Jockeys Call for Increased Injury Reporting
While the Jockey Injury Database has seen increased participation in the past year, supporters of the database said increased support is critical for generating meaningful numbers.
Dr. Carl Mattacola, director of the Rehabilitation Sciences Doctoral Program at the University of Kentucky, updated an audience of about 150, as well as many others watching live online, on the Jockey Injury Database at the sixth Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit Wednesday, July 8 at Keeneland.
Mattacola, who has worked with the Jockeys’ Guild on the database, said since it was launched in 2012 the database has collected 699 incidents, which include falls where no one was injured. Mattacola emphasized that while reporting has increased in the past year, thanks in part to efforts by Jockeys’ Guild regional managers, he said more participation is needed.
When it was launched, the jockeys had hoped racetracks and regulatory bodies would embrace the database and provide information for it, similar to what is done for equine injuries in North America where nearly every injury is now recorded. At the 2014 Summit, Matacola had a similar message calling for increased support. At that time, 369 incidents had been reported in the system.
Ramon Vazquez (Prairie Meadows) led North America in wins last week with 13. Vazquez won three on Sunday highlighted by a win in the Iowa Stallion Futurity aboard Cornfed. Vazquez in the money on 70% of his mounts and totaled 13 wins, three seconds, and five thirds from 30 mounts.
Paco Lopez had a great week at Monmouth by winning ten races with four of those coming on Sunday’s card. He won the Gr. 3 Molly Pitcher Stakes on Friday and followed up with a win in the Elkwood S. on Saturday. For the week, Lopez finished with 10 wins, two seconds, and three thirds from 27 mounts.
Diego Saenz had a great week at Evangeline by winning four on Saturday and three of those wins being stakes races. For the week, Saenz finished in the money on 56% of his mounts and had nine wins, two seconds, and three thirds from 25 mounts.
Travis Cunningham had an impressive week at Fair Meadows and topped the week off by winning four out of his five mounts on Sunday. Cunningham finished the week with seven wins, one second, and three thirds from 18 mounts.
AQHA Quarter Horse Standings
John Hamilton (Delta Downs) remains on top of the wins leaderboard for the year with 96 from 464 mounts. Raul Ramirez Jr. (Delta Downs) ranks second with 90 wins from 412 starts and David Alvarez (Delta Downs) ranks third with 84 wins from 386 mounts.
Raul Ramirez Jr. moved to the top of the AQHA earnings leaderboard with $1,510,606 from 412 starts. GR Carter Jr. (Ruidoso) is sitting in second in the standings with $1,435,990 and John Hamilton is third with $1,309,808.
Keep up with all the AQHA leaders here . . .
Alejandro Luna Voted AQHA/Jockeys’ Guild Quarter Horse Jockey of the Month for June
Jockey Alejandro Luna is a little more selective with his mounts these days but he can still get the job done on those runners. Evidence of that was his (G1) Ed Burke Million Futurity win aboard Walk Through Crystal last month. In part, that win lead to his being named as the AQHA/Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Month for the month of June. The award is voted on by a panel of Quarter Horse racing experts for riding accomplishments and achievements for the previous month of racing.
The veteran rider captured the premiere event at Los Alamitos for the third time in his distinguished career. He won the race in 2003 aboard A Regal Choice and then again in 2007 with Carters Cartel. Luna has won over 700 races in his career and this latest score marks his 18th Grade 1 victory giving him 61 total stakes wins.
The winning ride by Alejandro kept Walk Through Crystal a perfect five for five in her young career. He had the call for trainer Yanet Rodriguez and she has plenty of faith in his ability to get the job done. Following the race Rodriguez said, “We’ll see how she does. I am blessed and I can’t ask for anything more. Alejandro and I, we are a couple and I think that’s an advantage. He knows his part and I don’t have to tell him what to do.”
PDJF Day Across America Scheduled for Aug. 1
More than 30 Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racetracks across the country are being asked to take part with special events, jockey autograph signings, and promotions, according to a release.
This year’s “PDJF Day Across America” coincides with the release of a special commemorative PDJF magazine produced by Blood-Horse, which will be available for purchase at all tracks participating in the Saturday event.
Jockey Gonzalez Posts Career Victory 3,000
Jockey Luis Antonio Gonzalez secured his 3,000th career victory Saturday, July 4 when he guided Tough as Steel to victory in the second race at Thistledown Racino.
After racing seventh early, Gonzalez and owner-trainer Josh Faulkner’s Tough as Steel rallied along the rail in the stretch to post a half-length victory in the one-mile-and-70-yard claiming race.
Originally from Panama, Gonzalez has been based at Thistledown in the summer for the past decade. He leads the current meeting in wins, with 29, and purse earnings at $464,486, through July 4. Gonzalez, who rides at Tampa Bay Downs in the winter, in 2009 earned Turfway Park‘s inaugural Michael F. Rowland Award, which recognizes a rider for work ethic, professionalism, and perseverance.
Albarado staying home to ride this summer
Ellis Park, which opens Friday in the track near Henderson, could have its strongest jockey colony in years. That’s because riders Robby Albarado, Brian Hernandez Jr., and Joe Rocco Jr., who rode at Saratoga last summer, are staying in Louisville, shipping around for races in the region and national stakes. (Albarado, for instance, rides Promise Me Silver in Saturday’s Grade III Victory Ride at Belmont.)
All three riders are prominent in the better races on Ellis Park’s opening card.
Albarado, who finished third at the recently concluded Churchill Downs meet, said he was the main rider for a New York-bound stable when he previously went to Saratoga but that this year he’s riding for a lot of outfits.
“I’m getting back in with some Kentucky people,” he said. “I want to stay close to home to set myself up for a nice fall… I’ve got to ride a couple of days at Arlington, and some pretty nice maidens came out of Ellis Park last year, the last couple of years – (Grade I winner) Cristina’s Journey, for instance.
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