Author: Wynn Elliott

Mike Venezia Memorial Award Voting to Open on Friday, April 27

By Najja Thompson (NYRA Press Release) Venezia Award to be presented at Belmont Park on May 28 The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) today announced that online voting to select the 2018 Mike Venezia Memorial Award will open on Friday, April 27.  This year, racing fans will choose among a distinguished group of finalists including Javier Castellano, Joe Bravo, Irad Ortiz, Jr., Jose Ortiz, and Manny Franco. Created in 1989, the Mike Venezia Memorial Award is given to jockeys who display the extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship that defined Venezia, who died as the result of injuries he suffered in a spill in 1988. Venezia, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., won more than 2,300 races during his 25-year career. Fans can make their selection at NYRA.com/Venezia with the online voting period to conclude on Tuesday, May 15. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, May 16 and the Mike Venezia Memorial Award will be presented in a special ceremony at Belmont Park on Monday, May 28. Created in 1989, the Mike Venezia Memorial Award is given to jockeys who display the extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship that defined Venezia, who died as the result of injuries he suffered in a spill in 1988. Venezia, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., won more than 2,300 races during his 25-year career. Each of this year’s finalists is an accomplished athlete whose aptitude and dedication...

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Oh, Brother! Identical Twins Join Hastings Jockey Colony

Hastings Race Track Press Release First Featured in the Paulick Report   Move over Henrik and Daniel Sedin, the Swedish twins who played for the Vancouver Canucks in the NHL. There’s another identical twin brother act ready to hit the the British Columbia sports scene. Meet Lenny and Learie Seecharen, 22-year-old jockeys from Trinidad who are riding Saturday and Sunday during opening weekend of the 2018 thoroughbred season at Hastings Racecourse. “There is no way I can tell them apart,” says racing secretary Nichelle Milner. “I thought I was talking to Learie for a full five minutes the other morning before I realized by the look on his face he had no idea what point I was trying to make. It turned out I was talking to Lenny.” The twins made their racing debuts together as 19-year-old apprentice jockeys at Santa Rosa Park in Trinidad on March 28, 2015. Lenny made his way to Hastings last year and after finishing in the money 30 times including five wins, he convinced Learie to join him for the 52-day meet this season. In Saturday’s opener, Lenny finished second and third in his two mounts and Learie wound up third in his only ride of the day. They rode in different races on Saturday. “I can’t wait to see them going up against each other in the same race,” says veteran track...

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Jockey Joe Bravo To Join Jockeys And Jeans As An Ambassador

Jockeys and Jeans Press Release   (JUNO BEACH, FL) – Barry Pearl, president of Jockeys and Jeans, the charity event to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, announced today that Joe Bravo has received the honor of joining the organization as its newest ambassador. Bravo follows such legends as Ron Turcotte, Laffit Pincay, Jr., Mike Smith, Manny Ycaza, Jorge Velásquez, Chris McCarron, Arnold Iliescu, and Tony Black. Joe is a very warm and caring person and believes in our cause. When I approached Joe on becoming an ambassador he immediately agreed and told me it would be an honor. Joe has had quite a career in racing and is well respected not only in the jockeys’ room but among horsemen and management alike. Here is a little information about “Jersey Joe” Bravo: Joe Bravo was born the son and grandson of jockeys George and Bartolo Bravo and it didn’t take long to get his first leg up on the game, too. He started riding Quarter Horses in Texas at the ripe old age of 13. He began his professional career when he got his first license at the age of 16 in 1987 and won his first race the following year. He made his name at Calder Race Course in Miami in late 1988. But it was back in his old home state of New Jersey that he truly...

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Irad Ortiz, Jr., Chad Brown, Klaravich Stables Win Aqueduct Spring Meet Titles

by Heather Pettinger (Aqueduct Press Release) Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr. and trainer Chad Brown wrapped up the Aqueduct Racetrack season with respective three-win days on Sunday to secure top honors for the spring meet at the Big A. Seth Klarman’s Klaravich Stable emerged as leading owner for the 13-day meet. Ortiz and Brown teamed up to win the $100,000 Memories of Silver, the final stakes race of the spring meet, with Significant Form. Ortiz also won Race 4 with Son of Mine and Race 5 with Major League to register his second straight spring meet title at the Big A. Brown also trained Inflexibility to victory in Race 1 and Long Haul Bay in Race 9. Named top rider at NYRA in 2017, the 25-year-old Ortiz led all jockeys with 24 wins and more than $1.2 million in earnings to record his 12th individual meet honors on the NYRA circuit. Manny Franco, fresh off his first leading jockey title for the Aqueduct winter meet, was second with 17 wins, six more than Junior Alvarado in third. Among Ortiz’s biggest victories in April were the Grade 3 Distaff Handicap with Holiday Disguise and the $100,000 Plenty of Grace with the Brown-trained Uni. Brown, 39, saddled 15 winners from 39 starters. The title is the 11th at an individual meet for the Mechanicville, New York native, who won back-to-back Eclipse Awards...

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Jockey Aubrie Green Attains First Keeneland Win

Keeneland Press Release Aubrie Green beamed as she walked down the tunnel to return to the Jockeys Quarters yesterday after her first Keeneland victory aboard trainer Jose Sanchez’s Mansoor in the first race. “Oh, my gosh – I’m in shock,” Green said. “I kind of want to cry.” Green, who grew up in Ririe, Idaho, rode her own Thoroughbred in informal races before becoming an American Quarter Horse jockey in 2015. Shortly after, she began riding Thoroughbreds and competed in Wyoming, Arizona and California. Green is now based in Louisiana, where she was leading apprentice and second-leading rider at Louisiana Downs in both wins and earnings last summer. Green flew to Keeneland to ride in a race during the 2017 Fall Meet, and returned this spring to gallop horses for Sanchez and rebuild her strength after being sidelined by an injury last year. Although race riding was not her main objective here, she has pick up several mounts. She is named to ride in one race today and one race Thursday. She is to compete at Evangeline Downs and Lone Star Park next weekend. “I actually came up to Keeneland to kind of recoup, and that’s why I haven’t tried to race ride,” she said. “(Sanchez) decided to enter this horse the other day and said he would put me on, and I said, ‘OK. I’ll ride him.’ It turned out...

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