Author: CJ

Castellano Wins Athenia, Tops Earnings Leaderboard to Earn Jockey of the Week Honors

After winning the Athenia Stakes and leading the North American Jockey colony by earnings for the week, Javier Castellano was named Shuffle Bean Coffee Jockey of the Week for October 17 – 23, 2016. The award is voted on by a panel of experts for riding accomplishments by members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 riders in North America. Castellano was aboard Irish-bred Roca Rojo for the first time in the Grade 3, $200,000 Athenia Stakes at Belmont Park on Sunday, October 23rd, and settled the Chad Brown trainee into a ground-saving run in...

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Mike Smith and Victor Espinoza set for Breeders’ Cup showdowns

By Brian Zipse for HorseRacingNation.com Riding horses need not only be a young person’s game. They are far from the only jockeys of experience doing big things across the country, but two weeks from now, in the two most glamorous races of Breeders’ Cup weekend, Mike Smith and Victor Espinoza will take center stage in opposition of each other. Smith, 51, and Espinoza, 44, will be aboard the favorites in both the Breeders’ Cup Classic and the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Espinoza will go to the post in the Classic aboard the heavily favored California Chrome, while Smith will once again take the saddle on Songbird, for her biggest test yet, in the Distaff. Both superstars, piloted by their trusty partners, will likely prove tough to beat, but each will face new and talented challengers. Riding the second choice in each big race will be, you guessed it, Smith and Espinoza. In an attempt to end the career long winning streak of Songbird, it will be Espinoza aboard the champion four-year-old, Stellar Wind. A narrow loser of the Distaff last year, the daughter of Curlin looks to be coming up to the November 4 test in career best form, having knocked off Beholder in each of her last two starts. The next day, in the richest Breeders’ Cup race of all, California Chrome and Espinoza will have a target on their...

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Super Saturday Stakes Wins Secure Jockey of the Week for Irad Ortiz, Jr.

After winning three graded stakes during an extended weekend of Breeders’ Cup prep races, Irad Ortiz, Jr. was named the Shuffle Bean Coffee Jockey of the Week from October 3-10, 2016. The award is voted on by a panel of experts for riding accomplishments by members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 riders in North America. On Saturday, Ortiz won two of the seven stakes scheduled at Belmont: the Grade 3, $500,000 Hill Prince Stakes aboard Camelot Kitten and the Grade 1, $500,000 Flower Bowl with Lady Eli. Ortiz is the regular rider for Lady Eli,...

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Gaffalione Wins Three Stakes and Gulfstream Park’s Summer Riding Title to Earn Jockey of the Week

Jockey Tyler Gaffalione won three stakes on the Saturday card at Gulstream Park helping him take home the Shuffle Bean Coffee Jockey of the Week award for September 26 – October 2. The award is voted on by a panel of experts for riding accomplishments by members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 riders in North America. Gaffalione took advantage of a favorable post while stretching out to two turns aboard Dude Fantasy in the $500,000 Florida Sire My Dear Girl Stakes. Gaffalione secured a ground-saving trip while sitting just behind the early leaders....

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Jocks’ room custodian going strong at 90

FRANKLIN, Ky. (Sept. 20, 2016) — Frank Smothers is the state’s oldest racing official, last week completing yet another meet as Kentucky Downs’ jockeys’ room custodian. He’s not the guy sweeping the floor, but custodian in its broader sense of being a guardian or protector, overseeing the jockeys and valets. Smothers, who has been in horse racing since 1943, also turned 90 years old during the Kentucky Downs’ meet, a proud veteran of World War II and Korea. He has been the jocks’ room custodian every meet since 1994, with Kentucky Downs shuttered for two years in the late...

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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

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