Author: Wynn Elliott

Mike Smith’s Bid for Racing History A Long Time in the Making

by Anthony Affrunti (NYRA Press Release)   Mike Smith was a ninth-grade student when he decided to become a jockey. The son of a rider – with an uncle who trained and grandparents who owned racehorses – he appeared destined to fall in love with the sport. The rest would be up to him. Smith left his home in Roswell, New Mexico in 1979 and began his career atop quarter horses, taking out his thoroughbred license in 1982. Secretariat was just six years removed from thrilling the world with his record 31-length winning performance in the Belmont Stakes to become the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years. Seattle Slew took them to the wire four lengths ahead in the muddy 1977 Belmont, and the memory of Affirmed battling Alydar to sweep the Triple Crown in 1978 was still fresh. In the ensuing years, Smith has become royalty in the Sport of Kings, earning a spot in the Hall of Fame. He now will have the chance to add his name to an even more elite group when he rides Triple Crown hopeful Justify in the 150th running of the Grade 1, $1.5 million Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets on June 9. Justify will be looking to follow American Pharoah’s 2015 Triple Crown win, which ended a 37-year drought, into racing history as just the 13th horse to...

Read More

Apprentice Jockey Hamilton Enjoys Four-Win Afternoon

Laurel Park Press Release   Apprentice rider Wes Hamilton, unseated from his final mount of the day on Friday, bounced back with three consecutive victories Saturday as part of a four-win afternoon. The 19-year-old Hamilton was uninjured after being dumped when 4-year-old gelding Tennessee Wildcat ducked in leaving the mile chute during Friday’s ninth race, a $42,000 allowance that was moved from the grass to the main track. Youngest son of Steve ‘Cowboy’ Hamilton, a member of Maryland’s jockey colony where he is a two-time riding titlist, Wes Hamilton began his big day with Slewzer ($23.60) in Saturday’s third race. He followed up with Tiz Surprised ($6) in the fourth and Whyyouask ($7.20) in the fifth. Both Slewzer and Whyyouask are trained by Dale Capuano. Hamilton picked up win No. 4 with Glory Hound ($5) in the seventh race. Glory Hound was the second win for trainer Damon Dilodovico, who also scored with Sudden Hope ($4.20) in Saturday’s opener. “It’s real exciting. It was a real good day,” Hamilton said. “Yesterday I hit the ground pretty hard and it took me a minute to get up. But I jumped right back up and I was ready to ride. I’ve just been riding as hard as I can all day today. I rode just about the whole card and it’s all going good.” The Hamiltons accounted for six wins from...

Read More

Smith Confident as Belmont Stakes Nears

Santa Anita Press Release   Mike Smith is not one to count his chickens before they’re hatched, or his victories before the race is official, for that matter. But the 52-year-old riding great, a member of the Hall of Fame since 2003, realizes full well that undefeated Justify is heavily favored and thus expected to become history’s 13th Triple Crown winner when the Belmont Stakes is run for the 150th time a week from today on June 9. But calm and collected as is his wont, he’s not about to become obsessed about it. “At this point, there’s not much to think about,” Smith said when asked his views on the classic seven days hence. “You can think all day long, but they haven’t even drawn the race. After that, you start thinking about strategy and so on, but right now, thinking too much would just drive you nuts. “You can’t help but daydream here and there, but on the whole, you just try to stay cool and calm. You just have one race to win, so really, you make it simple. You don’t try to think any harder than what you should.” Winning the Preakness by what appeared to be a diminishing half-length, the smallest margin of victory in his five-race career, Justify has his doubters for the mile and a half Belmont, longest of the Triple Crown...

Read More

Lynch, Trio of Trainers Capture Preakness Meet at Pimlico Titles

By Pimlico Press Release   BALTIMORE– Jockey Feargal Lynch and trainers Kieron Magee, Jerry Robb and Mary Eppler clinched individual honors Monday on a special Memorial Day holiday program to close the 12-day Preakness Meet at legendary Pimlico Race Course. Lynch, 39, entered the nine-race program with nine wins, three more than Horacio Karamanos and Rosario Montanez and four better than Laurel Park winter-spring meet titlist Jorge Vargas Jr., the only riders within reach. A native of Northern Ireland, Lynch sealed his second straight Pimlico meet crown when Vargas finished second in Monday’s opener. It is the second career riding title since coming to Maryland in the spring of 2016 for Lynch, splitting top honors with Karamanos and Kevin  Gomez last year. Lynch won three races on a single card twice during the meet, May 13 and May 24. “It’s a great achievement. Big thanks go to my agent, Scott Silver, who works very hard and gets me on some very nice horses. The meet just really went well. Everything clicked into place,” Lynch said. “Getting on the right horses is the most important thing. I’m very grateful to all the owners and trainers and everybody that’s helped me through the meet. We shared the title last year, so it’s nice to win it outright.” Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterGoogleLinkedInTumblrPinterestRedditLike this:Like...

Read More

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...

Read More

Foundation Detox

Foundation Detox

@JockeyTalk

Half A Chance

Half A Chance

Ride to Win: An Inside Look at the Jockey’s Craft

Ride to Win: An Inside Look at the Jockey’s Craft

Horse Races NOW

Horse Races NOW
%d bloggers like this: