LEANDRO GONÇALVES NAMED HILTON GARDEN INN JOCKEY OF THE MONTH AT TAMPA BAY
By age nine Gonçalves was riding Quarter Horse races. "The owner was looking for a small boy to ride, and I was only about 29 kilos (65 pounds)," he said. "In those races every horse ran in a lane with rails on both sides, so I just had to hang on." He won his first race.
Describing himself as very competitive with a great love for horses, Gonçalves went to a local training center at age 14 to work as an exercise rider. A year later, in 1998, he earned admission to the jockey school connected to São Paulo's Cidade Jardim racetrack. After a required four months of classroom and hands-on work, students advance to riding races, and their graduation date depends on how quickly they win. Gonçalves proved himself the leading apprentice and graduated in 15 months.
Gonçalves raced in Brazil from 1998 to 2004 and then immigrated to England with an eye toward eventually riding in the United States. After working as an exercise rider and jockey, winning six of 78 races, he came to California in October 2005, rode for a short time at Del Mar and Fairplex, and then moved to Mountaineer.
At that point, Gonçalves decided to step back, work as an exercise rider, and study the riding styles of top jockeys in the U.S. Eighteen months later he returned to race riding, arriving at Turfway Park on the last day of the 2007 Winter/Spring Meet. He won his first race back.
Since then, Gonçalves has moved his tack to Tampa Bay Downs, where in the week of December 11 – 23 he has booted home 3 winners and 2 second-place finishers 8 mounts. He will ride Ivory Empress in the Minaret Stakes here on New Year’s Day
Tampa Bay Downs Communications Department
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Rosario Named TT TODAY Jockey of the Week
Rosario rode five winners during the period from 14 starters that earned $464,260.
A Dominican Republic native, Rosario won the $250,000 La Brea Stakes (G1) on Switch, the $150,000 Sir Beaufort Stakes (G3) aboard Sidney’s Candy, and the $250,000 Malibu Stakes (G1) with Twirling Candy, who set a track record of 1:19.70 for seven furlongs to cap the opening-day treble.
Rosario started riding professionally in the Dominican Republic at age 14 and came to the U.S. in 2006 with the assistance of Dominican bloodstock agent and former trainer Herbert Soto. After riding at Fairplex Park and in Northern California, Rosario began riding full-time on the Southern California circuit in late 2007 for trainer John Sadler, for whom he rode each of his three graded stakes winners on December 26.
Rosario, 25, lives in Duarte, California, with his wife, Briana, and two children.
His top wins include the 2009 Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) on Dancing in Silks and the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (GI) aboard Dakota Phone.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
McCoy's award greeted with delight by racing
By Stuart Riley/Racing Post.com
The 15-times champion jump jockey was clearly touched by the overwhelming public support, which gave him 42 per cent of the vote on what he described as "a once-in-a-lifetime night".
McCoy received 293,152 votes, 220,957 more thanrunner-up Phil Taylor. Ryan Giggs won last year's award with 151,842 votes.
McCoy, who was third in the competition in 2002, became the first racing figure to win the award, adding another accolade to his unrivalled collection. A sustained campaign by the sport saw the racing community and the general public rally behind this year's Grand National-winning jockey.
Speaking to the BBC after the awards ceremony, McCoy said: "To win the Grand National is what I've always wanted, it is the biggest horse race in our sport.
"To get that sort of recognition from the general public is just wonderful - for both the sport and myself. I can't describe how I am feeling, but I hope it does some good for racing."
Later, on Twitter, McCoy said: "Thank you everyone for all your votes and support, also to all the horses and people who made it possible. An amazing once-in-a-lifetime night."
Major racing figures also took to Twitter to congratulate McCoy on his award. Champion jumps trainer Paul Nicholls tweeted: "Get in there! Well done AP. You're a legend."
Derby-winning trainer Roger Charlton said: "Well done AP, much deserved. Seems like you won so easily, that one vote rather than 20 would have been enough from me."
Mick Fitzgerald, who was present at the awards, said on his Twitter feed: "What a result! Well done champ," while Paddy Brennan, who was also at the awards in Birmingham, said: McCoy is simply a legend. Tony, well done kid, we are all very proud of you."
McCoy's victory was costly for the bookmakers, but they expressed delight at his success. He was a best-priced 1-2 favourite for the award and was heavily supported. Bookmakers were split on his 2011 chances with William Hill going 33-1 and Ladbrokes 8-1.
Ladbrokes said McCoy was the best-backed winner in the history of the award, which started in 1954. "We've lost a fair few quid but we couldn't care one bit,” said spokesman David Williams.
“It’s wonderful news for racing. It must be a first for the bookies: we've ended up punching the air as a heavily odds-on and well-backed favourite has won."
Betfred boss Fred Done said: "I'm absolutely delighted AP has won this award voted for by the public. I'm lucky enough to know AP and he puts his body on the line every single day.
"He's a born winner but most importantly he's a gent. He cost me a fortune winning the Grand National and he was well backed to win this award. On this occasion I'm delighted to pay out and it's great for racing."
Other weighing-room colleagues to offer their congratulations included Harry Skelton, Will Kennedy, Aidan Coleman and Richie Killoran, who tweeted: "Absolutely delighted. My hero as a kid and still today gets, I'd say, the biggest award. Richly deserved."
Congratulations also came from members of the racing media, including Clare Balding, Cornelius Lysaght, Richard Hoiles, Sean Boyce, Greg Wood, Tony Paley, Aly Rowell, Nick Luck and Alice Plunkett. Trainers Kim Bailey, Stef Higgins and David Marnane also saluted McCoy's achievement.
Arsenal star Cesc Fabregas, who presented the award to McCoy, joined in the adulation on Twitter. "Made it even better giving the main award to a horse racing legend and big Arsenal fan like AP McCoy," he said.
Comedian Rob Brydon was another well-wisher and commented on the resemblance between himself and the champion jockey. "What a weekend," he said. "Last night I met Paul McCartney, tonight I won BBC Sports Personality of the Year."
2010 Sports Personality of the Year results
1 AP McCoy 293,152 (41.98%) 2 Phil Taylor 72,095 (10.33) 3 Jessica Ennis 62,953 (9.02) 4 Lee Westwood 58,640 (8.4) 5 Graeme McDowell 52,108 (7.46) 6 Tom Daley 50,763 (7.27%) 7 Mark Cavendish 44,170 (6.33) 8 Amy Williams 43,056 (6.17) 9 Graeme Swann 13,767 (1.97) 10 David Haye 7,538 (1.08)
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, Other Wishes
By Vic Zast/Horserace Insider
( Horse racing has many charities to which you can donate. This last Christmas wish, the twelfth of 12 Days of Christmas wishes, is that you remember the wishes of others. Please select one of these charities devoted to the human race – it is people who care for the animals you love, after all.
A good place to start would be the Belmont Child Care Association, a not-for-profit organization committed to providing early education and care to children of backstretch workers at the New York Racing Association’s racetracks. The BCCA’s Anna House opens its doors from hours before dawn until noon to children ages six weeks to six years while their parents are caring for horses. For a donation of $100, you could buy a warm breakfast, snacks and a lunch for all 52 of the BCCA’s pre-schoolers. For a $1000 gift, you could provide a computer system and software for the organization’s new after-school program. (http://www.belmontchildcare.org/)
Your donation of $100 to Race for Education would provide a student of parents who work on the backside with access to a safe after-school facility for a month. For $800, you could buy all the textbooks that a college student would need for a year. Race for Education enables young people of horse industry parents with significant financial limitations and those interested in pursuing an equine-related or agricultural career to pursue their education via scholarships and mentoring. (http://www.racingscholarships.com/)
A third charity worth supporting is the Permanently Disabled Jockey’s Fund. This industry-wide charity provides monthly financial assistance to more than 60 professional jockeys that have suffered catastrophic on-track injuries. If you give $5, $50 or $500 to the Fund, you can be certain there’s someone to benefit personally. All donations go a long way toward improving the life of person who’s given it his or her all for your enjoyment. But beyond that your gift let's them know that they’ve not been forgotten. (http://www.pdjf.org/)
And so the 12 Days of Christmas ends, may your holiday be jolly. Horse racing is a troubled business but is not without hope. There are good people at work trying to remedy its ills and to create a brighter future. If we don’t wish them well in the season of glad tidings, we’d only be letting ourselves down.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Cliff Berry TT TODAY Jockey of the Week
The Missouri native won seven races on Friday’s card, eclipsing the previous track record of six wins. Berry rode six winners on a single Remington card three times before while Tim Doocy accomplished the feat in 2003.
“Everything just fell into place tonight, I’m very happy,” Berry said on Friday. The night before, Berry won five races at Remington.
Since starting his career in 1981, the veteran jockey has ridden 3,639 winners from 24,098 mounts that have earned $48,006,530 through Tuesday. His top victories include nine graded stakes wins, including the 2009 Rebel Stakes (G2) aboard Win Willy, the Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (G2) with Jonesboro in 2009, and the 2007 Super Derby (G2) on Going Ballistic. Thoroughbred Times TODAY
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
NATION’S TOP JOCKEYS SET TO RIDE AT SANTA ANITA
From Santa Anita Communications Department
As The Great Race Place readies for its most highly anticipated opener in many years, the world’s finest reinsmen are once again set to converge on Arcadia for Santa Anita’s traditional winter/spring opener on Dec. 26.
Rafael Bejarano, Garrett Gomez, Joel Rosario and Hall of Famer Mike Smith headline an extensive “A” List jockeys’ colony that will also include Tyler Baze, Brice Blanc, Victor Espinoza, David Flores, Martin Garcia, Corey Nakatani, Martin Pedroza, Joe Talamo, Alonso Quinonez, Chantal Sutherland, Patrick Valenzuela and others.
Bejarano, a 28-year-old native of Peru, shifted his tack to Southern California in 2007 and quickly became a Southland sensation—winning six consecutive major meet riding titles in 2008 and through the 2008/2009 Santa Anita meeting.
Hard-working and likeable, the unassuming Bejarano is in search of his fourth consecutive Santa Anita title, a feat most recently accomplished by the great Pincay in 1973.In addition to being a great judge of pace, Bejarano has an uncanny ability to adapt to any game-day scenario and approaches each race with a refreshingly positive attitude.By all accounts, Bejarano, should he remain healthy, is destined to become a member of Thoroughbred Racing’s Hall of Fame.
Bejarano, through Dec. 12, had 2,370 career wins and he will again be represented this winter by his long-time agent, Joe Ferrer.
Garrett Gomez, fresh off victory aboard Blame in last month’s $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs, has been America’s leading money-winning jockey the past four years and was named the nation’s Eclipse Award winning rider in 2007 and 2008.
As he demonstrated in the Classic on Nov. 6, Gomez is one of the strongest finishers in racing today and this, along with his hard-charging style, has helped to make him one of the greatest big-money riders of all time.
The son of a jockey, “Go-Go,” as he is known throughout the racing world, is a native of Tucson, Arizona.Although he missed most of 2003 and 2004 due to readily acknowledged substance abuse problems, Gomez rebounded to become Santa Anita’s leading rider in 2007.He finished fourth in the 2009/2010 standings and is seeking his second Santa Anita riding title.
Gomez, who through Dec. 12, had 3,423 career victories, is represented by agent Ron Anderson.
As he closes in on a double digit victory in the race for leading rider at the current Hollywood Park Fall Meeting, 25-year-old Joel Rosario could well be the most dynamic up-and-coming young talent in America today.
A native of The Dominican Republic, Rosario, at 5’2” and 109 pounds, is a tremendous finisher who reminds many horsemen of a young Pincay.
Rosario’s first Southern California riding title came at the expense of Bejarano, as Rosario snapped Bejarano’s run of six consecutive riding titles, by leading the standings at the 2009 Hollywood Spring/Summer meeting with 79 winners, 10 clear of Bejarano.
Rosario then went on to run away with leading rider honors at the 2009 Del Mar meeting, registering 55 wins, 23 clear of runner up Tyler Baze.
Rosario has finished fourth, third and second the past three years at Santa Anita’s winter/spring meet and he’s in search of his first Santa Anita title as the 2010/2011 meet approaches.He currently has 948 career wins and he is represented by veteran agent Ron Ebanks.
The regular rider of the recently retired superstar mare Zenyatta, Hall of Famer Mike Smith anchors a deep and powerful Santa Anita jockey colony.
Smith, a 45-year-old native of Roswell, New Mexico, has won 13 Breeders’ Cup races, including the 2009 Classic aboard Zenyatta, in what was perhaps the most dramatic moment in Breeders’ Cup and Santa Anita history.
America’s Eclipse Award winning jockey in 1993 and ’94, Smith, like Gomez, is regarded as one of the greatest big-game riders in the history of the sport.Along with his 13 Breeders’ Cup triumphs, Smith has three Triple Crown wins, the 2010 Belmont Stakes with Drosselmeyer, the 2005 Kentucky Derby with Giacomo and the 1993 Preakness with Prairie Bayou.
In a career that has spanned three decades, Smith had amassed 4,925 career wins through Dec. 12.He is represented by agent Brad Pegram.
First post time on opening day is .For more information or ticket reservations, fans are encouraged to visit www.santaanita.com, or to call (626) 574-RACE.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Pino Rides 6,300th Winner
“I didn’t think we were going to win it,” said Pino, who lives in nearby Ellicott City and became the 15th rider to win 6,000 races on Nov. 7, 2007. “It isn’t as easy as everyone thinks to win races.”
Winning has not been tough for a jockey who rode his first winner, Ed’s Desire, at old Bowie Race Course in January 1979 when he was 17 on his way to eleven 200-win seasons. He ranked in the top five of the Maryland standings every year for 25 straight years (’79-2003).
“I have tried to work hard and fulfill obligations,” added Pino. “By staying consistent every day, the wins have added up. I have been lucky to ride a ton of quality horses for good people.”
Mario Pino and King Leatherbury Photo Credit: Jim McCue/MJC
Pino joined legendary King Leatherbury in the 6,300 club. The 77-year-old conditioner has 6,312 victories, third on the all-time trainer win list.
“To win 6,300 as a trainer is even more impressive,” Pino said.
ALL-TIME NORTH AMERICAN WIN LIST (active riders in bold)
Of the 14 riders ahead of him on the list, all but Gall, Snyder and Gambardella have been inducted into racing’s Hall of Fame. Pino’s goal is to retire in the top ten. Assuming Edgar Prado will also be in that select company, Pino will need to win 171 races to secure the ranking.
“To have my name on this list is awesome, I think they all belong in the Hall of Fame,” said Pino, whose horses have earned more than $114 million, 32nd in the all-time standings. “I have ridden with some great riders here in Maryland and to be able to stay consistent all this time has been worth it.”
Pino, who won his 5,000th race on his 41st birthday, became one of the principal players in the 2007 Triple Crown as the rider for Hard Spun with an exciting second place finish in the Kentucky Derby and a respectable third in the Preakness Stakes. The duo completed a fantastic campaign with a game second place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Maryland Jockey Club Communications Department
Monday, December 13, 2010
Cliff Berry Wins On Seven Mounts at Remington
Berry set a Remington Park standard for wins on one Thoroughbred program and became the first rider since Russell Baze at Bay Meadows in August 2006 to go seven-for-seven on the same card.
Tim Moccasin in 2001 and Richard DePass in 1980 are the only other known jockeys to go seven-for-seven on a single program. Eddie Castro owns the record for most wins on a single card with nine (from 11 mounts) at Calder Race Course in 2005.
The perfect night betters the old Remington Park mark of six wins on a card that Berry shared with Tim Doocy. Berry had won six races on a single program three other times. Doocy was the first jockey to achieve six wins on one card in 1993.
Favored Orphan Brigade in race 10 gave Berry the record. The 9-year-old veteran had won 23 career races coming into the $7,500 claiming event at six furlongs, earning $756,345 in his career. Berry felt his final mount of the evening could give him his seventh win if he was ready to roll.
“I knew he was the best horse in the race. He’s won over $750,000 by doing something right for a long time. The only question was whether he would break well and if he was feeling the part tonight. I knew he could do it.”
Orphan Brigade is owned by Carl Moore Management of Kennedale, Texas and trained by Bret Calhoun.
The seven wins for Berry came aboard Sunset Rider ($6 to win) in race 2, Fleet Shopper ($13.40) in race 3, Chasin Gypsy ($8.60) in race 5, Crossfirehurricane ($5.80) in race 6, Dixie Hearth ($5.40) in race 8, and Going Okie ($11.60) in race 9 before Orphan Brigade ($6.20) in the 10th.
The flurry of 12 wins the past two nights catapulted Berry clear of all rivals in the jockey standings, giving him 73 wins in 357 rides and clinched his 13th Remington Park riding title.
“Everything just fell into place tonight, I’m very happy,” Berry noted. “I’ll come back tomorrow night and try to do it again.”
Berry will be honored on the final night of the meet Dec. 11 after the first race with the Pat Steinberg Memorial Award, signifying the riding champion during the Thoroughbred Season. It is his first title at the Oklahoma City track since 2007. THE BLOOD-HORSE
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
ANNUAL MEETING OF THE JOCKEYS’ GUILD CONCLUDES IN ARIZONA
The Annual Assembly was held in conjunction with the University of Arizona’s 2010 Symposium on Racing and Gaming, at the Westin La Paloma Resort in Tucson, Arizona.
The joint seminar was presented by the Jockeys’ Guild, Association of Racing CommissionersInternational (ARCI) and the Race Track Industry Program, which addressed important medical safety issues involving riders.
The panel included Dr. Ed Hall, Director of the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center at the University of Kentucky; Dr. Oswald Steward, Director, Reeve-Irvine Research Center, Anatomy & Neurology School of Medicine at UC Irvine; Dr. Dalton Dietrich, Director of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis; Mike Ziegler, Executive Director of the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance, who discussed best practices and minimum standards and Brad Kimbrell, Executive Vice President of InCompass who discussed the importance of the Jockey Health and Information System and the development of a national Jockey Injury Database.
Also on the agenda, retired NBC White House Correspondent Richard Valeriani conducted a seminar for Guild members on the media and how jockeys can best relate to the press.
Victor Espinosa, Jr., Vice President of the Equibase Company, spoke to the assembly about future developments at Equibase.
The Guild heard from Nancy LaSala, Executive Director of the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF), regarding the accomplishments of the organization in 2010 and its hope for the future.The Guild adopted a resolution urging the tracks, horsemen’s groups, owners, racing related businesses and other industry organizations to actively support and contribute to the PDJF.
During the business session, elections were held with John Velazquez re-elected as Chairman, G.R. Carter re-elected as Vice Chairman and Jerry LaSala was re-elected to the Treasurer’s post.Joel Campbell was elected as Secretary of the Guild replacing Jon Court.The Guild expressed a sincere appreciation for the dedication and hard work of Court in his position of Secretary.
Re-elected to the Board were Perry Compton, Rodney Prescott, Robby Albarado and Glen Murphy.Ramon Dominguez was newly elected to the Board.
The Guild adopted an annual budget for 2011 that continues the process of erasing any deficits from the Chapter 11 proceeding that ended in 2008.
A committee consisting of Guild members and staff was appointed to further consider several insurance opportunities that would provide Guild members with additional coverage for on track accidents.
The Guild extensively discussed the status of its 2011 Safety Initiative concerning helmets, vests and involvement in research on these safety items.To that end, the Jockeys’ Guild has become a member of ASTM International (formerly known as American Society for Testing and Materials) to facilitate such goals.
The Guild received a presentation from Mike Campbell, President of Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association concerning legislation to extend workers comp in Illinois to racetrack workers.The Guild adopted a resolution supporting the extension of workers compensation to all racing industry employees in all states that do not yet provide that coverage.
Duncan Patterson, a long time member of the Delaware Racing Commission and the ARCI Rules Committee, addressed the assembly on various topics including the ARCI and the proposed Racing Compact.
“I would like to thank all of the presenters for sharing their expertise with the Assembly,” said Terry Meyocks, National Manager of the Jockeys’ Guild.I would also like to thank the University of Arizona and its Race Track Industry Program for providing us this forum.They, along with the presenters, have helped make this year’s meeting a tremendous success. The sessions were both helpful and informative to all of us who attended the event.The discussion of these issues will be helpful for both the racing industry and the Guild.”
Contact: Jockeys’ Guild(859) 305-0606
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Bridgmohan Named TT TODAY Jockey of the Week
Giant Oak was awarded the victory following the disqualification of first-place finisher Successful Dan for interference in early stretch.
Giant Oak by far was Bridgmohan’s most lucrative of nine winners during the seven-day stretch, accounting for $328,700 of the jockey’s $802,999 in mount earnings during the period.
The 31-year-old native of Spanish Town, Jamaica, moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida,when he was 13 and was introduced to racing by his father, Gerald. However, his father would not let him become a jockey until he graduated from high school.
Bridgmohan picked up his first win on Glitter Lad in 1997 at Calder Race Course. His first stakes winner was Panama Canal in the 1998 Next Move Handicap (G3).
Overall, Bridgmohan ranks 21st nationally with $7,085,800in purse earnings through November 30. For his career, he has more than 2,100 victories and $89-million in mount earnings through Tuesday, November 30. Thoroughbred Times TODAY
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
SAFETY SUMMIT’ HIGHLIGHTS 2010 ANNUAL ASSEMBLY
November 30, 2010
‘SAFETY SUMMIT’ HIGHLIGHTS 2010 ANNUAL ASSEMBLY
OF THE JOCKEYS’ GUILD
The assembly begins on Monday, December 6th with closed sessions in the morning and early afternoon.The remainder of the sessions will be part of the symposium and are open to all symposium attendees.
The Rider Safety Summit, a joint seminar presented by the Guild, The Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) and The Race Track Industry Program, will kick off the Symposium’s open sessions from The session will address safety issues involving jockeys.Participating in the panel are Dr. Ed Hall, Director of the Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center at the University of Kentucky; Dr. Oswald Steward, Director, Reeve-Irvine Research Center, Anatomy & Neurology School of Medicine at UC Irvine; Dr. Dalton Dietrich, the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis; Mike Ziegler, Executive Director of the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance and Brad Kimbrell, Vice President of Sales at InCompass.
The panel participants will be discussing medical research on spinal cord and brain injuries, as well as suggest minimum standards for facilities, ambulances, and on-track and hospital treatment.Ziegler will discuss the NTRA Code of Standards as well as minimum standards on medical personnel, facilities, ambulances and hospital care while Kimbrell will speak about Jockey Health Information Systems and an update on the development of a National Rider Injury Database.
On Tuesday, December 7th, Robert L. Evans, President and CEO of Churchill Downs Incorporated, will address the Symposium from
At , former NBC newsman, Richard Valeriani, will address the Assembly on the topic of jockeys and enhancing their public image.
Nancy LaSala, Executive Director of the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund discusses the efforts of the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund at
Jockey Mike Smith will be honored by The Turf Publicists of America with Big Sport of Turfdom Award.It will be presented along with the Race Track Industry Program Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, December 7th at
Following lunch, business will conclude with the Rider Safety Workshop featuring the panelists from the previous day’s Rider Safety Summit with more in depth discussion of the topic.