9 a.m. until 5 p.m.) at (317) 421-0000. The event will coincide with the live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing program during the evening that includes two stakes races, the $65,000 Indy Star Overnight Stakes and the $65,000 PDJF Overnight Stakes.


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