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Friday, April 29, 2011

Jockey Cam Paradise!

From Press Release/Turf Paradise 
Turf Paradise is helping to pioneer cutting-edge technology that gives the fans that dramatic point of view.

This Saturday, April 30 the EquiSight Jockey Camera system will be used during the track’s Arizona Breeders’ Day races.  The EquiSight camera is mounted on a jockey’s helmet giving fans a rare view, and the feeling of being in the middle of the racing action. The cameras will be worn by all jockeys in three races.

The EquiSight camera was developed in cooperation with GoPro, a helmet camera company, and by two college students, David P. Matt and Kenleigh Hobby. The two are in the Race Track Industry Program at the University of Arizona.

After each “Jockey Cam” race, the video replay from the winning horse will be shown.  The races to be Jockey Cam-ed Saturday will be races 2, 4 and 8.

Turf Paradise General Manager Vince Francia stated, “This cutting edge technology could create a whole new feel for the way races are viewed, literally taking the fans from the stands to the heart of the action right on the track;  much in the same way advanced camera technology changed the look of NFL coverage over the past 20 years.”
Thursday, April 28, 2011

Joel Rosario named TT TODAY Jockey of the Week

Rosario, 26, won the Melair Stakes with Miles Rules, the Tiznow Stakes with Amazombie, and the B. Thoughtful Stakes with Ultra Blend on the April 23 California Gold Rush card at Hollywood Park to lead all jockeys with three stakes wins. He amassed $351,980 in purse earnings for the period.

Rosario has won the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) with Dakota Phone and the 2009 Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) with Dancing in Silks. He also guided Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) hopeful Brilliant Speed to a win in this year’s Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1).

A native of the Dominican Republic, Rosario has amassed 1,057 victories from 5,795 mounts that have earned $45,999,614 through Tuesday. He has posted 105 stakes wins and 58 graded stakes wins.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Coa Returns to Winners Circle for Presentation

From Gulfstream Park Communications Department
It was an emotional and exciting return for Coa, who broke his C-4 vertebra in a racing spill on Feb. 18. Diagnosed by doctors as a quadriplegic after being admitted to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Coa made a recovery that was deemed “miraculous” by neurosurgeon Dr. Scott Berta. The 40-year-old veteran rider, who was released from the hospital on April 14, was able to walk into the winner’s circle Sunday for the trophy presentation as well as receive a check of $25,000 from a benefit golf tournament..

“It feels great. I feel like I have a second opportunity to just be alive. I went down doing what I love to do, so just coming back to the track made my day,” said Coa, who is continuing out-patient rehabilitation. “I’m glad I had the opportunity to come back before Gulfstream ends, because it’s one of the tracks I love the most. With all the support from my wife Rebeca, my family and friends, this is all I need.”

The sixth-race, the $750,000 Capital Request Florida Thoroughbred Charities Stakes, was designated as the trophy race to honor Lopez, and the defending riding champion fittingly rode the winner, Romacaca ($4.80). Lopez, who was involved in the spill on Feb. 18 and missed nearly a month of riding with various injuries, rode 83 winners, 18 more than former Gulfstream champion John Velazquez. Javier Castellano was third with 59 winners.

“It’s unbelievable with all the good riders here, to win the title,” Lopez said. “It was great to have Eibar here today.”

Todd Pletcher took down his eighth straight training title with 48 winners, 13 more than last winter when he saddled  35 winners. Highlights of Pletcher’s 2011 season include saddling E. Paul Robsham Stable’s R Heat Lightning for impressive victories in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) and Davona Dale (G3), as well as victories by Awesome Maria in the Rampart (G3) and Sabin (G3).

Pletcher finished 17 wins ahead of Nick Canani, his nearest rival who was followed by David Fawkes with 19.

Frank Calabrese topped the owners’ standings with 33 trip to the winner’s circle.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rosario Named TT TODAY Jockey of the Week

Rosario won the Bachelor Stakes on Road Ready and the Count Fleet Handicap (G3) on Smiling Tiger at Oaklawn before guiding Brilliant Speed to a narrow upset victory in the Blue Grass.

With Brilliant Speed being pointed to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1), Rosario should be assured of his second Derby mount, one year after guiding Make Music for Me to a fourth-place finish in the 1 14-mile classic.

The 26-year-old native of the Dominican Republic secured $811,500 in earnings for the week. He leads all North American riders this season with $4,819,203 in earnings. He has 87 wins from 380 mounts this season, a 23% win percentage.

Monday, April 18, 2011


 The new scale is to go into effect on May 27, 2011, opening day of Arapahoe Park.


The new mount fee schedule calls for a minimum mount fee of $50 ranging up to $110 depending on the purse of the race.  Previously mount fees in Colorado were scaled from $40 to $105. 


“I would like to thank Mark D. McGregor (President of CHA), Shannon Rushton (Executive Director of CHA), Bruce Seymour (Chief Operating Officer of Arapahoe Park), as well as Dan Hartman (former Executive Director of Colorado Racing Commission) for working together to reach this agreement.” said John Beech, regional manager for the Jockeys’ Guild.  “I would also like to thank the jockeys in Colorado for their support throughout the negotiations.”


This new scale follows increases in mount fees through legislation at California tracks and negotiated increases at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Saratoga, Finger Lakes, Monmouth, Meadowlands, Atlantic City, Hawthorne, Arlington Park, Fairmount Park, Gulfstream Park, Calder, Tampa Bay Downs, Tropical Park, Fair Grounds, Louisiana Downs, Delta Downs, Evangeline Downs, Emerald Downs, Turf Paradise, Yavapai Downs, Indiana Downs, Hoosier Park, Delaware Park, Charles Town, Mountaineer, Prairie Meadows, Oaklawn, Fair Meadows at Tulsa, Remington Park, Will Rogers Downs, Churchill Downs, Keeneland, Kentucky Downs, Turfway Park, Ellis Park, Sunland Park, SunRay Park, Zia Park, The Downs at Albuquerque and Ruidoso Downs.  Jockeys at Philadelphia Park, Penn National and Presque Isle have also received raises in their losing mount fees.  Negotiations are ongoing in other racing jurisdictions.


Contact: Jockeys’ Guild (859) 523-5625


Friday, April 15, 2011

Coa Walks 'Miraculously' Out of Hospital

 Courtesy of Bloodstock Journal
“In all my years of neurosurgery never have I seen a case, an event, this impressive and this miraculous. To have a man who’s completely paralyzed from the neck down—a complete quadriplegic—and then be able to get up and walk is an extremely rare event,” said Dr. Scott Berta, the Memorial neurosurgeon who performed two surgeries to stabilize and repair Coa’s injury. “And do to it so quickly on top of it is pretty much unheard of.”

Coa, whose stride was remarkably fluid as he walked to the podium, impressed his doctors with his positive attitude, but he admitted there were times when he had doubts that he would be able to walk out of the Hallandale Beach hospital.

“I’m super happy. When I came to this hospital, for sure I had the hope to walk out, but I wasn’t sure I was going to. I knew I was going to work hard to do it,” said Coa, whose wife, Rebeca, waited nearby to take her husband home less than two months after his horrific accident. “Just walking out and seeing all my family and support from the doctors makes me happy. I’m a happy guy today, for sure.”

The 40-year-old native of Monagas, Venezuela, instilled confidence in his doctors that his case might be special.

“I think the credit for his miracle that occurred goes to the man himself,” said Berta, noting that the speedy action taken at Memorial Hospital following the accident was pivotal in his recovery. “When I first met him, I just felt something special about him. His attitude was so positive that he was going to work through it, I could tell (that he would make an amazing recovery).”

Dr. Allan Novick was also impressed with Coa’s attitude and work ethic during his on-going rehabilitation.

“He had a positive attitude. We just gave him the tools that it takes to work through this and continue to develop the strength sufficiently, first to move in bed, then to stand and progress ultimately to walking and caring for himself,” said Novick, director of Rehabilitation Services, Memorial Healthcare System. “With the combination of having the right attitude and the right tools, he was able to overcome.”

Coa, who has ridden 4,080 winners, said he and his doctors couldn’t have achieved the miraculous recovery without the support of his family and people in the racing industry.

“A lot of people involved in racing from every state, jockeys, trainers, owners and fans. Every single part of racing was supporting me and praying for me, and I believe that was one of the reasons why I here today.
“All the prayers from all those people and all their support pushed me to work harder and be here today.”
Coa will continue out-patient rehabilitation with the ultimate goal of riding again.

“That door is not closed, but I’m going to work hard to get full recovery first,” Coa said. “That door is still open, but I couldn’t know the answer today. But it’s one of my goals, for sure.”

If Coa never rides again, he will always be an inspiration to his doctors, as well as other people with spinal chord injuries.

“Eibar had a C-4 fracture dislocation that was extremely severe. It was a severe spinal chord injury. We actually term it a complete spinal chord injury.  He was a complete quadriplegic,” Berta explained. “His MRI indicated that it was severely traumatized and that he may never walk again. That’s typically what we see in these situations where people have such a high-energy trauma and they result in a fracture dislocation. The imaging portends a very poor prognosis. And typically when people can’t move anything at all and they’re a complete quadriplegic, they barely regain any function at all.”

Having made such a miraculous recovery, Coa walked out of Memorial Hospital a new man.

“I appreciate life more than ever. I really believe that I was born again after February 18,” he said. “So now I have two birthdays.”

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Eddie Castro Named TT TODAY Jockey of the Week

Castro and Toby’s Corner proved a strong combination as the rider saved ground along the rail, angled out sharply at the quarter pole, and guided the willing three-year-old between opponents in the stretch.

The Wood Memorial victory has the 26-year-old native of Panama poised to make his first career Kentucky Derby (G1) start. Castro, who attended jockey school in Panama, currently ranks 12th on the list of leading U.S. riders by 2011 purse earnings.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Coa Will Leave Hospital on Thursday

by Blood-Horse Staff
Coa, who had limited movement from the neck down after the spill, has improved steadily since the accident. On March 29, while making his first public appearance at the Florida Derby Golf Tournament at Woodmont Country Club, Coa got up from his wheelchair and walked.
After two neurosurgeries and extensive rehabilitation, doctors and Coa’s team of therapists have called his recovery “miraculous,” according to a press release issued by Memorial Regional Hospital South.
“They credit Coa’s determination and competitive spirit in helping to bring him back on his feet,” the release reads, in part.
While his voice was not strong on March 29, Coa spoke about his desire to return to riding.
According to Oxenhandler, Coa, his wife Rebecca, and neurosurgeon Dr. Scott Berta will be on hand to answer questions at 1:30 p.m., at Memorial Regional Hospital South.
Thursday, April 07, 2011


India Hatch, the executive director of the New Mexico Racing Commission, has temporarily approved the agreement.  The new scale is to go into effect on April 8, 2011 and then the full Commission is to ratify the new scale during its April Commission meeting.


The new mount fee schedule calls for a minimum mount fee of $50 ranging up to $110 depending on the purse of the race.  Additionally, a separate jockey fee was added for 4th place finisher.  Previously, mount fees in New Mexico were scaled from $38 to $105.  The new rule increases the mount fee scale for all races run at Sunland Park, SunRay Park, The Downs at Albuquerque, Ruidoso Downs and Zia Park.


“A lot of hard work over 2 ½ years has gone into reaching this agreement,” said Terry Meyocks, national manager for the Jockeys’ Guild.  “I would like to thank our regional manager John Beech and our in-house counsel Mindy Coleman for their dedication to reaching an agreement.  Most of all, thanks go to the New Mexico jockeys for their patience and support during these prolonged negotiations.”


Previously, an increase in the jockey mount fees was approved by the New Mexico Racing Commission at its meeting on November 18.  However, on December 14th, the New Mexico Horsemen’s Association filed a complaint and application for a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction and permanent injunction against the New Mexico Racing Commission regarding the new pay scale.  A temporary restraining order was issued.


After a hearing on February 7, 2011, the Court held that although the Commission has the power to establish and set a new jockey mount fee scale, so long as proper procedures were followed.  The matter was then put back on Commission’s agenda for further consideration. 


During its February meeting, the New Mexico Horse Racing Commission elected not to take any further action regarding the mount fee increase but instructed representatives of the Jockeys’ Guild and the New Mexico Horsemen’s Association to meet again in hopes of reaching an agreement.  Through extensive negotiations in the last thirty days, the two organizations were able to reach an agreement.   


This new scale follows increases in mount fees through legislation at California tracks and negotiated increases at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Saratoga, Finger Lakes, Monmouth, Meadowlands, Atlantic City, Hawthorne, Arlington Park, Fairmount Park, Gulfstream Park, Calder, Tampa Bay Downs, Tropical Park, Fair Grounds, Louisiana Downs, Delta Downs, Evangeline Downs, Emerald Downs, Turf Paradise, Yavapai Downs, Indiana Downs, Hoosier Park, Delaware Park, Charles Town, Mountaineer, Prairie Meadows, Oaklawn, Fair Meadows at Tulsa, Remington Park, Will Rogers Downs, Churchill Downs, Keeneland, Kentucky Downs, Turfway Park and Ellis Park.  Jockeys at Philadelphia Park, Penn National and Presque Isle have also received raises in their losing mount fees.  Negotiations are ongoing in other racing jurisdictions.


Thursday, April 07, 2011

Leparoux Named TT TODAY Jockey of the Week

Bolstered by the $600,000 winner’s purse, Leparoux led all riders by North American earnings for the week ended April 6 with $873,714.

The Florida Derby victory highlighted a tremendous week by the 27-year-old rider. In addition to the Grade 1 win, Leparoux won the Alligator Alley Stakes on Saturday with Longhunter (GB) and also captured the Sir Shackleton Handicap with Capt. Candyman Can and the Skip Away Stakes (G3) with S. S. Stone on the Florida Derby undercard.

He ranks fifth through Tuesday among North American jockeys by purse earnings with $3,090,271.

Leparoux is one of four jockeys to win Eclipse Awards as outstanding apprentice and outstanding jockey. He won the apprentice award in 2006 and the jockey award three years later, joining Steve Cauthen, Kent Desormeaux, and Chris McCarron as the only jockeys to pull off the Eclipse Award double.

A native of Senlis, France, Leparoux came to the U.S. in 2003 to work for trainer Patrick Biancone.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


Contact: Keith LaBelle at (502) 619-8533;
The Galt House Hotel, Official Hotel of Churchill Downsä and Kentucky Derby 137Ò, is excited to announce the inaugural Night of Silk Derby Party.  Slated to begin at 8PM on Saturday, May 7 once the festivities at the track have concluded, the first-ever Night of Silk is being produced and hosted by the Galt House to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF).  Showcasing Louisville’s finest cuisine and cocktails via a full open bar, a decadent menu and indulgent desserts including a life-sized chocolate horse, and featuring entertainment by renowned band Simply Irresistible, Night of Silk will create an atmosphere unlike any other Derby event.


As with any Kentucky Derby party, Night of Silk will have plenty of “star-power.”  Legendary jockeys past and present, including all Kentucky Derby 137 participants, will attend this Derby party as a show of solidarity and support in raising awareness and to assist in raising funds for the PDJF.  A handful of jockeys slated to be in attendance include: Rafael Bejarano, Gary Birzer, JavierCastellano, Pat Day, Victor Espinoza, Garrett Gomez, Laffit Pincay, Jr., Joel Rosario, Mike Smith and John Velazquez.  The Galt House has agreed to make a donation of at least $5,000 to the PDJF from the sale of each ticket purchased, along with all funds raised during live and silent auctions at the Night of Silk featuring one-of-a-kind, equine-related memorabilia.


In its initial year, Night of Silk is proud to have the support of nationally recognized partners Brown Forman, Saks Fifth Avenue Cincinnati, and Southern Wine & Spirits.  Each of these partners has joined with the Galt House to create a most memorable party experience, and to assist in fundraising efforts for the PDJF.  For example, Saks Fifth Avenue Cincinnati will host an in-store champagne reception on Thursday, April 21, from 5:30PM-7:30PM to kick-off the May event and will donate 10% of sales from the event to the PDJF.


"I couldn't be more excited to introduce the first-ever Night of Silk to the annual Derby party scene," said Mary Moseley, President and CEO of Galt House Hotel parent The Al J. Schneider Company.  "Our hotel is planning a Derby party unlike any other.  When coupled with raising awareness and funds for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, the inaugural Night of Silk will truly be an affair to remember."


“The Galt House Hotel has always been a Kentucky home away from home for jockeys and their families visiting Louisville.  Now the hotel is taking it a step further and we couldn’t be more thankful,” said Nancy LaSala, Executive Director, Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.  “Through the generosity of the Galt House and its inaugural Night of Silk Derby Party, monies raised will assist the PDJF’s mission of helping jockeys who have suffered life-altering injuries on the racetrack.  I would personally like to thank Mary Moseley and the entire Galt House team who are going to great lengths to ensure a successful Derby-night event, and to raise awareness and funds for our organization.”




Inaugural Night of Silk Derby Party

Benefiting the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund



Saturday, May 7th (Kentucky Derby)




Galt House Hotel

Grand Ballroom (2nd Floor—SUITE Tower)

140 N. Fourth Street

Louisville, KY  40202

(502) 589-5200; (800) 843-4258



$375/ticket (complimentary valet parking)

To purchase, call the Galt House at (800) 843-4258

For packages of 10 or more, contact Dee Asher at (502) 588-4045


Media contact:

Please contact Keith LaBelle with the Galt House Hotel

Cell: (502) 619-8533; E-Mail:



About the Galt House Hotel
Galt House Hotel, The Heart of Louisville, is one of the largest hotels in the Southeast, with 1,290 guest rooms and suites, 124,000 square-feet of convention space, and more than 50 meeting rooms. The hotel features the rooftop Club 360° Fitness Center with sweeping views of the skyline and waterfront, and the Conservatory, a three-story ‘Crystal Jewel’ that connects the hotel’s two towers. In all, the Galt House features seven full-service restaurants and lounges, including RIVUE, a 25th floor revolving, rooftop restaurant, with amazing cuisine. For reservations, call 1-800-THE-GALT, or visit


About the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund

Established in 2006 by a panel of industry participants, the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) was created as an independent organization to enhance the lives of jockeys disabled on the racetrack.  For more information, visit 


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Monday, April 04, 2011

Sunland Park jockey rides six winners on card

by Mary Rampellini/Daily Racing Form
His wins came aboard both Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds at the New Mexico track that operates a mixed meet.

Medellin won the first race, at 350 yards, with Wonwabbitwon ($8). He then took the sixth through ninth races, which were for Thoroughbreds. His winners, beginning with the sixth race, were Vera's Key ($2.60), Watchin Senorita ($9), Brother Louie ($6) and Get Down Wanda ($3) Medellin then won the 11th race with Dunn Slinger ($4.40).

Medellin's mounts have earned over $1.1 million this meet at Sunland.


Friday, April 01, 2011

Triple Crown jockey Cruguet, 72, to ride single race at Keeneland

by Bob Ehalt/Thoroughbred Times
Next month, Cruguet hopes to do something no jockey has ever done.

The 72-year-old Cruguet, who piloted Seattle Slew to a Triple Crown sweep in 1977, says he intends to honor his wife by riding a horse for trainer Jean Paul Pucet on April 27 at Keeneland Race Course.

Cruguet will ride Ratoath Special, a bay Include filly, in a starter allowance sprint for three-year-old fillies.

“I will be very disappointed if I do not win that race,” said Cruguet, who lives in Versailles, Kentucky.

Cruguet said that on that day riders will be asked to donate a share of their earnings to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund and he intends to contribute everything he makes to the charity.

“I’m only doing this for my late wife, Denyse,” said Cruguet, whose wife passed away on September 28, 2010, after a lengthy illness. “While I was taking care of her, she told me I would still do something special, so I am doing this for her. I know she would want me to do this and that she will take care of me on the racetrack.”

Frank Almonte, who was 69 when he captured a race at Suffolk Downs in August 2005, is believed to be the oldest jockey to win a race at an American Thoroughbred track. At the age of 71, he became the oldest jockey to ever ride in New York.

“He has been breezing the horse and he looks as sharp as ever,” Pucek said. “I have no problem putting him on the horse.”

Cruguet, who won 2,407 races, said he last rode in 1996. In addition to Seattle Slew, the French-born rider handled such top horses as Arts and Letters, Hoist the Flag, Bold Reason and San San.

Bob Ehalt is a Thoroughbred Times contributing writer


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