Author: Wynn Elliott

De Alba to Retire from Riding on Sunday Night to Start Training Career

Los Alamitos Press Release   Cesar De Alba, the leading Quarter Horse jockey at Los Alamitos in 2016 and recipient of the 2017 Sam Thompson Memorial Jockey Award, will end his riding career this Sunday night after piloting Howard Nichols’ Dexxter in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity, which slated as the ninth race on the card. The 37-year-old will then embark on a new career in racing, as he recently passed his trainers test. “I’ve always said that when I retired from riding that I wanted to train,” De Alba said. “I’m ready for a new challenge. My father, Salvador De Alba, has been around racehorses his entire life. At San Luis Rey Downs he’s always had one or two of his own. He’s willing to help me in any way he can and I can tell you that he’ll be a big part of my team as I enter this new challenge. His experience will be so valuable for me. I’ve been fortunate to ride many great horses in my career. I have really good horses to ride in each of the big races this closing weekend. I would love to cap it off with a big win this weekend. I’ll go out there and try my best. A win in the Champion of Champions on BH Lisas Boy would be the cherry on top...

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Jockeys’ Guild Assembly 2018 Concludes with Newly Elected Officers

Jockeys’ Guild Press Release   Lexington, KY. (December 11, 2018)  The Jockeys’ Guild held its 2018 Annual Meeting, sponsored by TVG Betfair USA, in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 10 and 11, 2018. The assembly was attended by active and retired jockeys from the Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse industries, with jockeys representing tracks throughout the United States.  Those in attendance participated in presentations and discussions on how to enhance the sport of horseracing, improve the conditions under which Guild members ride, and what can be done to assure that the younger riders carry on the traditions of the Guild. Guild leaders and staff lead discussions on how members can access jockey benefits provided directly by the Guild and benefits the Guild has negotiated with horsemen organizations and race tracks.  Since 2007, the Guild has provided its members $13.5 million dollars in benefits, including health and welfare reimbursements.  Funding from  industry partnerships, which the Guild has with the majority of major racetracks, as well as the dues and fees paid by members,  is used to provide critical benefits to its members. Matt Nielsen of Stonecrest Partners provided an update on the retirement plan that has been established for members of the Guild. Jockey participation in the Plan is growing and more and more tracks are authorizing their bookkeepers to deduct contributions to the Plan from mount fees.  Jockeys who ride...

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De Sousa’s brilliant double seals IJC win

Hong Kong Jockey Club Press Release   Born in Brazil, but representing Great Britain, Silvestre de Sousa scored points in all four legs of the LONGINES International Jockeys Championship at Happy Valley tonight (Wednesday, 5 December) to run out the convincing and deserved winner. But that does not do justice to the drama of the evening, with the outcome only being decided in the final leg of a thrilling night’s racing. Ireland’s Colin Keane got his Hong Kong debut off to a flying start in the first leg when making his first ever ride at Happy Valley a winning one on the John Size-trained Special Stars.  Drawn widest of all in Gate 12, Keane broke alertly to take up a position in mid-division, tracking the leaders before launching his challenge off the home turn. Special Stars responded to his encouragement to run down the leaders in the home straight and won a shade cosily by a length and a quarter from de Sousa’s mount Midnight Rattler. “He did it well,” said Keane. “He was a little green early, but picked up well when I asked him, and he’s a nice little horse.” De Sousa struck in the second leg, with Gate 12 again proving no handicap, as he broke Jimmy Ting’s Glory Star from widest of all to take a lead that he was never to surrender. US star...

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Chad Schofield takes the Quaich and earns a treble at Happy Valley

Hong Kong Jockey Club Press Release By David Morgan   There was no sup of whiskey from the quaich for Chad Schofield after he took the Happy Valley feature tonight (Wednesday, 28 November), not with his evening’s work only partly done, but the rider certainly deserved a celebratory dram after sealing a treble in the Class 4 St Andrew’s Challenge Quaich (2200m). Schofield left the spirit-filled glasses for the tartan-adorned guests and dignitaries, and as the bagpipes’ drones and chanters played to the race’s 99-year tradition, he reflected on a profitable night. “A treble’s always good!” he smiled after guiding the Caspar Fownes-trained Smart Baby through a smooth passage to success. “Smart Baby won really well, he was back on the fence and I had a beautiful run,” he said. “But to the horse’s credit he picked up with the light weight and put the race away quickly. He was all alone the last furlong and it was just a matter of keeping him going.” The 3.8 favourite passed the wining post a length and a quarter clear of runner-up Happy Rocky, sealing a double for Fownes after Fearless Fire’s win in race four. “Two in a row – hopefully he’s not finished yet,” the handler said of his Quaich winner. “He’s a progressive horse in that class and he stays all day so there’ll be races for him...

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Irad Ortiz, Asmussen Score First Titles In Penn Gaming Challenge

Paulick Report Press Release Following 24 stakes at five different tracks that saw nearly $5 million in purse money given out, some new names stand atop the final standings at the completion of the 2018 Penn Gaming Racing Challenge as jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. claimed the title as the top rider in the series for the first time. Ortiz’s 73 points were good enough to best runner-up Tyler Gaffalione by 11. While his only two wins in the series came on Charles Town Classic day aboard Shaft of Light in the Russell Road Stakes and Midnight Poker in the Robert Hilton Memorial, Ortiz was a frequent guest at both Charles Town and Penn National this year notching a second place finish on Thewayiam in the $200,000 Penn Oaks and third place finish with Sower in the $300,000 Charles Town Oaks (G3) among his other mounts. Gaffalione edged out Ricardo Santana, Jr. by 2 points for the second slot. Trainer Steve Asmussen captured his first title as leading trainer in the Penn Gaming Challenge series on the back of his strong showing at Zia Park’s Land of Enchantment Day on Thanksgiving Eve. Brittlyn Stable Inc.’s Forevamo gave Asmussen his lone winner on the card when he took the top prize in the $150,000 Zia Park Championship but the Hall of Fame conditioner saddled eight horses in total including Combatant who...

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Half A Chance

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