Author: Wynn Elliott

HKJC Awards Temporary Jockey Licenses to Fill Void

By Bob Kieckhefer (Bloodhorse)                 The Hong Kong Jockey Club, in its annual renewals, has granted temporary riding licenses to four jockeys, including South African phenom Callan Murray, as it seeks to fill voids left by several top riders, including the popular Joao “Magic Man” Moreira. In an announcement June 8, the HKJC said Murray, Sam Clipperton, Alberto Sanna, and Grant Van Niekerk were awarded licenses from July 16 through Feb. 17, 2019. Murray, 21, jumped straight from the prestigious South African Jockey Academy at the Summerveldt training center to the center of international competition, riding briefly in the 2016-17 season in both Australia and Hong Kong. During that span, he returned home to ride three grade 1 winners on a single card on Champions Day at Turffontein. Click Here to Read More Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterGoogleLinkedInTumblrPinterestRedditLike this:Like...

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Mena Continues to Recover From Multiple Fractures in Right Ankle, Hopes for September Return

Churchill Downs Press Release Jockey Miguel Mena continues to recover from multiple right ankle fractures that he suffered in a spill at Fair Grounds in March and hopes to return for the September Meet at Churchill Downs. “I’m just ready to get back to action,” said Mena, who visited the Churchill Downs Jockey’s Room on Friday for the first time since his injury. “I am finally able to put some weight back on my foot. I had surgery in March but was in a pretty bulky brace until this week. I’m able to put on a regular shoe now, too. I’m going to continue rehabbing and getting stronger. Hopefully I’ll be able to come back for the September Meet.” Mena, a regular rider at Churchill Downs, was one of the leading rider at Fair Grounds with 29 wins before his injury. The 31-year-old native of Peru has won 1,844 races in his 16-year career including the 2011 Stephen Foster Handicap (GI) with Pool Play. Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterGoogleLinkedInTumblrPinterestRedditLike this:Like...

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In Their Own Words: Turcotte’s Unforgettable Ride Aboard Secretariat

By Tom Pedulla (Paulick Report) The New York Racing Association concludes a series of diaries to help celebrate the 150th Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets on Saturday at Belmont Park. “In Their Own Words” features prominent owners, trainers, jockeys and horsemen as they re-live some of the most stirring moments in the rich history of the “Test of the Champion.” The series opened with trainer Todd Pletcher reflecting on history-making filly Rags to Riches (2007), followed by Cot Campbell describing Palace Malice‘s 2013 triumph as the “mother of great moments” for him. Ogden Phipps II told of how much Easy Goer’s romp meant to his famous racing family when they denied Sunday Silence’s Triple Crown bid in 1989.  Marylou Whitney, celebrated as the “Queen of Saratoga” and one of the most prominent women in racing history, re-lived Birdstone’s upset of Triple Crown threat Smarty Jones in 2004. Steve Cauthen wrote of the thrill of being 18 years old and riding Affirmed past Alydar three times for the Triple Crown in 1978 in one of the great rivalries in all of sports and Julie Krone recounted her barrier-breaking 1993 win aboard Colonial Affair. Last week featured Ahmed Zayat, who recounted the 2015 romp that allowed the great American Pharoah to end the longest drought in Triple Crown history, and Michael Del Giudice, the Chairman of the NYRA...

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‘Tough Game for Women’: Female Jockeys Missing Again at Triple Crown

By NBC New York Mike Smith will ride Justify for a shot at the Triple Crown in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. He’ll compete against nine other horse/jockey combinations — and all nine other jockeys will be men. In fact, over the past 48 years, more than 300 jockeys have ridden in Triple Crown races, and only six have been women. A female jockey hasn’t competed in a Triple Crown race since Rosie Napravnik rode General a Rod in the Belmont four years ago. “It’s an incredible feeling, it always validated how far I’ve come, and making it to the level I wanted to be riding at,” said Napravnik, who retired from racing in 2014 at 26 while seven weeks pregnant. “It’s really all about the quality of horses that you’re riding. …That’s why we’re in the game and that’s why we ride to get to the top level.” But Napravnik is the exception. About eight percent of jockeys are female, according to the Jockeys’ Guild membership, and the majority never reach that top level. There’s a host of reasons why those numbers are so low, jockeys say. In interviews with NBC, five female jockeys described what they say is a long and persistent history of gender discrimination in the sport. Some say their careers have been deterred by sexual harassment and bullying. At a time when the #MeToo and Time’s...

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Geroux’s Ability To Make 114-Pound Impost Earns Met Mile Mount On Bolt D’Oro

by NYRA Press Release (Featured on Paulick Report)   Two-time Grade 1 winner Bolt d’Oro worked a half-mile Sunday morning at Keenelandunder multiple graded-stakes winning jockey Florent Geroux, who will be aboard for the first time in Saturday’s Grade 1 Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap. Owned and trained by Mick Ruis, Bolt d’Oro completed the distance in 48.40 seconds to rank 18th of 56 horses over Keeneland’s main track. He has now worked twice in Kentucky following his 12th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, also going five furlongs in 57 seconds May 28. “We just wanted to go a nice, easy half. We had our serious work last week and I thought it was a perfect work for him,” Ruis said. “He went as easy as you can go and he galloped out seven-eighths, and Florent said it was like nothing for him. The horse is fit and ready to go, so we’re excited.” As a 3-year-old, Bolt d’Oro was assigned just 114 pounds against his older rivals in the Met Mile, a “Win and You’re In” event for the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. It will be his first time against elders, and first race shorter than 1 1/16 miles since winning the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity at seven furlongs last September. Geroux will be the fourth jockey to ride Bolt d’Oro, whose first four races came under Corey Nakatani who, like Ruis, is based...

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