Exercise Rider

Exercise Rider Becomes TikTok Sensation

How do we market racing to the younger generation? It seems to be the million-dollar question, but an exercise rider named Electra Boone may be nearing an answer. In just two years, Boone has reached an audience of millions on TikTok. The assistant trainer for Palm Meadows-based trainer Carlos David posts videos on the popular social media platform showcasing her daily life on the backstretch. Today her account, @electraboone, has 150,500 followers and has received 6.4 million likes. Each of her videos receives thousands of views and some of her...

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Exercise Riders a Shrinking Pool of Talent

When Lorna Chavez moved from England to the United States in 1995, the land of abundance had a surfeit of skilled participants willing and able to don helmet and boot and join the nation's ranks of exercise riders. "I started in Delaware," said Chavez, a former jockey, of her time as an exercise rider for Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard. But that was a quarter-century ago. "Now, there aren't enough riders around," she said. "Especially good ones." And that means busy racetracks of a morning are increasingly populated with...

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Heather Smullen an Integral Part of Team Tiz

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY - Every morning when Tiz the Law (Constitution) goes out to the track for his exercise, there is a Smullen from Oxford, PA on his back. Most days the likely favorite for the GI Kentucky Derby is carrying Robin Smullen, trainer Barclay Tagg's longtime assistant and life partner. Once a week, when the colt has his timed workout, though, Heather Smullen, Robin's 38-year-old niece, has the assignment. It is a challenge, she acknowledges, to keep the four-time Grade I winner to the task while not getting in...

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