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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

John Velazquez named Jockey of the Week

Veteran rider John Velazquez cruised to victory as the Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week based on his impressive performance on Saturday at Gulfstream Park. Three of his four winning rides were in Stakes events, culminating with a win aboard the Todd Pletcher trained Materiality in the Grade I Florida Derby.

The win may lead to a tough decision for Velazquez, who is the regular rider of Derby hopeful Carpe Diem as well. Carpe Diem and Velazquez will go next in Bluegrass Stakes on April 4th at Keeneland Racecourse.

Earlier on the card Velazquez made a well timed move to angle out and just get up in time aboard War Correspondent to win the Grade III Appleton Stakes followed by a victory aboard Beauty Parlor in the Grade III Orchid Stakes.

Velazquez finished the week out with 6 wins, 4 seconds, and 3 thirds from 18 mounts and total earnings of $960,130.

It will be a busy time in the upcoming weeks as Velazquez plans to split time between Keeneland and Aqueduct.

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.

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, Turf Publicists of America, and the public consensus.

To find out more about the great sport of horse racing, and to learn more about your favorite jockeys visit 
JockeyTalk360.com.  
Monday, March 30, 2015

Sensors Will Teach Jockeys Proper Position; Reduce Falls

Motion tracking devices are being used to establish the optimal riding position for jockeys, as well as to reduce the risk of injury to both horse and rider. A research team from the Royal Veterinary College is analyzing the riding style[1] of more-experienced jockeys and comparing that style to novice riders to try to determine if the technique between the two differs significantly.

It’s hoped that if the position of more-experienced jockey’s is identified, that novice jockeys could be taught to emulate this position more rapidly and reduce the incidents of falls.

Initially using data collected from jockeys riding a racehorse simulator in a lab setting, the research team looked at how the rider’s body was displaced by the simulator’s movement, trying to determine if the jockeys with more experience were more stable and positioned differently.

Next, the team worked with the British Racing School (BRS) to collect data of jockey’s positions while riding live horses.

 

 

Building off earlier research, it was determined that after jockeys adopted the crouched riding style, horse racing times were improved by between 5 and 7 percent. This position reduces the jockey’s load on a horse and isolates their center of gravity, allowing the horse to move freely underneath the jockey. While the horse has to support the weight, he doesn’t have to move the weight forward and backward with each stride.

Fourteen measurement units on both the jockey and the horse allow researchers to track the movement of different parts of the jockey relative to the moving horse. Once researchers better understand the movements of both the jockey and the horse, the number of sensors will be reduced, allowing the device to become a part of jockey training. It’s hoped that these sensors will allow jockeys to improve their technique more rapidly, reducing the risk of injury to both horse and rider.

http://www.paulickreport.com/video/sensors-will-teach-jockeys-proper-position-reduce-falls/


 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Sheldon Russell Takes Laurel Leading Rider Honors

Jockey Sheldon Russell was the meet's leading rider with 43 winners, four more than Jevian Toledo. Claudio Gonzalez was the leading trainer with 20 victories, four more than Hugh McMahon.

Russell, who won the 1,000th race of his career earlier this year in the Cat Cay Stakes at Aqueduct, was the leading rider at all three Maryland meets in 2011 and was second in the rider standings at the major Maryland tracks in 2013.

"I’m very happy. Winter racing can be very tough, especially this winter, but keeping positive, keeping momentum and winning races makes it easier and makes it all worthwhile," Russell said. "It feels very good to win the winter meet. Big thanks to all the trainers and owners who have supported me and also to my agent Marty Leonard who made this all possible.

"The goal for Pimlico is to try to stay on top. The main thing is to stay healthy, and continue doing well. My goal is to be the all-year leading rider here in Maryland, so to win the first meet of the year is huge. I couldn’t be happier.”

Monday, March 30, 2015

Jose Ortiz Takes Aqueduct Inner Meet Title

Sitting atop the jockey standings with 77 wins, Ortiz won his first-ever meet title on the New York Racing Association circuit, besting his older brother Irad, who checked in second. Jose Ortiz sparkled in inner-track stakes races, scoring victories in the Stymie (Turco Bravo), Caixa Eletronica (Doubledown Again), Sis City (Pebble Beach Baby), Cicada (Noble and a Beauty), Jimmy Winkfield (Ackeret) and Hollie Hughes (Captain Serious).


 

Irad Ortiz, Jr. finished 10 wins behind his brother with 67, and Manuel Franco came in third with 58 winners.

Monday, March 30, 2015

GRAHAM GETS VICTORY 2,000

Meet-leading rider James Graham, who has clinched his first Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots title, earned his 2,000th career victory on Saturday afternoon when guiding Clint Joiner, Matthew Bond, and Jim Curry’s Grant Forster-conditioned Call me George to win the 10th race over the New Orleans oval in the Grade II New Orleans Handicap.  The native of Dublin, Ireland, scored his 64th win of 2015 in the process and is currently seventh in the nation in victories. 

The milestone comes on the heels of a career year in 2014 when the 35-year-old finished ninth nationally in wins.  During the current 2014-15 Fair Grounds meet, the multiple graded stakes-winning rider has ridden nine race cards in which he has scored three or more times and annexed ten stakes races – both meet-leading accomplishments. 

Though he scored his first career victory at Naas Racecourse in County Kildare, Ireland, Graham scored his first stateside race on July 1, 2003 on Dave McGinn’s Alan Shapoff-trained B. J. Star in a 5½-furlong claiming event at River Downs.  Ascending to become one of the elite journeymen in America, Graham has won three Grade I races and 25 graded stakes.  Thus far, his career mounts have earned more than $61,000,000. Fair Grounds Communications Department

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Winning Ponies with John Englehardt March 26

March 26, 2015: 'Winning Ponies' Welcomes Jockeys Guild's Counsel Mindy Coleman and Writer and Handicapper Gary West

Mindy Coleman will be our first guest covering legal issues and efforts surrounding the Jockeys Guild. The Guild was founded in May 1940 and has approximately 1,270 members, including active, retired and permanently disabled riders. The purpose of the organization is to represent jockeys throughout the country and to monitor developments in local, state and federal laws affecting the racing industry, and in particular, the jockeys. In the second segment veteran writer Gary West who is very familiar with racing in New Orleans, will join us to cover Derby and Oaks BIG points races as we en Read More




Mindy Coleman


Mindy Coleman is the counsel for the Jockeys’ Guild, Inc., the organization representing professional jockeys in American Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing. The Guild was founded in May 1940 and has approximately 1,270 members, including active, retired and permanently disabled riders. The purpose of the organization is to represent jockeys throughout the country and to monitor developments in local, state and federal laws affecting the racing industry, and in particular, the jockeys. Ms. Coleman’s childhood was spent in the Northwest, in Eastern Oregon and in Idaho. She grew up with a passion for horses, including dressage and jumping horses, as well as race horses. Her .....

Gary West


Gary West who currently is a frequent contributor to ESPN, was a regular columnist for the Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star Telegram. The son of a jockey, West was a college teacher before returning to the racetrack and writing about horse racing. He has appeared as a commentator on racing on ESPN and on CNN, and has hosted his own radio program on racing. He wrote several books about horse racing, and notably "Razoo At The Races: Diary of a Horseplayer" which is one of the funniest books ever written about the racetrack and horse racing. Gary West entertains readers with wit while imparting horseplaying wisdom and insight. West was the President of the National Turf Writers.....



http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/1448/winning-ponies




Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Jose Lezcano Named Jockey of the Week

Jose Lezcano wrapped up the Jockey of the Week award in part due to his back to back stakes winning double at Turfway Park on Saturday.

Lezcano piloted Don’t Leave Me to a 3/4 length victory in the Grade III Bourbonette Oaks for Pin Oak Stable and trainer Malcom Pierce. The veteran Panamanian rider then followed up that performance with another stakes win in the Grade III Spiral Stakes aboard Dubai Sky. Lezcano guided the Candy Ride (ARG) colt to the front at the top of stretch and held the rest of the field at bay for a 2 1/4 length victory.

For the week, Lezcano finished with 5 wins, 1 second, and 1 third in for 14 starts for earnings of $469,790. His 5 winners  this week averaged a $2 mutuel payout of $16.24.

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.

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, Turf Publicists of America, and the public consensus.

To find out more about the great sport of horse racing, and to learn more about your favorite jockeys visit JockeyTalk360.com.      
Monday, March 23, 2015

ERAMIA LANDS WIN 1,500

Journeyman Richard Eramia hit a career milestone on Thursday’s Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots card when guiding Louis Barbazon’s Andrew Leggio, Jr.-trained filly Ladasha to victory in the second race to capture his 1,500th career win.  Eramia, who missed a good chunk of this 2014-15 meet due to a shoulder injury from a late November post-race riding incident, has been ablaze recently – including a riding hat trick on Mar. 13. 

 

            A multiple graded stakes-winning pilot, the Uruguayan native won his first race in July of 1995 in his home country and is or was the regular rider of Louisiana champion Sunbean, graded stakes-winning sprinter Gantry and multiple graded stakes-winning gelding Grand Contender.  The 35-year-old has finished in the top-20 nationally in wins the last four seasons, including 14th in 2014 – despite missing the entire month of December.  His best finish was 13th in 2013.  He boasts a career strike rate of 15.4%, while in the money with 43% of his mounts.

Fair Grounds Communications Department

Monday, March 23, 2015

HALL OF FAME JOCKEY MIKE SMITH SEEKS SECOND SANTA ANITA DERBY WIN WITH UP AND COMING BOLO

A winner of a record 21 Breeders’ Cup races and considered by many to be the best big-money rider in American Racing, jockey Mike Smith figures to be a longshot to win his second career Santa Anita Derby with up and coming Bolo, who will try to turn the tables on top-rated Derby contender Dortmund in the 78th running of the West Coast’s most important Kentucky Derby prep on Saturday, April 4. 

            Dating back to Gallahadion in 1940, the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby has produced a total of 17 winners of the Run for the Roses, including two out of the last three--I’ll Have Another in 2012 and California Chrome last year.

            Trained by Carla Gaines, Bolo, a 3-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Temple City, had won two out of his first three starts with Smith on grass, including the one mile Eddie Logan Stakes on Dec. 27, prior to running a big third, beaten only 1 ¾ lengths, by Dortmund in the Grade II San Felipe Stakes on March 7, which was Bolo’s first-ever start on natural dirt. 

            Although Smith, who’s lone Kentucky Derby win came with longshot Giacomo in 2005, took off of Bolo to ride Ocho Ocho Ocho to an eighth place finish in the San Felipe, he’s more than happy to be back aboard for his next engagement on April 4.

Q.  You saw Bolo run a big third behind Dortmund in the Grade II San Felipe on March 7.  Can he  improve enough in the Santa Anita Derby to turn the tables on Dortmund?

A.  “We’re sure hoping so.  He had a slight tendency to get tired the other day.  He made a beautiful run, looked like he was going to be a big part of it, but he just got tired.  He missed close to three weeks of training in between the Eddie Logan and the San Felipe, so he definitely had a license to need that race and it should move him forward, but you just hope it moves him forward enough.”

Q.  He’s shown good natural speed on dirt and turf.  How important is that to you?

A.  “It’s good to have a horse that has tactical speed like that, who can put you in the race early and put you in a good spot.  It always helps.  The first time he ran, he got away real bad.  He used to be a little anxious in the gate but he’s gotten a lot better about it and he’s been breaking really well.”

Q.  He’s by the Dynaformer stallion Temple City and he’s out of a Chief Seattle mare.  Does he have the pedigree to be a top-tier Derby candidate?

A.  “I really think he does.  I don’t think distance will be a problem for him whatsoever.  Like I said, he got a little tired the other day from missing training but every time I’ve ever ridden him, he’s galloped out like a monster.  I don’t think the distance will be a problem, I think it will be a plus.”

Q.  If Bolo runs a big second or third in the Santa Anita Derby, would you commit to him for the Kentucky Derby, or would you wait?

A.  “I ride the Arkansas Derby (April 11) after that as well, so I’ll have to see how Far Right (by Notional and trained by Ron Moquett) runs and how Bolo runs in the Santa Anita Derby and go from there.  As you know, things can change a lot in these prep races so you don’t want to commit right now.  If you commit now and they decide not to go (to the Derby), you may have cut yourself off another horse, so you just want them all to keep taking steps forward and it should be no problem.”

Q.  If you can take a step back, and assess things as a horseplayer, who’s the best 3-year-old you’ve seen this year?

A.  “I think Dortmund is the best 3-year-old because he hasn’t missed a beat.  He’s the only one that’s been marching straight through.  He hasn’t missed training.  He hasn’t missed anything.  I think he’ll want every bit of a mile and a quarter and he’s already proven he likes Churchill Downs with the way he won there (7 ¾ length one mile allowance win on Nov. 29).  American Pharoah ran really well at Oaklawn the other day.  I’m not sure how much was in that race and it was his first race back, but he surely can’t be as tight as Dortmund is right now, so I’d have to give the edge to Dortmund.”

            A native of Roswell, New Mexico, Smith, who will turn 50 on Aug. 10, won the 2007 Santa Anita Derby with Tiago and he was also the regular rider of legendary 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta. 

Santa Anita Communications Department

 

PDJF

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