Author: Wynn Elliott

Van Dyke Guides Next Shares to Old Friends Victory

By Jennie Rees FRANKLIN, Ky. (Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018) — Next Shares, a horse that loves Santa Anita, proved on Thursday that he also loves Kentucky Downs, winning the $250,000 Old Friends Stakes under Drayden Van Dyke by 1 3/4-lengths over Siem Riep. A total of $5,815,464.58 was wagered on the 10-race card, fourth-highest all time and the highest for a weekday. There was $5,402,255 bet on the first Thursday last year. Trainer Richard Baltas shipped in Next Shares from California, where he had most recently run a poor 12th in the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile after stalking the pace for six furlongs. He was made the favorite in the Old Friends off the strength of three on-the-board finishes in two Grade 1 stakes and a Grade 3 at Santa Anita this year. The Old Friends is for 3-year-olds and up that haven’t won a stakes race in 2018. “He was too close the last couple times,” Baltas said. “He really wants to be back. He wants to be settled. Doesn’t want to be rushed at all. At Del Mar there were 13-horse fields and small turns. I don’t know if he really liked the Del Mar course. This was a good spot for him.” With the first half-mile timed in a solid 48.50 seconds, Next Shares sat seven lengths off a pace set by Siem Riep down...

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Lanerie Gets Fifth Title with 30 Wins

Ellis Park Press Release HENDERSON, Ky. (Monday, Sept. 3, 2018) – Lanerie won Monday’s 10th race for older maidens aboard Marzo. He also had three seconds, including in the 12th race that concluded the meet. That race was won by U S Citizen and jockey Edgar Morales, who put an explanation point on a fine meet that saw him tie for second in the standings with former Eclipse Award apprentice jockey Shaun Bridgmohan with 24 victories each. Morales had 188 mounts, to 100 for Bridgmohan. Bridgmohan’s haul included a six-win day on Aug. 5, the inaugural Kentucky Downs Preview Day. Lanerie led all riders in earnings at $816,797, which included sweeping the Ellis Park Debutante with Serengeti Empress and the Ellis Park Juvenile with Tobacco Road. Lanerie also was handed down a three-date suspension from the Ellis stewards Monday after being disqualified from second to ninth for causing interference in Sunday’s sixth race. That will force Lanerie to miss the final three days of Kentucky Downs’ lucrative meet. He said he doesn’t plan to appeal. Lanerie rides Thursday at Kentucky Downs and then will be back riding on Friday, Sept. 14, opening day at Churchill Downs. “I want to be at Churchill, even though those (Kentucky Downs) purses are good,” the 15-time Churchill Downs leading rider said. Brad Cox, who had no horses racing at Ellis on Monday, already had...

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Van Dyke Rides Stellar Season to Meeting Title

Del Mar Press Release Drayden Van Dyke went from six behind in the rider standings to one in front with a Del Mar record-tying seven wins on Sunday, August 19, and tenaciously held on through the final 11 days of the meeting to secure his first major Southern California riding championship at the 79th Del Mar summer meeting. The 23-year-old native of Louisville, Ky., overtook defending champion Flavien Prat, who was serving a three-day suspension at the time, to take a 26-25 lead and finished the meeting with 42 wins to 37 for Prat. It tied for the highest win total since 2014. Van Dyke had won titles at the brief Los Alamitos meetings during an Eclipse Award-winning apprentice campaign in 2014, but the championship was a first at Del Mar or Santa Anita in five years on the circuit. Van Dyke was also the top rider for stakes wins with nine. Prat and Tyler Baze had seven each. John Sadler had eight stakes victories, tying a personal record at Del Mar, highlighted by the victory by Accelerate in the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic. DEL MAR STATISTICS Jockey Standings (Current Through Monday, September 3, 2018 Inclusive) Jockey Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% In-money% Money Won Drayden Van Dyke 160 42 17 21 26% 50% $2,754,118 Flavien Prat 146 37 26 13 25% 52% $2,523,977 Tyler Baze 178 25...

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Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. Captures Saratoga Meet Title

Saratoga Press Release Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. notched his second Angel Cordero, Jr. award for leading jockey as the 40-day meet concluded Monday, Labor Day, at the Spa. Ortiz, Jr. won his second consecutive individual meet title, as he was the jockey, respectively, in the Belmont Park spring/summer meet. Ortiz, Jr. ended the two-year reign of brother Jose Ortiz at Saratoga by registering 52 wins and earnings of more than $4.5 million. He outdistanced Hall of Famer Javier Castellano, whose 43 wins were second, in registering his first Saratoga crown since he won 57 in 2015. Ortiz, Jr. piloted Diversify to victory in the Grade 1 Whitney on August 4 while also riding Call Paul in a win in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special on August 12. He capped his meet riding Qurbaan to a win in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch on Monday. “I feel great. It’s so exciting,” Ortiz, Jr. said. “We worked really hard to win the title and now we can enjoy it. My agent, Steve Rushing, did such a great job and all the owners and trainers who gave me an opportunity. Without them it wouldn’t have been possible. I won on a lot of nice horses this summer. Diversify winning the Whitney was a top moment. but they were all special.” Share this:PrintTweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like...

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Terry’s Charm Cruises To Victory In Monday’s Featured Allowance To Give Jockey Jose Ferrer Four Winners On The Card

Monmouth Park Press Release Jockey Jose Ferrer put on exclamation point on what will soon be his first Monmouth Park riding title, guiding heavily-favored Terry’s Charm to an easy 5½-length victory in Monday’s $40,000 featured allowance optional claimer – one of four winners on the card for the 54-year-old journeyman. Ferrer, who began riding at Monmouth Park in 1982, has an insurmountable lead in the jockey standings with two live racing days remaining on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 8 and 9. Ferrer has ridden 90 winners through the first 50 days of the meet, 22 more than runner-up Paco Lopez. “I wish they would extend this meet another couple of months the way it has gone for me,” said Ferrer. “I can sleep at night knowing the title is going to be mine, especially coming back from the injury the way I did and getting a second chance to keep riding. My goal was to come back and win the riding title here, so it feels great knowing it’s almost official. It’s awesome.” Ferrer was involved in a chain reaction spill at Delaware Park on Sept. 14, 2017, suffering several broken vertebrae, multiple cracked ribs and a collapsed lung – injuries that threatened his riding career. Doctors told Ferrer it would take six months to recover, but he was back riding Dec. 1. “It just means so much more...

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