By Najja Thompson (NYRA Press Release)

Venezia Award to be presented at Belmont Park on May 28

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Photo Credit: NYRA

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 on the track is rivaled only by the respect they garner off it.

The first Venezia Award was awarded posthumously to Venezia in 1989. Previous winners of the award include Kendrick Carmouche (2017), Mario Pino (2016), Jon Court (2015), Hall of Famer John Velazquez (2014) and newly minted Hall of Famer Ramon Dominguez (2013).