Jockeys Guild News and Articles
Friday, August 29, 2014
IN THIS CORNER…ELLLLVISSSS…TRUJIIIILLLLLLOOOO
In what is being billed as the “Battle Off The Saddle,” jockeys Elvis Trujillo and Corey Nakatani are scheduled for a three-round boxing match Saturday following the races. The rounds will be two minutes in duration.
In keeping with the sport’s nicknaming tradition, that’s Elvis “Heartbreak” Trujillo vs. Corey “Knock Out” Nakatani. The matchup, planned for approximately 7:15 p.m. along with five professional bouts, is part of the Ringside At Del Mar boxing series. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund, which explains the participation of Trujillo and Nakatani.
Trujillo, 30, is listed at 5-foot-1 and 112 pounds. The native of Panama City, Panama made the cross-country relocation from Florida to California in May and is in his first Del Mar season.
The story goes that when the idea of a jockey boxing match was presented to the Del Mar colony, Nakatani, a champion high school wrestler and low-handicap golfer who never met an athletic challenge he didn’t like, immediately volunteered.
“Nobody wanted to fight with Corey, but I’m the new guy here, I don’t know that much about him, so I said I’d do it,” Trujillo said Thursday morning after breakfast in the jockeys’ room.
Trujillo said he has been in the ring before. But when asked about his record he referenced less formal situations where the rules weren’t Marquis of Queensberry.
“I fought in the streets in Panama all the time. I won a couple and I lost a couple,” Trujillo said. “It was a poor and rough neighborhood where I grew up, and you have to survive.” Such an environment spawned one of the greatest boxers of all time, Panama’s Roberto Duran.
Trujillo is a boxing fan and enthusiast, whose favorite fighter is Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Trujillo’s style, and most likely strategy will be to “stick and move,” as pugilistic commentators say.
“I’m pretty fast and I’m going to hit him with the jab, go in and out, side to side,” Trujillo said. “I know this guy can hit pretty hard, but he’s 43 years old and (over) three rounds, he’s going to get tired faster than I will. I’ll take advantage of my speed and my age.”
Trujillo came West after being contacted by agent Tom Knust, who had assurances from Doug O’Neill, among other trainers, that they would welcome the veteran rider who had won titles at both Calder in Florida and Monmouth Park in New Jersey.
“Thanks to Tom Knust, Doug O’Neill, Jerry Hollendorfer and others, I have been welcomed here.”
Trujillo, whose given name was based on his mother being a big fan of Elvis Presley, is fourth in the Del Mar jockey standings with 24 wins, one behind Hall of Famers Kent Desormeaux and Mike Smith, five behind two-time defending champion Rafael Bejarano. Del Mar Communications Dept.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
DURING SEPTEMBER, JOCKEYS TO JOIN EFFORT TO BRING AWARENESS TO CHILDHOOD CANCER
Jockey colonies across the country, in conjunction with racetrack management, are planning to make visits to their local children’s hospitals in September, which is designated as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
A number of racetracks including CDI properties (Arlington Park, Churchill Downs and Fair Grounds), The Stronach Group (Golden Gate, Gulfstream Park, Laurel and Santa Anita), NYRA (Belmont), The Downs at Albuquerque, Delaware Park, Emerald Downs, Belterra, San Joaquin County Fair at Stockton, Fairmount Park, Indiana Grand Casino and Racetrack, Lone Star Park, Los Alamitos, Louisiana Downs, Kentucky Downs, Remington Park, Prairie Meadows and Suffolk Downs have scheduled visits. The jockeys will bring a variety of gifts for the children including autographed goggles, provided by Perfect Trip, and horseracing-related coloring books among other items.
“We are happy to make these visits to children who suffer from this insidious disease and hopefully we make their day a little brighter,” said Jockeys’ Guild Chairman John Velazquez. “I know the jockeys enjoy visiting with the children,” he added.
“We wanted to get involved to make a difference in the lives of these children and their families,” said Jockeys’ Guild National Manager Terry Meyocks. He added, “we want to recognize the racetracks for their support and cooperation in helping to facilitate these visits. We will continue to work with other racetracks that are running in September to heighten awareness of childhood cancer.”
Jockeys’ Guild Vice Chairman G.R. Carter said, “the jockeys always look forward to visiting children in the hospital. We realize it means a great deal to them and it gives us a new perspective.”
In addition, the Jockeys’ Guild will supply jockeys at all tracks with live meets during September patches with the official Childhood Cancer Awareness gold insignia to wear on their pants during the month.
Scott Wells, President of the TRA and President of Lone Star Park and Remington Park said, “we appreciate the assistance the Jockeys’ Guild has given in rallying the jockey colonies in support of this important cause and we hope to make this an annual event.”
Contact: Jockeys’ Guild 859-523-5625
About the Guild
Jockeys’ Guild, Inc., the organization representing professional jockeys in Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing in the United States, was founded in May 1940 and has approximately 1150 members, including active, retired and disabled jockeys. The purpose is to protect jockeys, strive to achieve a safer racing environment, to obtain improved insurance and other benefits for members and to monitor developments in local, state and federal laws affecting the racing industry, and in particular, the jockeys. More information at www.jockeysguild.com and www.facebook.com/jockeysguild.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Carter has been steady in career and hopes to win All American Futurity
Consistent, hard working and successful.
Veteran quarter horse jockey G.R. Carter personifies all of the above qualities and is one of he most respected people in the horse racing community.
He's also had quite a summer at Ruidoso Downs Race Track and Casino.
On opening weekend, Carter won race No. 3,632 of his career, which made him the all-time most winning quarter horse jockey. He passed Alvin Brossette with the win. In typical Carter fashion, he praised Brossette for what he had done during his career and showed him a great deal of respect for his career.
Then in the first of two days of trials earlier this month for the Grade 1, 440-yard All American Futurity, which is slated for Labor Day, Carter qualified four horses for the biggest race in quarter horse racing. One of the horses Carter qualified, I'm a Fancy PYC, won't run in the race due to an injury.
He also qualified Thunderball B, Jm Miracle and Tempting Destiny.
"To qualify four horses was great and it was fun," Carter said. "There are so many great horses, so many great riders. It just went my way that day. All the horses are great and I'm not sure which horse I will ride."
The draw for the All American Futurity will be held Thursday with a field of nine entered.
The 46-year-old Carter is no stranger to success in the All American Futurity. He won the race in 1998 with Falling In Loveagain and in 2008 with Stolis Winner.
"I've been fortunate in my career because I've worked with lots of great trainers and owners," Carter said. "I've stayed healthy and I just have a genuine love of the sport and I try to give my best every time out."
Carter, who is a 10-time American Quarter Horse Association champion, will also play a factor in the 440-yard All American Derby, which is held on Sunday. He qualified Big Dashing Perry, Kates Dynasty and J Bar in the trials, which took place earlier this month. He won the 1997 All American Derby aboard Dashing Perfection.
"All American Derby and All American Futurity weekend is always one of my favorites and it's the best of the best in quarter horse racing," Carter said.
Carter has ridden winners of around $66 million and is closing in on 3,700 wins, which has earned him the respect of those involved in quarter horse racing.
"I admire G.R. because of his accomplishments and his dedication," fellow jockey Ricky Ramirez said. "He works hard at what he does. G.R. goes hard all the time."
Said trainer Mike Joiner: "I know G.R. pretty good and he has a lot of riding talent. What sticks out for me is his longevity in the sport, his athleticism and his horsemanship. G.R. never slacks off. He's a true professional."
There will be special first-race post times at Ruidoso Downs over Labor Day weekend to accommodate the major Grade 1 stakes races and the annual Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale.
The Ruidoso Select Yearling Sale starts after the final race on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It is quarter horse racing's premier offering of racing prospects.
First post time on Friday will be noon.
First post time on Saturday is 12:30 p.m. and the card features the Grade 1, $200,000 All American Gold Cup.
First post time on Sunday is 12:30 p.m. with three stakes races: the Grade 1, $1.9 million All American Derby, the $100,000 First Down Dash and the $50,000 Ruidoso Thoroughbred Derby.
First post time on Monday, Labor Day, is 1 p.m. with the Grade 1, $2.6 million All American Futurity and the $60,000 Ruidoso Thoroughbred Championship.
Monday, August 25, 2014
Junior Alvarado picks up North American win #1,000 on Monday at Saratoga
Jockey Junior Alvarado won his 1,000th race in North America on Monday at Saratoga Race Course, guiding Skerkis to an easy victory in the fourth race.
Backed at 9-2 in the $50,000 maiden claiming race for 2-year-olds, Skerkis settled behind a three-way scramble for the early lead in fourth, came four wide to offer his bid nearing the quarter-pole, and took over in midstretch en route to an easy score. His final time for six furlongs was 1:11.52.
"He was pretty sharp," said Alvarado. "Then I kind of sat down on him. When I started asking, he didn't respond very well, but as I started going with the whip, he kind of turned into another horse. He was responding pretty well."
"As soon as I turned for him and hit him a couple times, he responded right away, and I said, 'We're going to get it now!'" the rider added. "I've got to keep riding and winning; that's how I'm celebrating."
Skerkis is trained by Ken McPeek for Sylly Horses Stable.
Earlier in the meet, Alvarado, 28, picked up the biggest win of his career when he guided Moreno to a front-running score in the Grade 1, $1.5 million Whitney on August 2. He currently is eighth in the Saratoga jockey standings with 15 victories.
"It always comes when I least expect it. I've been [on 999] since Friday with a lot of good mounts, good horses, expecting this one will be the one," said Alvarado. "It seems like it was forever. I couldn't get it done Saturday. Yesterday, I got a good chance and I couldn't either. I wasn't expecting it at all with this one, but that's how it worked out."
Alvarado began his career in his native Venezuela in 2005 and rode his first winner in the United States in February 2007. After riding successfully in Chicago, he moved his tack to New York full time late in 2010. Top wins for Alvarado include the 2010 Grade 1 Beverly D. at Arlington Park with Éclair de Lune and 2013 Cigar Mile Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack with Flat Out. At Saratoga, he has won the 2012 Grade 1 Prioress with Emma's Encore and 2013 Grade 1 Forego with Strapping Groom in addition to his 2014 Whitney victory.
Monday, August 25, 2014
Mike Smith named JockeyTalk360 Jockey of the Week
Mike Smith won five races from just 15 starts, including the Grade I TVG Pacific Classic Stakes at Del Mar, to be named the JockeyTalk360.com Jockey of the Week. The title goes to the week's outstanding jockey in the opinion of a panel of industry experts. They looked at races run from August 18-24.
Smith won three graded stakes during the week and his mounts earned $1,061,872. His fans cashed mutuel tickets averaging $7.80 on his five winning mounts.
The Jockey of the Week is the centerpiece of JockeyTalk360.com, a new website offering a unique blend of news, features, social media and statistics that will appeal to racing's casual fans, as well as seasoned handicappers.
JockeyTalk360 is collaborating with the Jockeys' Guild and other industry partners to bring fans closer to racing's talented and fearless athletes. A majority of the revenue generated by the site is earmarked for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
Smith picked up four of his wins on Sunday, including the Grade I TVG Pacific Classic Stakes on Shared Belief, and the Grade II Del Mar Mile Handicap on Tom's Tribute. His other Stakes win was the Grade II Del Mar Handicap on Big John B on Saturday.
Smith had plenty of praise for Shared Belief after the 3-year-old maintained his unblemished record with his sixth win from six starts in the Pacific Classic.
“He just ran a terrific race,” said Smith after the race. “He’s a special horse. I heard someone say this might be the coming out of a super star. I think now this horse deserves that accolade. I’ll tell you what: he’s as good a young horse as I’ve sat on in a while.”
That's no small distinction, coming from a winner of 5,000 races.
The son of a jockey, Smith began riding races in New Mexico at age 11. He took out a jockey's license at 16, earning his apprenticeship at Canterbury Downs before moving to New York in 1989. Since then, he's won the Kentucky Derby (Giacomo), 17 Breeders' Cup races and the Irish 2,000 Guineas. He rode the legendary Zenyatta in 17 of her 20 starts.
Smith's win on Big John B in the Del Mar Handicap earned a trip to the Breeders' Cup Turf.
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 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.
To find out more about the great sport of horse racing, and to learn more about your favorite jockeys visit JockeyTalk360.com.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Kentucky Restaurant Overhaul to Benefit Permanently Disabled Jockey’s Fund
Out with the old, in with the new: central Kentucky restaurant conglomerate Bluegrass Hospitality Group announced Wednesday that the overhaul of one of its eateries will benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockey’s Fund.
Harry’s, which is located in the Lansdowne Shoppes in Lexington, Ky., will be overhauled with a new concept, which will include a sizable selection of wine and bourbon, as well as classic southern fare. The unnamed new restaurant/bar will be open in time for Keeneland’s fall meet.
According to a Business Lexington report, BHG will host an online sale of decorations from Harry’s, including jockey silks, vintage Keeneland photos, and other racing memorabilia on Aug. 23, though some items are already listed for purchase. PDJF will get 100 percent of the proceeds.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Irad Ortiz Jr. JockeyTalk360′s Jockey of the Week
Irad Ortiz Jr. won 12 races this week, including the Alydar Stakes at Saratoga to earn $631,017. The run of success made him the first repeat winner as the JockeyTalk360.com Jockey of the Week. The title goes to the week’s outstanding jockey in the opinion of a panel of industry experts. They looked at races run from August 11-17. Ortiz previously won the title for the week of July 28-August 3.
The Jockey of the Week is the centerpiece of JockeyTalk360.com, a new website offering a unique blend of news, features, social media and statistics that will appeal to racing’s casual fans, as well as seasoned handicappers.
JockeyTalk360 is collaborating with the Jockeys’ Guild and other industry partners to bring fans closer to racing’s talented and fearless athletes. A majority of the revenue generated by the site is earmarked for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
Underscoring his achievements this week, Ortiz won three races in three starts on Saturday, rewarding his fans with an average $2 win mutuel of $27.53. His 12 winning mounts for the week were worth an average $13.88 payoff. He is leading the Saratoga meet in earnings and number of stakes wins.
Ortiz, who also celebrated his 22nd birthday this week, is a graduate of Puerto Rico’s Escuela Vocacional Hipica, a school for prospective jockeys. His grandfather and an uncle are also jockeys. His younger brother, Jose Ortiz, is also a top-ranked jockey.
He was following in the footsteps of his idol, Angel Cordero Jr. when he set out for New York, saying, “I wanted to ride against the best jockeys.”
In winning the Alydar Stakes on Farhaan, he upset Grade I winner and stablemate Alpha, who finished third. Ortiz and Farhaan were the longest odds on the board at 7.9-1.
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 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.
To find out more about the great sport of horse racing, and to learn more about your favorite jockeys visit JockeyTalk360.com
Monday, August 18, 2014
Battle of the Saddle August 30 to Benefit PDJF
Two of Del Mar’s top jockeys – Corey Nakatani and Elvis Trujillo – are going to battle it out in the ring rather than on the track Saturday, August 30, in a highly anticipated three-round exhibition boxing match. Winner earns jockeys’ room bragging rights as these two elite athletes trade punches to raise money for a great cause in what has been dubbed the “Battle Off The Saddle.”
The event – featuring seven fights with the tussle between Nakatani and Trujillo being the sixth of the night – will begin immediately following the last race of the day at approximately 7:15 p.m. The professional main event features WBC Caribbean Champion Ruben “El Cobra” Garcia (10-0, 5 KOs) of Cancun, Mexico and battle-tested Javier “El Bravo” Gallo (21-9, 12 KOS) of Buena Park.
The coming to blows in the “Battle Off The Saddle” benefits the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, a public charity that provides financial assistance to some 60 former jockeys who suffered career-ending injuries while riding. A percentage of each reserved ticket purchased will be donated to the Fund, which is overseen by The Jockeys’ Guild. Advanced tickets can be purchased via ringsideatdelmar.com.
Forty-three-year-old Corey “Knock Out” Nakatani, is one of the top athletes in the room and a man who has never shied from a scuffle in the past, giving him the reputation as a bit of a racing bad boy. The veteran rider, who will celebrate his 26th year in the saddle this October, has more than 3,700 wins and $221 million in purses to his credit.
Newer to the scene, but riding at the top of his game, is 30-year-old Elvis “Heart Break” Trujillo. The Panamanian is currently tied for leading rider at the shore oval with 18 wins in the first 21 days of racing. In his 13-year-career he has won nearly 2,000 races and more than $61 million in purses. Before finding his passion for racing, Trujillo trained to be a boxer in his youth, a fact that could certainly come into play in the “Battle Off The Saddle”.
Nakatani and Trujillo will officially weigh in for their fight between races in the winner’s circle at Del Mar Friday, August 29.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Communications Department
Monday, August 18, 2014
Jockeys raise nearly $3,000 for injured rider Michael Straight
An autograph session featuring every jockey riding at Saratoga Race Course raised $2,927 on Sunday afternoon to benefit injured jockey Michael Straight.
In addition to the money raised, the Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation made a $5,000 donation to Straight, who grew up in East Greenbush, N.Y. not far from Saratoga, and who was on hand at the track.
For a $10 donation, fans received a copy of a spectacular photo of the entire Saratoga jockey colony lined up in the paddock in front of the statue of 1993 Kentucky Derby and Travers winner Sea Hero, and lined up for autographs from riders on the Saratoga Silks Room porch.
All proceeds went to Straight, who was paralyzed from the waist down in a spill at Arlington Park in 2009. Straight has volunteered to work with The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and begun walking in a bionic exoskeleton. The exoskeleton provides upright ambulation for people with spinal cord injuries and gives them the ability to stand and walk again on their own. Straight, who suffered head and spinal injuries, has progressed to the point where he has walked for eight minutes, 25 seconds and taken 126 steps.
"We are so appreciative of The Miami Project, what they have done and are continuing to do," said Hall of Famer John Velazquez, Chairman of the Jockeys' Guild and Board member of the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF). "This research is very important for so many lives, including a number of jockeys who receive support from the PDJF, as well as other individuals in the racing industry. We are so proud of Michael. His hard work and determination is inspiring to all of us." NYRA Communications Department
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