jockey valet

Churchill Employees Union Threatening Derby Day Strike

Local 541, the racetrack employees union that includes Churchill Downs valets, has threatened this week to strike over a wage and contract dispute. A press release sent on behalf of the group Friday said that, "With less than 24 hours until the 147th Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs Incorporated failed to attend a meeting early this morning to, once and for all, finalize a contract with its valets and avoid major disruptions at the Derby. The governor and mediator were notified of the meeting last night; even still, the valets were...

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Valet and Former Jockey Luis Leon Passes Away

A popular jockeys' room valet and former jockey, Luis Leon passed away peacefully Tuesday evening at age 90, according to his son David. He suffered a heart attack recently and succumbed to the effects of the COVID-19 virus while hospitalized. Leon is survived by his wife Juanita, a daughter Sylvia and four sons, Louis, Jr., David, Mike and Victor. Services are pending. Born Sept. 7, 1930 in Fresno, California, Leon became a contract rider with Rex Ellsworth in the 1950s and 60s. While working under Hall of Fame trainer Mesh...

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