Author: Wynn Elliott

Carlos H. Marquez, Jr. Captures 3,000th Win

By Churchill Downs Communications Press Release Carlos H. Marquez, Jr. notched his 3,000th victory in North America when he guided Frank Calabrese and trainer Michael Reavis’ Savemethelastdance to a two-length win in the 7th race Saturday at Arlington International Racecourse. His career total includes eight wins in Puerto Rico. Marquez was joined in the winner’s circle by his mother Elba Marquez, his brother Carlos E. Marquez, who is a valet at Arlington, his sister-in-law and nephews, as well as his fellow riders. “We all set goals, and I wasn’t expecting it to be this many,” said Marquez after the win. “We got lucky, and thank God I did it.” The 50-year-old native of Puerto Rico began riding in 1984 under the guidance of his father and professional jockey Carlos H. Marquez, Sr. The younger Marquez came to ride at Arlington in 1987, capturing the Grade III Arlington Oaks that year on Shot Gun Bonnie, but it wasn’t until 2001 that Marquez, Jr. made the Chicagoland oval his home base. He has won 23 graded stakes, with his biggest victory coming in the 2006 Grade I Queen Elizabeth II at Keeneland aboard Vacare for trainer Chris Block. In addition to the Oaks, Marquez has captured five other Grade III events at Arlington including the 2004 and 2006 Arlington-Washington Lassie, the Pucker Up Stakes in 2006, the Hanshin Cup in 2017...

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Emma-Jayne Wilson to Receive 2018 Avelino Gomez Memorial Award

By Woodbine Press Release TORONTO, May 28, 2018 – Emma-Jayne Wilson, who continues to make her mark on the racetrack and in the community, has been named the 2018 recipient of the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award. The 36-year-old jockey has won numerous high-profile awards and races throughout her distinguished career, including the 2007 Queen’s Plate with Mike Fox, while also lending her time and support to several charitable and public relations endeavors. Those are just a few examples of why Wilson, who celebrated her first win as a rider with Ali Olah on August 28, 2004 at Fort Erie, has drawn a large and loyal following over the years. It’s also why the native of Brampton, Ont. is a popular selection as this year’s recipient of the coveted Gomez Award. “My initial reaction was…I was speechless,” said Wilson. “It got me a little emotional and it still does. It’s really hard to put into words. I was speechless and humbled. But I’m so honoured.” Where does this rank in her list of accomplishments? “Pretty high,” she said. “I’m so fiercely patriotic to represent Canada as an athlete and this award truly embodies what it means to be Canadian. I’m just so grateful.” Wilson wasted little time getting out of the gates in impressive fashion, turning heads with her skills in the saddle and forging a close bond with thoroughbred...

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‘God Bless Her Soul’: The Story of the Orphan Who Lived Life as a Man to Follow Her Sporting Passion

By Fiona Sewell (ABC News Australia) The headstone in the Herberton cemetery in far north Queensland simply reads “In loving memory of Wilhemena ‘Bill’ Smith, Australia’s first licensed female jockey” — but Ms Smith actually lived her life as a man. Ms Smith’s extraordinary story came to light in 2005 after locals began researching the stories of some of the people buried there. Her story is one of several detailed in a book called Ghosts of a Mining town, edited by Herberton resident Ivan Searston. “We still don’t know much about her,” Mr Searston said. “She was born in 1886 and was orphaned at a young age. She ran away from an orphanage in Western Australia, somehow she ended up in north Queensland.” From miner to successful jockey, all as a man Although it is unclear exactly when or why Smith started living as a man, it is believed she lived this way for many years and that it helped her to find work in professions where females were not often employed. “She worked as a miner, a labourer on the Cairns wharf, at the brewery and as a jockey,” Mr Searston said. Ms Smith eventually found herself working in a stable in far north Queensland. Using the alias Bill, Ms Smith rode at race tracks in Cairns, Mareeba, Mount Garnet, Tolga, Innisfail and Herberton in Far North Queensland...

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Kentucky Oaks Winner Florent Geroux Becomes U.S. Citizen

By Paulick Report (Press Release) Jockey Florent Geroux, a native of Argentan, France, became naturalized as a United States citizen Wednesday afternoon. “It’s a great honor,” Geroux said. “It’s truly home here. I’m very happy that I passed the test and was able to officially become an American.” “The timing was quite interesting for the test,” agent Doug Bredar said. “(Geroux) was scheduled to ride Gun Runner in the Pegasus World Cup (at Gulfstream Park in Florida) but the test was the day before in Chicago. Thankfully he passed the test and his flight got to Gulfstream on time. Then, the naturalization ceremony was in Bowling Green, Ky. during the last week of the Fall Meet at Keeneland where we were battling for leading rider. We got lucky there was another ceremony (Wednesday) in Louisville.” Geroux, 31, spent more than 22 years in France before coming to the U.S. in 2007 to work for trainer Patrick Biancone. However, an injury at Keeneland sidelined Geroux for several months and he went back to France while he recovered. In 2010, Geroux returned to the U.S. and was based in Chicago for five years until he moved to Kentucky in 2015. Geroux began Thursday with eight Spring Meet wins at Churchill Downs, most notably a half-length triumph with Monomoy Girl in the Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI). Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterGoogleLinkedInTumblrPinterestRedditLike this:Like...

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Father, Son Riders Pushing One Another in Maryland

By Tom Pedulla (The Bloodhorse) Veteran jockey Steve “Cowboy” Hamilton is indebted to his son, Wes, for helping him make a comeback on the Maryland circuit after a 10-year absence from competition. Wes, in turn, is displaying considerable ability as an apprentice and may someday owe much of his success to the tutelage of his father. Steve thought he rode his last race in 2006, when he decided to return home to Vian, Okla. so that he and his wife, Amy, could see their sons, Garrett and Wes, through their teenage years. He worked shoeing horses and enjoyed watching the progress each of their children made. Life was more than good, but Steve never quite put the racetrack behind him. “It never gets out of you,” he said. “It’s in your blood.” Apparently, it was in Wes’s blood, too. As he grew older, his interest in becoming a jockey deepened. The question became how each could satisfy his desire to ride. The answer? By helping each other. Steve needed to drop approximately 25 pounds, so he and Wes would run two and a half miles every morning and another two and a half miles in the evening. Steve limited himself to two eggs in the morning, a small can of tuna fish for lunch, another small can of tuna for dinner. Steve always will appreciate Wes for pushing him as...

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