Junior Alvarado

75th George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award Finalists Named

Junior Alvarado, Alex Birzer, Julien Leparoux, Edwin Maldonado and Rodney Prescott were selected as finalists for the 2024 George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, 1/ST Racing said in a release Wednesday morning. Presented by Santa Anita Park, the Woolf Award, which itself is a replica of the life-sized statue which adorns Santa Anita's Paddock Gardens area, is determined by a vote of jockeys nationwide. It can only be won once. The winner of the 75th annual prize will be announced in February. Named in honor of the legendary late jockey George...

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First Stakes Winner for Freshman Sire Enticed at the Big A

Shimming Allure finished a credible fourth in a very competitive renewal of Keeneland's GI Alcibiades S. last month, and found the step back to easier company to her liking, taking the Tempted S. at Aqueduct Sunday. Not particularly hurried out of gate 1, the filly found herself near the back as longshot Belle's Blue Bell (Girvin) cut out respectable opening splits in :23.03 and :46.48. Flanked by Perfectly Wicked from the back, Shimmering Allure picked up the tempo markedly exiting the backstretch and swung out several paths wide turning for...

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Happily Ever After for Cody's Wish Fairy Tale in Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile

What a way to kick off Saturday's Breeders' Cup action as the sport's favorite fairy tale got its happily-ever-after ending. Cody's Wish (Curlin--Dance Card, by Tapit) made it back-to-back GI Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile wins in a dramatic running of the first World Championships race on the card Saturday. Cody's Wish had captured the heart of the racing world last year as the story of his incredibly special connection with Cody Dorman, a boy suffering from Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, emerged and grew. There were few dry eyes among...

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Caramel Swirl Wins Gallant Bloom S. After Double Disqualification

There was fast action and drama galore, and like all the best thrillers, it ended with a plot twist. Caramel Swirl (Union Rags) had been keeping good company in her last two starts, but by the end of a wild running of the GII Gallant Bloom S., her losing streak would be over via the double disqualification of Sterling Silver (Cupid) and Headland (Paynter), both of whom would be placed behind her. Company doesn't come tougher than two Champions, and that is exactly who Caramel Swirl had to contend with...

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Magic Cross Wins P. G. Johnson S., Becomes First Second-Crop SW For Good Magic

Magic Cross (Good Magic) aired by 7 1/4 lengths in a modestly graded Belmont maiden July 8 and progressed from there into the GIII Adirondack S., where she finished 10 lengths in back of Brightwork (Outwork) in fourth. Stretching out in distance for this scheduled turf debut, the bay was quickest into stride and made the running while pressed along to her outside by Takemetothebeach (Take Charge Indy). Those two went at it headlong into the stretch, but Magic Cross did the better work in the final furlong and won...

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Junior Alvarado Wins 2023 Mike Venezia Award

Veteran jockey Junior Alvarado has been named the winner of the 2023 Mike Venezia Memorial Award. Alvarado, based this summer at Saratoga Race Course and the regular rider of GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile winner Cody's Wish, was chosen by a committee comprised of members of the Venezia family, representatives of the Jockeys' Guild and retired Eclipse Award-winning jockey Richard Migliore. Alvarado will be recognized in a winner's circle ceremony at Saratoga Saturday. "The Venezia Memorial Award is about representing the sport we love so much in the best way...

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Top to Bottom: Derby Rundown

This week's Triple Crown feature examines the trips of GI Kentucky Derby runners in detail from first to last: 1) Mage (No. 12 in TDN pre-race rankings) Mage, the little horse who could, was a characteristic beat slow out of the starting gate. Javier Castellano let him roll with the flow as the field sorted itself out through the first furlong, then darted to secure the rail while fourth-last the first time under the wire. Unhurried through the turn, this son of Good Magic ($235,000 KEESEP; $290,000 EASMAY) raced several...

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Rocket Can Gives Red Hot Into Mischief Win in Holy Bull

A major stepping stone to the GI Curlin Florida Derby, Saturday's Holy Bull appeared on paper at least, to be a competitive affair. Leading the fray was two-time winner Cyclone Mischief (Into Mischief), a $450,000 KEESEP purchase, trained by Dale Romans. Also gaining respect at the window at 5-2 was Frank Fletcher's Rocket Can, who drew the less-than-ideal outside draw in the 8 1/2-furlong test. Hustled along off the blocks and unable to make any real headway, he was fanned out several paths wide going into the first turn as...

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Cody's Wish Wins 2022 Secretariat Vox Populi Award

Edited Press Release Cody's Wish (Curlin), this year's GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile winner who shares an endearing bond with Cody Dorman, has been voted the winner of the 2022 Secretariat Vox Populi Award. Created by Secretariat's owner Penny Chenery, the annual award recognizes the horse whose popularity and racing excellence best resounded with the public and gained recognition for Thoroughbred racing. Owned by Godolphin, trained by Bill Mott, and ridden throughout the year by Junior Alvarado, Cody's Wish and his special story have gained affection and admiration that transcend...

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Speightstown's Olympiad Triumphs in JCGC

Grandview Equine, Cheyenne Stable and LNJ Foxwoods's Olympiad (Speightstown), a head-scratching fourth in the GI Whitney S., bounced back with a powerful performance in Saturday's 'Win and You're In' GI Jockey Club Gold Cup at Saratoga. The 8-5 favorite jumped well from his inside draw and sat a perfect, stalking trip in second behind longshot pacesetter Tax (Arch) through fractions of :24.54 and :49.70. Racing in between rivals as last year's GI Cigar Mile H. winner Americanrevolution (Constitution), one of four entered for Todd Pletcher, continued to draw closer heading...

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Saturday Racing Insights: $1.25-Million American Pharoah Colt Debuts

Sponsored by Alex Nichols Agency 3rd-AQU, $80K, Msw, 3yo/up, 1mT, 1:58 p.m. ET  CORTON CHARLEMAGNE, a well-bred son of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah out of the winning Victory Gallop mare Swingit, debuts for Speedway Stables LLC and trainer Christophe Clement. Purchased for $1.25 million from the 2020 Fasig-Tipton Select Yearling Showcase, he is a half-brother to five winners from six to race, including current Pleasant Acres stallion GSW & GISP Neolithic (Harlan's Holiday), who earned over $2.2 million, as well as $850k Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling purchase GSW & GISP...

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Venezia Award Nominees Announced

Junior Alvarado, Julien Leparoux, Deshawn Parker, Gerard Melancon and Scott Stevens are finalists for the 2021 Mike Venezia Memorial Award, the New York Racing Association announced Sunday. Created in 1989, the Mike Venezia Memorial Award is awarded to a jockey who displays the extraordinary sportsmanship and citizenship that personified Venezia, who died as the result of injuries suffered in a spill in 1988. Venezia, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., won more than 2,300 races during his 25-year career. All active jockeys in the continental U.S. are eligible to vote for...

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