Author: Wynn Elliott

NYRA Bets Presents Derby Countdown: Jockey Shuffling?

by Natalie Voss (Paulick Report)   Every spring between mid-April and early May, the country’s top jockeys play a complex game of musical chairs (or musical saddles). Injuries or multiple commitments often mean at least one or two horses are headed to Louisville without their regular rider. For the veteran with multiple prospects, it can mean the biggest handicapping job they’ll ever undertake. For riders on the bubble, there’s the chance to get in the action – and maybe get an unexpected victory. This year, jockey Victor Espinoza finds himself the beneficiary of musical jockeys. In April, John Velazquez was the regular rider for Audible, Vino Rosso, and Noble Indy. He elected to stick with Wood Memorial winner Vino Rosso, while Javier Castellano picked up Audible. Castellano had previously been aboard Bolt d’Oro and was himself the replacement for Corey Nakatani, who had been in the irons for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. In the end, Espinoza got the call and has been working the colt in preparation for Saturday. If Espinoza gets the job done in the Derby, it will not be the first time the winning jockey has benefited from rider shuffling. Agent Ron Anderson knows the game all too well – he has kept the books for four Derby winners and says three of them got the call between the horses’ last race and the Churchill starting gates:...

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Keeneland Spring Meet Jockey Leaders

Keeneland Press Release Boosted by two multiple win days, Florent Geroux accumulated 19 victories to earn his first Keeneland riding title. He teamed with Brad Cox to win nine races this meet, led by the Central Bank Ashland with Monomoy Girl. He enjoyed a four-win day on April 22, with three of those victories aboard Cox trainees. Jose Ortiz finished second with 18 wins including the Kentucky Utilities Transylvania with Analyze It and Toyota Blue Grass with Good Magic. He rode three winners on three different days this meet, among them opening day and Toyota Blue Grass Day. Corey Lanerie won 16 races and Joel Rosario won 15 races to rank third and fourth, respectively. Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterGoogleLinkedInTumblrPinterestRedditLike this:Like...

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Apprentice Romero Ramsay Rides First Winner at Gulfstream Park

Gulfstream Park Press Release HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Apprentice jockey Romero Ramsay recorded his first career victory Saturday at Gulfstream Park with the hopes of following in the successful footsteps of his cousin, Rajiv Maragh. Ramsay, 18, guided Chuck Simon-trained As It Happens ($14) to a front-running half-length victory in the second race, breaking through aboard his fourth mount and celebrating with a large assemblage of family members in the winner’s circle. “This feels great. I always do it on video games, but this is better in person,” said Ramsay, who grew up in Hollywood, FL and attended McArthur High and Broward College. Ramsay thanked his family members, including trainer Aubrey Maragh, for their support while he pursued his childhood dream. “I’ve always wanted to be a jockey,” Ramsay said. “My uncle has given me a lot of horses to gallop and ride. Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterGoogleLinkedInTumblrPinterestRedditLike this:Like...

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In Their Own Words: Palace Malice Provides the Mother of all Great Moments

by Tom Pedulla (NYRA Press Release) The New York Racing Association is presenting a weekly series of diaries to help celebrate the 150th Belmont Stakes on June 9 at Belmont Park. “In Their Own Words” will feature prominent owners, trainers and jockeys 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 taking readers behind the scenes to understand the bold decision to enter Rags to Riches in the 2007 Belmont and his emotions during the scintillating stretch duel with Curlin. Rags to Riches joined Ruthless (1867) and Tanya (1905) as the only fillies to win the marathon. The second diary is from Cot Campbell, an innovator in creating racing partnerships. He remembers “the mother of all great moments” for him, when Palace Malice rebounded from a disastrous Kentucky Derby to win the Belmont in 2013. Future diaries will feature: Ogden Phipps II, a fourth-generation owner and breeder who was recently appointed to NYRA’s Board of Directors, recalls how Easy Goer turned the tables on Sunday Silence in 1989 after stinging defeats in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Marylou Whitney, celebrated as the “Queen of Saratoga” and one of the most prominent women in racing history, tells of the day she sent Birdstone to upset Smarty Jones in 2004. Jockey Steve Cauthen takes...

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Hall of Famer Prado Closing In on 7,000 Career Victories

Laurel Park Press Release   LAUREL, MD– Edgar Prado was still a teenager when he first came to the United States, unable to speak English but with an undeniable talent to ride racehorses. More than three decades later, as he approaches his 51st birthday in mid-June, the soft-spoken Peruvian is closing in on a rare milestone that speaks to both his ability and durability. Entering the penultimate weekend of Laurel Park’s winter-spring meet, Prado needs six wins to reach 7,000 for his career and join an exclusive club that currently has only seven members – six of them, like himself, enshrined in the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame. Prado is named in four of 11 races both Friday and four of 12 races Saturday at Laurel, where he has five wins, two seconds and one third from 17 mounts at the current meet after spending the early part of 2018 in South Florida. “I’m very excited, I’m very happy, I’m very thankful, I’m very blessed. I’ve met so many great people over my career and ridden so many great horses that makes this possible,” Prado said. “I thank God for letting me be here and getting this far knowing that this is a career than can be very dangerous. I’ve been very blessed to have a great career.” Prado is the leading active rider with 6,994 wins,...

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