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Monday, January 29, 2007

Guild Protests Tracks' Expulsions

Jockeys' Guild Protests Tracks' "Unlawful"
Expulsions of Ten Jockeys

(Monrovia, California) - The Jockeys' Guild has sent a letter to the Thoroughbred Racing Association and officials of three race tracks in Florida and Pennsylvania protesting what it calls the "unlawful and harmful" unexplained expulsions of ten riders.

"While your race tracks are private property, they are not exempt from the obligation to provide jockeys with due process before they are prevented from earning a living," wrote Guild National Manager, Dwight Manley.

"You are acting in concert to deprive these individuals of gainful employment that would otherwise be available to them. These jockeys have been deprived of thousands of dollars of income that must be returned to them and those losses are continuing," Manley stated in the letter.

The letter was sent to Chris Scherf of the Thoroughbred Racing Association, Peter Berube of Tampa Bay Downs Racetrack, Ken Dunn of Calder Race Course and Hal Handel of Philadelphia Park Casino and Racetrack.

The jockeys who were suspended from riding by the tracks without explanation in December are: Alex Beitia, Derek Bell, Jesus Bracho, Jorge Bracho, Luis Castillo, Jose H. Delgado, Rene Douglas, Terry (T.D.) Houghton, Joseph Judice and Ricardo Valdes.

In the letter Manley cited various Federal Court rulings and a section of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to notify the racing industry officials they have "a constitutional obligation to allow these jockeys to return to riding unless and until they have received adequate due process which at a minimum includes the notice of the charges they face and an opportunity to confront their accusers at an impartial tribunal."

He asked that the jockeys be notified "immediately that they are again free to engage in racing at your tracks."
Thursday, January 25, 2007

Leparoux wins Eclipse Award

Leading apprentice Leparoux runs away with Eclipse Award

By Frank Angst

Originally published by Thoroughbred Times

Apprentice jockey Julien Leparoux quickly ascended from regional success story to one of the nation's top riders during his record-breaking season in 2006.

Like Rafael Bejarano in 2004, Leparoux burst on the scene at Turfway Park where he posted a record 167 victories at the winter-spring meeting that concluded in spring 2006.

Facing a top jockey colony at Keeneland Race Course, Leparoux continued his success, becoming the first apprentice to win a riding title there when he tied Bejarano with 17 victories during the Lexington track's spring meeting. Leparoux then won an apprentice-record 87 races at Churchill Downs.

Leparoux continued to thrive against the top jockeys in North America as he won an apprentice-record 18 races at Saratoga Race Course before returning to Kentucky to nail down riding titles at the Keeneland and Turfway fall meetings.

Leparoux, 23, enjoyed much of his success as the first-call rider for trainer Patrick Biancone. The two French-born connections teamed to win 57 races from 268 starts, including 17 stakes. Leparoux garnered his first Grade 1 victory when he guided Gorella (Fr) home for Biancone in the Beverly D. Stakes on August 12 at Arlington Park.

The Guild would like to congratulate Julien Leparoux
Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Prado captures Eclipse Award

Kentucky Derby winner Prado captures first Eclipse Award

By Frank Angst

Originally published by Thoroughbred Times

Veteran jockey Edgar Prado has had several impressive seasons on the track but none with as much sheer joy and utter heartbreak as the 2006 campaign provided.

Prado registered personal-best seasonal earnings of $19,874,606 and joined Jorge Chavez as the second Peruvian jockey this century to win the Kentucky Derby (G1).

In addition to leading Barbaro to victory in the Derby and subsequently saving his life with a heroic effort in the opening moments of the Preakness Stakes (G1), he guided Round Pond to victory in the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1).

But his first Eclipse Award season will be most remembered for his professional handling of Barbaro, in both good times and bad.

NBC analyst and Racing Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens said Prado acted as Barbaro's fourth leg after the colt's heartbreaking injury in the Preakness. Prado's actions came first in a long line of human care and professionalism devoted to the injured Derby winner.

Later that month, Prado traded the white, royal blue, and Kelly green Lael Stable silks for light blue surgical scrubs as he visited Barbaro at New Bolton Center, returning to the role of encouraging Barbaro.

Barbaro's connections have repeatedly voiced their appreciation for Prado. With this year's Eclipse Award, so did the sport.

The Guild would like to congratulate Edgar Prado
Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Terry Thomopson 2,000th Win, Oaklawn Win is Number 2,000 for Terry Thompson

by Claire Novak

Originally published by Bloodhorse

Jockey Terry Thompson won the 2,000th race of his 15-year career when he rode David Vance trainee Peace Pledge to a three-length victory in Oaklawn Park's fifth race on Sunday.

"It was tough getting there," he said. "I took some bad injuries in the last few years, so it was good to reach that milestone. To be honest with you, I was surprised to be that close. It was nice to be able to win it for David Vance, he's a good friend of mine off the track as well, so it was exciting to do that for him, and Oaklawn Park really did it up nice with the sign and cake."

Thompson ended up wearing most of the cream cake on his face after some of his fellow riders greeted him in the winner's circle afterward.

Thomas Schueck owns Peace Pledge, a 7-year-old daughter of Our Emblem.

The 35-year-old Thompson, represented by agent Doc Danner (former agent for Pat Day), already ranks high in the standings at the Hot Springs, Ark., track where the 2007 meet began Jan. 19.

"The agent I was normally with stayed in Tampa this winter, and I knew Doc would be looking for a rider, so I took a shot and called him, and it’s been good so far," Thompson said. "We work well together."

Thompson said his goals are to stay active and healthy as he rides toward the milestone of 2,500 wins.

"To stay healthy is the main goal in our business, as long as you stay healthy and win races, you're doing good," he said. "I'd still like to look for the next 2,500 but right now I'm ready to hit 2,001."

A native of Omaha, Neb., Thompson has earned 93 of his career victories in stakes races, including the 2004 Acorn Stakes (gr. I) aboard Sand Island and the 2003 Arkansas Derby (gr. II) aboard Sir Cherokee. He won Oaklawn's Fantasy (gr. II) in '03 as well with Ruby's Reception. His mounts have earned $34,315,476 in purses since 1992.
Friday, January 19, 2007

Prado among nine U.S. jockeys for international competition in Peru

by Michael Burns

Originally published by Thoroughbred Times

Nine United States-based jockeys have agreed to participate in the Campeonato Internacional de Jockeys Roberto Alvarez Calderon Rey, an international jockey competition to be held at Lima's Hipodromo de Monterrico on January 30.

Edgar Prado, Rafael Bejarano, Jose Valdivia Jr., the event's defending champion, Jorge Chavez, Julio Pezua, Javier Castellano, Cornelio Velasquez, Fernando Jara, and Eddie Castro all have accepted an invitation to participate in the event.

Peruvian representatives are last season's leading rider Carlos Trujillo and former U.S.-based jockey Victor Fernandez. Peruvian-born, Argentine-based Edwin Talaverano will also compete in the all-star competition.

The championship will carry the name of the late Jockey Club del Peru President Roberto Alvarez Calderon Rey, who died in early December.


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