June 6, 2014 |
LATE IN THE DAY on Sunday, Dec. 22 at Hollywood Park, California Chrome was a promising horse that was nonetheless 2-for-6 lifetime with earnings of just $104,850. The colt exploded that day to win the King Glorious Stakes by 6 1/4 lengths. Since that breakthrough, California Chrome is 6-for-6 with earnings of $3,347,800, a Belmont Stakes win away from being the first Triple Crown winner since 1978. CC is perfect with jockey Victor Espinoza. He is perfect with that nasal strip.
May 19, 2014 |
BALTIMORE - On a lightning-quick track, California Chrome was provoking roars from the record 123,469 fans at Pimlico as he gamely batted aside one premature challenge after another, bursting to the front long before jockey Victor Espinoza had planned. From his clubhouse vantage point, 5-foot-2 trainer Art Sherman didn't know if his horse, the 1-2 favorite, was first or last. "Everybody was jumping up and down in front of me, and I had a camera point-blank in my face," said Sherman, who until his horse's remarkable emergence this spring had been training claimers.
April 28, 2014 |
The race itself, Stewart Elliott still insists, was like most any other. "You're just riding," Elliott said. "It doesn't sound right, but you're just riding a race. " Even if it's the Kentucky Derby, and you're riding in it for the first time, on a favorite named Smarty Jones. If all that's true, if there's no moment to process what's happening, even in the final strides, the result hits you like an emotional ton of bricks, when you realize you've ridden it correctly and won the 2004 Kentucky Derby.
April 12, 2014 |
The horse, startled by a chicken roaming on the track, partially bucked off the jockey, dragged him for about 40 seconds as one foot remained in a stirrup, kicked him repeatedly, and killed him, according to a lawsuit. On Wednesday, a Philadelphia jury found Parx Casino & Racetrack liable for nearly $8 million for the 2010 incident that claimed the life of Mario Calderon, 55, of Croydon. Calderon suffered 11 broken ribs and bleeding in the brain, according to his attorney, Michael A. Trunk, and died shortly after being taken to a nearby hospital.
April 11, 2014 |
AJURY HAS awarded nearly $7.8 million to the family of a jockey killed at Parx Racing after a racehorse - spooked by roaming chickens - threw, dragged and kicked him. Mario Calderon, 55, of Croydon, Bucks County, died after suffering 11 broken ribs and a brain hemorrhage in the May 2010 melee at the racetrack formerly known as Philadelphia Park, his attorney, Michael A. Trunk, said. A Philadelphia Common Pleas jury deliberated about six hours Wednesday before announcing its verdict, which included $5 million in punitive damages.
September 20, 2013 |
MIKE E. SMITH turned 48 last month. When he is in town to ride the last four races at Parx on Saturday, the Hall of Fame jockey ought to get together with Bernard Hopkins and compare notes. If Hopkins isn't the best conditioned late-40s athlete in America, then Smith is. Like Hopkins, Smith seldom performs anymore. He waits for the big moments. And he wins. Smith began riding 30 years ago. If he wasn't an instant success, it did not take long. By 1993, he was winning 342 races in a single year.
July 3, 2013 |
ANOTHER CHAPTER in the curious case of trainer Carlos Guerrero and Parx Racing was written over the weekend at the track. Guerrero was ruled off the track for 10 years in December 2011 after an incident involving a female employee resulted in a misdemeanor indecent assault charge by Bensalem police that later was dropped after an investigation by the Bucks County district attorney's office. Track officials declined to change the 10-year ban after the charge was dropped. At almost the exact time as Guerrero was ruled off, jockey Eriluis Vaz was ejected after a female jockey complained that he made several trips to the female jockeys' quarters while she was showering.
June 15, 2013
Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez reached 5,000 career victories on Friday at Belmont Park in New York. Velazquez, 41, was a perfect 3 for 3 on the day, hitting the milestone with Galloping Giraffe , his final mount. He is the 28th rider to reach the plateau, with only victories in the U.S. and Canada counting in the total. Velazquez also guided San Pablo to victory in the $90,000 Criminal Type Stakes, the 10th win in 18 starts for the 5-year-old trained by Todd Pletcher . NFL: Buffalo defensive end Mario Williams back-tracked on attributing "kill" as a word former North Penn head coach Mike Pettine , now the Bills defensive coordinator, used in describing his philosophy.
March 20, 2013 |
Jockey Tony Black won his 5,200th race Monday, riding his son's horse Smart Tori to victory at Parx in Bensalem. Black, 61, of Haddon Township, who won his first race in 1970 just out of high school, had said he would retire after hitting the 5,200 mark. "The reality really hasn't sunk in," he said Monday night. "But I said I would and I am sticking with it. The best part is I did it on my son's horse. " Smart Tori, owned by Black's son Anthony, won the ninth race and paid $4.40 to win, $2.60 to place and $2.20 to show.
February 21, 2013 |
Tony Black is looking for one more win in the saddle before calling it quits. With 5,199 first-place finishes in the books, the jockey, at age 61, believes it's time to get out of the bone-crushing part of the thoroughbred racing business. Recovering from surgery to put a plate in a twice-broken collar bone, the longtime Haddon Township resident is waiting for medical clearance before racing again. "It's a kid's game, being a jockey," Black said. "I've ridden the wave long enough.