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.
January 19, 2013 |
Lots of teenagers have big dreams. Few get to fulfill them as quickly as Angel Suarez. The dream came to him - from where no one is yet certain - in 2010. Suarez was a high school junior in Puerto Rico, one whose grades were so good that his mother dreamed too, imagining her son as a doctor. Instead, Suarez, who had never been on a horse and whose only exposure to them had come on a tiny farm his father operated, wanted to quit school and become a jockey. Reluctantly, his mother consented.
January 4, 2013 |
TWO MONTHS shy of his 50th birthday, Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens is launching a comeback this weekend at Santa Anita. "My passion is still there," Stevens said Thursday in announcing his return after a 7-year retirement. "Or I should say my passion has come back. I've worked a couple of very good horses in the morning at Santa Anita that kind of made the hair stand up on my neck and I haven't felt that in a long time. " Stevens' first race will be Sunday at Santa Anita, with his lone mount in a $50,000 claiming race on a horse named Jebrica.
December 7, 2012 |
HARRISBURG - Publicly, they may be clinking glasses, breaking bread, and swapping political gossip. But make no mistake. Behind the social niceties will be relentless political maneuvering on what nearly everyone in Pennsylvania politics has been talking about since last month's election: who will challenge Gov. Corbett in 2014. That will be the scene this weekend at the Pennsylvania Society's annual gathering of Pennsylvania politicians in New York City. Yes, there will be a smattering of government-like forums, but mostly it will be a time of back-slapping, networking, fund-raising, and, of course, wining and dining.
November 4, 2012 |
ARCADIA, Calif. - Bob Baffert got beat again in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic. Bill Mott settled for half of a repeat sweep in the weekend's two biggest races. The Hall of Fame trainers could only wince as 9-1 long-shot Fort Larned won North America's richest race on Saturday night, capping a weekend of upsets in the world championships at Santa Anita. Game On Dude, the 7-5 favorite, ran what Baffert said was "probably the worst race of his life" in finishing seventh. He lost in the closing strides a year ago at Churchill Downs.
September 21, 2012 |
YOU CAN quantify it by numbers, but there really is no way to make a pronouncement that any one person is the best jockey in America. It is quite subjective. Regardless of how the determination is made, there is no doubt Ramon Dominguez, 35, is in the conversation. Now closing on 5,000 winners, the native of Caracas, Venezuela, is riding in the best form of his life. He was so good at Saratoga that he shattered the meet record with 68 winners. He twice won six races in a single day. They call this horse racing and not jockey racing for a reason, but there were times at Saratoga when Dominguez seemed to get horses over the finish line that really should not have been winning.