February 5, 2015
Irad Ortiz Jr. named Jockey of the Week
Irad Ortiz
Irad Ortiz Jr. won three stakes, including a pair of Grade III races, 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 26-February 1.

On Friday, Ortiz won the Rego Park Stakes at Aqueduct riding Saratoga Dreamer.

At Tampa Bay on Saturday, he posted back-to-back wins in the Grade III Lambholm South Endeavor Stakes on Testa Rossi (FR) and the Grade III Sam F. Davis Stakes on Ocean Knight.

He capped off the week with three wins back at Aqueduct on Sunday. All told, he won 8 races with 3 seconds and a third from 18 starts, earning $442,410. A $2 mutuel ticket on each of his 8 winning mounts returned an average payout of $6.19.  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.

Who's Hot

Gerard Melancon (Delta Downs) posted the top winning percentage of all riders who won 3 or more races during the week ending February 1. He won 5 out of 9 starts for a 55.56% suceess rate. Jockey of the Week Irad Ortiz Jr. (Aqueduct) was next at 44.44% for winning 8 out of 18 starts. Junior Alvarado (Aqueduct) ranked third at 42.86% with 3 wins in 7 starts. See the week’s top jockeys by winning percentage here.

Irad Ortiz Jr. (Aqueduct) led the earnings standings with $442,410 for the week. Joseph Talamo (Santa Anita) was second with $351,230, and Rafael Bejarano (Santa Anita) was third with $266,170. See the week’s  top jockeys by earnings here.

Three riders tied for the lead in the week’s column with 9 winners each. They were Deshawn Parker (Sam Houston), Francisco Torres (Fair Grounds) and Lindy Wade (Sam Houston). See the week’s top jockeys by wins here.

Omar ReyesOmar Reyes is leading the Quarter Horse standings for both wins and earnings in 2015 with $379,627 from 97 starts  and 30 wins to date. Rodrigo Vallejo is next for earnings with $355,789 and Shanley Jackson ranks third with $322,253.

Alex Baldillez Jr. ranks second by number of wins with 17 Quarter Horse winners, followed by Raul Ramirez Jr. with 15. Keep up with all the AQHA leaders here . . .

2015 CalendarClocking the New Year!

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.

Order now!
Now only $20 plus $5 shipping & handling
Proceeds benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund

silksQuiz #18

Q: If you answered this ad for a job, exactly what job would your be applying for? Job Description:

  1. Attends to JOCKEY at racetrack performing variety of services: Saddles horse and inserts lead pads in saddle pockets to meet weight specifications for race.
  2. Places number on saddle to correspond with horse’s entry number in race.
  3. Reads color assignment chart and obtains specific colors of silks from color room corresponding to stable colors.
  4. Assists JOCKEY to dress for race.
  5. Unsaddles horse after race and returns riding equipment to storage area.
  6. Cleans saddles, washes silks, and shines boots for JOCKEY.

If you know the answer, you might win a pair of goggles autographed by Rafael Bejarano in JockeyTalk360 Quiz #18.

Thanks to all the fans who knew that Gary Stevens on Silver Charm and Victory Gallop was the correct answer in  Quiz #17.

Derby Museum opens exhibit on first black jockey
Isaac Murphy
The Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs has opened a traveling exhibit on jockey Isaac Burns Murphy as part of Black History Month.

Murphy was the first black jockey to be enshrined into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame. He won three Kentucky Derby races – aboard Buchanan in 1884, Riley in 1890 and Kingman in 1891.

The exhibit, on the second floor in the Pollard Gallery, is based on the biography of Murphy recently written by Pellom McDaniels. The exhibit features a series of panels that explore the contributions of not only Murphy but also other African Americans to horse racing. Read more . . .

Turcotte to serve as Honorary Chairman of ‘Jockeys & Jeans’ at Indiana Grand
Ron TurcotteHall of Fame Rider Ron Turcotte, best known as the jockey aboard Secretariat, winner of the Triple Crown in 1973, will serve as the Honorary Chairman of the 2015 “Jockeys and Jeans” fundraiser set for Saturday, May 30 at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. The event will raise funds for the Permanently Disabled Jockey’s Fund (PDJF), which is an independent 501(c) (3) public charity that provides financial assistance to former jockeys who have suffered catastrophic on-track injuries. Turcotte heads an impressive list of jockey legends and local celebrities that will be on hand to support PDJF at “Jockeys and Jeans.”  Read more . . .

Idaho Legislature to honor Gary Stevens
Gary Stevens
Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, a native of Caldwell, Idaho, will be honored by the Idaho legislature next Monday, Feb. 9. He will be accompanied to the ceremony by another Hall of Fame rider, Mike Smith, according to a release.

Stevens, who was inducted in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1997, was voted an Eclipse Award as outstanding jockey in 1998. He has won nine Triple Crown races, with three victories each in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes, all Grade I.  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.

To find out more about the great sport of horse racing, and to learn more about your favorite jockeys visit JockeyTalk360.com. Sign up for the newsletter.