January 22, 2015
James Graham named Jockey of the Week
James Graham won three races, including two stakes, Saturday at Fair Grounds to be named the Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week. The title goes to the week’s outstanding jockey in the opinion of a panel of industry experts, plus a public vote. They looked at races run from January 12-19.
Overall for the week, Graham won 9 races, with 8 seconds and 5 thirds from 39 starts, earning $325,685. A $2 mutuel ticket on each of his 9 winners paid an average of $7.00.
Graham and String King rolled past favorite Gentleman’s Kitten in the stretch to win the $125,000 Grade III Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap on a “good” turf course on Saturday.
“He’s just a cool little Louisiana-bred,” Graham said.
In the day’s other turf race at Fair Grounds, Graham helped Notte d’Oro make her stakes debut a winning one, capturing the $60,000 Marie G. Krantz Memorial by a length. “She liked a little cut in the ground and just wanted to keep grinding,” he said. Read more . . .
People’s Choice: The Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week is selected by a blue ribbon panel of industry experts. Now, each Monday, any racing fan can cast a vote that will be aggregated for a voice on the selection panel. Visit JockeyTalk360.com on Monday for details.
Russell Baze (Golden Gate) showed why he’s Thoroughbred racing’s all-time leading rider by wins when he added 11 more victories to his tally last week. He’s closing in on 12,500 for his career. Rafael Bejarano (Santa Anita) and Jockey of the Week James Graham (Fair Grounds) each won 9 races for the week. See the week’s top jockeys by wins here.
Manuel Franco (Aqueduct) was the week’s leading rider by earnings. He booted home 11 winners for earnings of $350,849. Rafael Bejarano (Santa Anita) earned $339,108 for second in that category, while James Graham (Fair Grounds) earned $325,685. See the week’s top jockeys by earnings here.
2015 Commemorative Racing Calendar
Photos by Coady Photography
Autographed by Hall of Fame Jockey John Velazquez
The cover of this beautiful 2015 calendar depicts two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan and his Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez. This limited number of calendars are each autographed by Johnny V.
Now only $20 plus $5 shipping & handling
Proceeds benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund
The first time this jockey ever competed in a race in the United States, he won at Keeneland Race Course.
He was the leading money winner in American racing for five consecutive years, won the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, and was twice the winner of the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey.
He was also the jockey aboard Foolish Pleasure in the tragic 1975 match race against the great 3-year-old filly Ruffian, who had to be euthanized after she pulled up during the race with a broken front ankle. Know who it is? You might win a pair of Paco Lopez goggles in Quiz #16!
Congratulations to Tom Myers of Michigan for correctly answering Quiz #15.
Jockeys’ Guild holds productive Assembly
The welfare and safety of riders served as the backbone for discussion at the 2015 Jockeys’ Guild Assembly, which concluded on Jan. 20, following two days of sessions at the Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Florida.
Attended by both active and retired jockeys from the Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse industries, the underlying theme of this year’s Assembly was the importance of unity among the Guild and the racing industry to advance the safety of the human athletes in the sport.
“It was a very successful Assembly,” said Guild Chairman John Velazquez. “It was great to see everyone coming together – people from the past and the future generation. We are going in the right direction with the Guild.” Read more . . .
Castellano wins Eclipse Award
Javier Castellano set a high standard in 2013, when he won his first Eclipse Award for outstanding jockey after establishing a North American record for mount earnings in a year. Castellano again managed to reach significant heights in 2014, and because of his accomplishments, he is an Eclipse Award finalist for outstanding jockey for the fourth time.
Castellano, 37, led all jockeys in North American mount earnings in 2014 with $25,056,464. And while the number did not eclipse his $26,218,107 record, it ranked $3.4 million ahead of the year’s second-leading rider in earnings, Joel Rosario. Read more . . .
Van Dyke named top apprentice
Drayden Van Dyke jumped right into a career in racing following his high school graduation, traveling to Southern California from his home in Arkansas to work for trainer Tom Proctor. His ambitious move has paid dividends, as Van Dyke, 20, is an Eclipse Award finalist for outstanding apprentice jockey of 2014.
“I didn’t want to waste time,” Van Dyke told Daily Racing Form of the move. “I wanted to get right in the game.” Read more . . .
The rider, who has already overcome numerous injuries in past years, this year rode champion Hes Relentless to a stakes victory, despite a freshly broken collarbone. He also piloted Houdini, Lovethewayyoulie, Kiss My Hocks and Viva Mi Corazon to Grade 1 victories. Read more…
Rosie’s new role
Two months after she announced her pregnancy and subsequent racing retirement to the world, nationally renowned jockey Rosie Napravnik was taking a rare break in the Fair Grounds office of her trainer/husband, Joe Sharp. Read more . . .
JockeyTalk360.com spotlights the riders across North America and around the world who may be the bravest, toughest and most accomplished of all athletes. The Jockey of the Week is selected by a vote of representatives of America’s Best Racing, the Daily Racing Form, Equibase, the Jockeys’ Guild, the Paulick Report, the Thoroughbred Daily News, National Thoroughbred Racing Association, National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, Thoroughbred Racing Associations, Turf Publicists of America and racing fans.