Author: C.J. Johnsen

Jockeys Mike Smith and Gary Stevens Share a True Bond Born of Rivalry

By Mark Whicker Last November at Santa Anita, Gary Stevens and Mike Smith became closer than even they realized. Smith was riding Songbird, the brassy 3-year-old filly who had never come close to losing. Stevens was on Beholder, the 6-year-old champion, coming off two losses. From the top of the stretch to the wire, they ran in unison, as if each horse were the other’s sidecar. Beholder wound up winning the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff by a nostril, as a crowd of 45,673 marveled. “To me it might as well have been a dead heat,” Smith says. “I couldn’t...

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Jockeys Canchari, Morales Score Notable Wins Sunday

Press Release Alex Canchari, who decided this year to ride regularly in Kentucky, clinched his first Keeneland victory in Sunday’s first race when he rode Boxer Boy for trainer Doug Anderson, who owns the 3-year-old Algorithms gelding with Nelson McMakin and Fred Dolezal. At odds of 13-1, Boxer Boy won the 1 1/16-mile race by a neck in 1:44.61. “My first win (at Keeneland) – finally,” Canchari, 23, said. “It feels amazing because I ride for (Anderson) year-round at all different tracks. He’s always supporting me, and to get the first win for him was amazing, incredible.” Canchari, who...

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Jockeys’ Guild Issues Statement Regarding Horse Racing Integrity Act of 2017

LEXINGTON, KY (September 27, 2017)  The board of directors of the Jockeys’ Guild, composed of leading Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse jockeys selected by their peers, supports the view that there needs to be a change to better protect the integrity of our industry and promote the level playing field that all members of the racing community desire and deserve. The Board spent an extensive amount of time, including multiple discussions with industry participants such as The Jockey Club, National Horsemen’s Benevolent Protective Association, Association of Racing Commissioners International, as well as others, discussing the proposed legislation and considering the most appropriate position for all of the Guild’s members. It is always the position of the Guild that the safety of the jockeys, as well as the horses, shall always be the first priority.  Additionally, the Board took into consideration the possible impact of the adoption such legislation on the entire industry, including the horsemen and owners, as well as the regulators and the racetracks. The Guild agrees that the proposed Horse Racing Integrity Act of 2017 (“HRIA”) has many needed elements that will standardize and improve uniform regulation of equine medication in our industry, and, in general, is supportive of a legislative solution.  However, the Guild offers the following observation, which it believes needs to be addressed before the proposed legislation could be supported: Lasix The Guild is opposed...

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Arlington Jockey Colony Finishes Strong

by Bailey Gallison for Arlington Park Over the years, Arlington International Racecourse has been a welcoming venue for riders to get their start or make a name for themselves, and that has held true in the 2017 season. Veteran jockey Jose Valdivia, Jr. has put on a clinic, winning over 130 races in 69 days and finishing in the top three placings at a 65% clip on his way to a third leading rider title. Meanwhile, three other jockeys landed their first career win in North America at the Chicagoland oval this summer. Anthony Nunez, a native of Puerto Rico who rode his first race in January at the Hipodromo Camarero, was aboard his third mount of the meet Let’s Skip Fiji ($29) when he captured his first career win on June 2. Italian-born Sofia Rodriguez brought her riding experience from Maronas Racetrack in Uruguay to Arlington and rode her first North American victory aboard longshot Bartbaalu ($53.60) on June 23. On an expedition to expand his riding repertoire came Australia’s Blake Shinn. The Melbourne Cup-winning jockey arrived in June for a five-week working holiday during which he trained in Maryland and worked horses for Wesley Ward at Belmont Park and Keeneland. Shinn secured his first North American win aboard the Arlington Racing Club’s Brisson ($5) on June 17, and returned home with a total of 11 wins from 74 mounts. Apprentice jockey Carlos Ulloa...

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Smith to Donate Percentage of Travers Day Earnings

from the Blood-Horse Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith has made a pledge of 1% of his earnings from Travers Day Aug. 26, to Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation. “The horses give us so much. This is my way to give back to them,” said Smith. On Saturday he is scheduled to have four stakes mounts, including West Coast in the Travers Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1) and Songbird in the Personal Ensign Stakes (G1). “Mike has been an enthusiastic supporter of Grayson and we certainly appreciate this latest example of his dedication to doing what is best for the horses,” said Dell Hancock,...

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Animal Element

Animal Element

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Half A Chance

Half A Chance

Ride to Win: An Inside Look at the Jockey’s Craft

Ride to Win: An Inside Look at the Jockey’s Craft

Horse Races NOW

Horse Races NOW
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