Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week John Velazquez had a great opening weekend at Saratoga by winning three graded stakes including the Gr. 3 Sanford S., the Gr. 1 Diana S., and the Gr. 1 Coaching Club American Oaks. Velazquez finished the week with seven wins, two seconds, earnings of $809,753 from 23 mounts.
TD Houghton had a great week at Thistledown leading the nation in wins with ten and finished in the money on 57% of his mounts.
Jose Lezcano made the most of his 13 mounts at Saratoga by winning five of them and finishing in the money on 62% of his mounts.
Russell Baze continued his consistent riding in Northern California and won five out his 17 mounts. The veteran came in the money on 76% of his mounts.
AQHA Quarter Horse Standings
John Hamilton remains on top of the wins leaderboard for the year with 103 from 494 mounts. Raul Ramirez Jr. ranks second with 94 wins from 437 starts and David Alvarez ranks third with 86 wins from 416 mounts.
GR Carter Jr. stayed on to top of the AQHA earnings leaderboard with $2,169,867 from 458 starts. Ricky Ramirez is in second in the standings with $1,715,730 and Raul Ramirez Jr. is third with $1,627,127. Keep up with all the AQHA leaders here . . .
New mom Broussard restarts jockey career
Five mornings a week, the 22-year-old drives between 25 minutes to an hour each way to work horses at Evangeline Downs or one of the two big training centers near Lafayette, La. Four nights a week she retraces the 45 minutes (an hour with traffic) to Evangeline Downs to ride races.
On Mondays and Tuesdays she teaches barrel-racing lessons. Some Sundays she competes in rodeos.
And seven days a week she’s a new mom, having given birth to son Bentley Kofalt on March 14.
“I know how dangerous it is,” Broussard said of being a jockey. “I guess that mothering instinct kind of kicks in real strong when you’re pregnant and you have them. Then you realize you also have to make money to support your kid. That’s it. I mean, one of things I’m best at is riding racehorses.
“Do I go and struggle and work 12 hours a day for minimum wage? Or do I go back on the racetrack and do both: be a good mom and make a lot and doing something that I love?”
Broussard said she loves “every second” of being a mother, adding, “I never pictured myself with a kid, ever. Now I can’t picture myself any other way. … But it’s a lot. You really don’t have time for a break, kind of like working three jobs now.”
Riders Up: Saratoga Jockey Karaoke Contest/Fundraiser Set For Aug. 3
Summer’s here and the time is right for dancing, singing, acting, and general good-natured mayhem as the Saratoga jockey colony and guests will take to the stage in support of the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund (PDJF).
This popular event on the Spa’s social calendar will be held Monday, August 3, 2015 at Vapor Night Club inside Saratoga Casino and Raceway (342 Jefferson Street, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.). The legendary Tom Durkin, former NYRA track announcer, returns as emcee.
Junior Alvarado, Kendrick Carmouche, Javier Castellano, Rafael Hernandez, Julien Leparoux, Jose Lezcano, Mike Luzzi, Irad and Jose Ortiz, Taylor Rice, Joel Rosario and Hall of Famers Chris McCarron and John Velazquez are among the many jockeys who will be performing. There will be a few surprise performances as well. Confirmed judges this year are trainers Leah Gyarmati, H. Graham Motion, and Todd Pletcher.
“While the karaoke contest gets sillier and more fun each year, the reason we participate is very serious,” said PDJF Board Member and Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez. “Those served by the PDJF rely on their monthly check to lead active and independent lives despite their disabilities. Since the PDJF has no permanent funding mechanism, fundraising events like jockey karaoke become that much more important.”
Advance tickets are available online. V.I.P. tickets ($150) include early (5:30 p.m.) admission to the venue, a private buffet dinner with the jockeys, and preferred seating close to the stage. General admission tickets are $75 (7:00 p.m. entry). The show starts at 7:45 p.m. There will be silent and live auctions of racing memorabilia, dancing and a cash bar. Patrons must be 21 years of age or older to enter the premises.
Remington Park Announces Season-Long Salute to Cliff Berry
Berry, 52, of Jones, Okla., has determined this Remington Park season will be his final in the saddle. The all-time leading Thoroughbred rider there with 2,078 victories, Berry will put the finish on a career that has included over 4,400 wins and approaching nearly $66 million in mount earnings.
In honor of his career and his accomplishments at Remington Park, the Oklahoma City venue will present “A Berry Special Season,” celebrating Berry’s final months of race-riding with promotions to engage fans throughout the meeting. The salute to Berry will also include “Cliff Berry Night” on Saturday, Dec. 12.
The season-long promotion will engage racing guests with the success Berry has during the races. Basically, when Berry wins, guests will also have the opportunity to enjoy victory, usually with cash prizes. The promotion will change slightly as the months of the “Berry Special Season” calendar move along.
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