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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Meier Earns 4,000th win

Jockey Randy Meier earned his 4,000th career win by guiding first-time starter Officer Frank to a nine-length victory in the second race on Sunday at Arlington Park .

"I want to thank everyone in Chicago ," the 52-year-old Meier said. "I think I've ridden for just about everyone here. From the little person to the big outfit, I wouldn't be here with 4,000 wins if it wasn't for them. Arlington is a great home to have."

Meier, who earned his first career win in 1972 at Fonner Park in Grand Island , Nebraska , was presented with a bronze horse to commemorate his milestone victory. He was joined in the winner's circle by Arlington Park Chairman Richard Duchossois, track President Roy Arnold, Vice President of Racin Kevin Greeley.

Fellow riders doused Meier with champagne and also threw cake in his face during a special ceremony that was also witnessed by his daughter Emily, who is Arlington 's marketing coordinator; son Brandon, an aspiring jockey who hopes to begin riding in 2008;and agent Penny Ffitch-Heyes.

Officer Frank led throughout a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight race and drew off in hand. The Officer colt's winning time of 1:03.10 was a track record on Arlington 's Polytrack surface.

"I knew when I was going around the turn I was sitting on a ton of horse," Meier said. "It feels great to get it done."

Meier has compiled $55,814,994 in purse earnings since 1976. From 29,743 mounts, he has also ridden 3,643 runners-up and 3,514 third-place finishers through Saturday.

A West Point, Nebraska , native, Meier has earned nine of his wins in graded stakes races. He won the 1999 Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap (G3) aboard Supreme Sound (GB), and won the same race two years later with Duckhorn.

Meier has been riding at Arlington since 1982, and is tenth on the track's all-time leading riders list with 644 victories. Meier is also the all-time leading rider in terms of wins at Hawthorne Race Course and the now defunct Sportsman's Park.

The Guild would like to congratulate Randy Meier!
Friday, September 14, 2007

Jockeys Reach Milestones

Jockeys Grabowski, Feliciano Reach Milestones

Jockey John A. Grabowski earned career victory number 3,000 Sept. 8, guiding Diamond Hard Cut to a gate-to-wire triumph by two lengths at Finger Lakes Racetrack in upstate New York.

Grabowski, 44, a native of Coalinga, Calif., ranks second in the current jockey standings at Finger Lakes with 93 wins from 405 mounts and earnings of $1,246,497 through Sept. 8. He trails the leader, John Davila Jr., by 13 victories.

Diamond Hard Cut, a 5-year-old gelding, won the one-mile, 40-yard event for $4,000 claiming horses in a time of 1:43 1/5.

Grabowski has won six Finger Lakes Racetrack riding titles. He holds the record there for the most wins in a season, tallying 233 in 2000. He also owns the track's mark for stakes wins in a season with nine, which he established in 2001. He was the subject of the first ever bobblehead giveaway at Finger Lakes last year.

Jockey Richard Feliciano also reached a personal milestone of 1,000 victories Sept. 8 when he rode Robyn's Dream to victory in the seventh race at Mountaineer Park.
Friday, September 14, 2007

Meyocks named Manager

Industry insider named head of Jockeys' Guild


Orignially published on

By Alicia Wincze

His ties with the jockey community were formed before he was old enough to place his first bet.

Now, it has become Terry Meyocks' job to help guide the riders he has followed virtually his entire life.

One day after Dwight Manley announced his resignation as national manager of the Jockeys' Guild, former New York Racing Association president Meyocks signed a two-year agreement to take over the role effective immediately.

Earlier this year, Meyocks -- a third generation horseman -- and former Equibase president Philip T. O'Hara Jr. formed the Lexington-based Meyocks and O'Hara Racing Enterprises to pursue strategic acquisitions and provide management services within the racing industry.

In his new role, Meyocks will be completely involved in the day-to-day operations with the guild while O'Hara will assist in the management of the guild's business affairs.

"The guild is very pleased to be able to appoint as national manager an industry leader with the stature of Terry Meyocks," said jockey John Velazquez, chairman of the board of directors of the Jockeys' Guild. "This appointment shows that the guild is becoming stronger and more financially sound."

Manley stepped down as national manager on Wednesday citing family reasons.

Manley was named to the position last July after the guild ousted former national manager L. Wayne Gertmenian in December 2005 amid allegations of financial mismanagement.

Whereas Manley was a relative newcomer to the industry when he came into the position, Meyocks has been ingrained in racing since his childhood.

His father, Paul Blair Meyocks, was a noted jockey agent who handled such prominent riders as Earlie Fires and Steve Cauthen.

After starting his career as racing secretary at Calder Race Course in 1979, Terry Meyocks went on to work as director of racing at Gulfstream Park before joining the NYRA as vice president of racing in 1993.

"This is something that has been dear to me my whole life," said Meyocks, whose daughter, Abby, is married to jockey Javier Castellano. "I've been to so many hospitals and first-aid rooms when jockeys get hurt. I love this sport and this is an opportunity to work together with the industry to help both the thoroughbred and quarter horse jockeys."

Meyocks said the ongoing matter of securing affordable health insurance for jockeys as well as raising per mount fees will be among the first issues he plans to address.

The guild currently offers a health insurance plan for riders, but considering many jockeys must get by on the $40-45 they earn per mount, it's often difficult for them to afford the premiums, according to the guild's Midwest regional manager, Jeff Johnston.

"I think Terry is a perfect fit for this role right now and I look forward to working with him," Johnston said. "Hopefully this appointment assures the industry that the guild has turned itself around and away from the Dr. (Gertmenian) school of confrontation and wants to work with the industry regarding the health and welfare of our riders."


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