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Horse Racing Returns to (Timonium) Maryland on Friday as State Fair Opens

Posted on 20 August 2013 by Gary Quill

The Maryland State Fair, the only remaining state fair east of the Mississippi to continue to present thoroughbred horse racing, kicks off its ten (10) day meeting on Friday at the Timonium Fairgrounds. Nine races are on the program. Friday marks the first day of live racing in Maryland since the end of the Pimlico spring meet on June 8th.

Racing will be conducted Friday August 23 through through Monday September 2nd, except for Tuesday, August 27th will be a dark day. First race Post Time during the entire meet will be 1:05pm EDT. Admission to the track is included in admission to the fair.

The fair will have a series of concerts as follows…

Grammy nominated pop star Carly Rae Jepsen, will perform live on the race track infield on Sunday, August 25th. The “Call Me Maybe” girl will be joined by UK’s new boy band sensation The Wanted whose song “Glad You Came” brought them international acclaim.

On Sunday, September 1st the multi-platinum-selling and award-winning recording artist Three Days Grace will perform live on the race track infield. The band has been touring non-stop since the release of their #1 chart-debuting album “Transit of Venus.”

Concerts start at 7:30 p.m.

As far as horse racing at the fair, the Maryland Racing Commission approved to increase the number of racing days from 7 to 10. On the surface, this is great news for die-hard racing fans but made Maryland Racing Secretary Georganne Hale’s job more difficult. She must fill races for these 10 days. In the past, with only racing on two weekends, some horses could run twice during the meet. Now she has to find horsemen willing to run and ship into Timonium during the week. Let’s hope she can work her usual magic and produce races having quality (7-8 horse) fields.

This year horsing racing fans who find themselves at Timonium playing the ponies will certainly see runners from the top local conditioners like Hugh McMahon who shared the 2012 trainer title at “The Big T” with Jamie Ness. This year you may want to keep an eye out for horses saddled by Scott Lake who last year had 3 winners and a runner-up with just 4 starters, and relatively unknown to Maryland racing fans Corby Caiazzo had 2 winners and a third from 4 starters.

The leading jockey for the 2012 7-day Maryland State Fair meet was Travis Dunkelberger with 10 winners. He took the riding title by 3 victories over fellow journeyman Jonathan Joyce while longtime local jockey Alberto Delgado had 6 trips to the Winners Circle. Not sure we’ll see the ageless, 1982 Eclipse award-winning Delgado this year, as he’s been recently seen at Del Mar riding for west coast based trainer Art Sherman.

Dunkelberger, a mainstay atop the Charlestown jockey standings, will certainly make his presence known at the 2013 Maryland State Fair meet. Some new faces who may challenge him for the riding title in 2013 are apprentice Victor Carrasco who has been winning on 24% of his mounts this year, Chelsey Keiser who was leading apprentice at the Colonial Downs meet and 18-year-old Puerto Rican native apprentice Jevian Toledo. You heard it here first!

For each of the ten (10) live racing days a blog will be posted with selections for every race, including a BEST BET, Longshot and SHOW Parlay Play of the Day. Full-card simulcasting will be offered at Timonium only on live racing days. Admission to the racetrack is included with admission to the Fair. For more information, visit the Maryland State Fair.

End your Summer of 2013 on a high note and enjoy at least one of the ten greatest days of the Summer watching 9 exciting chase scenes at the Timonium Fairgrounds along with the Maryland State Fair. Good Luck

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Pimlico Day 2: Apprentice riders invade Old Hilltop

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Pimlico Day 2: Apprentice riders invade Old Hilltop

Posted on 04 April 2013 by Gary Quill

Maryland thoroughbred horse racing has long been known for being a springboard for young riders to develop their skills in hopes of hitting the big time one day. For any jockey looking to make a name for him/herself, the start of a meet is perfect timing. In looking at the riding assignments over the first couple days, there are plenty of apprentice riders, aka “bug boys” back in the day.


Drawing by Mel @dailyracefunies. To see more of Mel’s work, click here.

Just like an apprentice in any other profession, there are specific rules which dictate the duration of a riders apprenticeship. Each state has its own set of rules. The rule most common to the horseplayer is the Weight Allowances. In the state of Maryland an apprentice jockey, created by contract or certificate, may claim the following weight allowances in all overnight races except handicaps:

(a) 10 pounds beginning with the first mount and continuing until the apprentice has ridden five winners;

(b) 7 pounds after the 5th winner until the 40th winner; and

(c) 5 pounds after the 40th winner until 1 year from the date of the 5th winning mount.

In addition, if after 1 year from the date of the 5th winning mount, the apprentice jockey has not ridden 40 winners, the applicable weight allowance shall continue for 1 more year or until the 40th winner, whichever comes first, but, in no event may the applicable weight allowances be claimed for more than 2 years from the date of the 5th winning mount unless an extension is granted due to a physical disablement, military service or attendance at an institution of secondary or higher learning as a full-time student.

Now that you have been enlightened and can explain to your friends why one rider is given a 10 lbs. allowance while another only 5 lbs. and others none. Listed below are the bug boys and bug girls jockeying (pun intended) for their share of mounts at Pimlico. In parentheses are career mounts – wins- seconds – thirds through April 3rd.

Yomar O. Ortiz – 5 lb. (798 149 – 131 – 118)
Trevor McCarthy – 5 lb. (521 73 – 86 – 74)
Victor R. Carrasco – 5 lb. (126 12 – 16 – 27)
Jorge L Vargas, Jr. – 7 lb. (95 5 – 6 – 4)
Mallory Strandberg – 10 lb. (23 3 – 5 – 3)
Chelsey Keiser – 10 lb. (8 1 – 1 – 0)

The JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is… “Excused

Recapping Pimlico’s Opening Day 9-race card posted had 6 winners (2 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $12.00 (4th race), $21.60 (5th), $7.00 (6th), $12.60 (7th), $3.60 (8th) and $5.40 (9th).

The BEST BET of the Day (1 1-0-0) Mikey Likes It (5-2 PT; 3-1 M/L) let his foes do the dirty work early to soften up the 4-5 betting favorite. Last in the field of 5 at the quarter pole, “Mikey” unleased a furious stretch drive to get up in the final strides to prevail by ½ length, paying $7.00 to WIN, $3.40 to PLACE and $2.20 to SHOW.

The LONGSHOT PICK (1 0-0-0) Andean Moon (12-1 PT; 8-1 M/L) raced in mid-pack thru the early stages of the race, dropped back at the quarter pole, then made a late run but only good enough for 5th.

SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $20 on Reason to Drink (#4; 3rd race; PT 5-2; M/L 7-2) showed his type early turn of foot, was no match for the winner, lost PLACE money in a photo but all that doesn’t matter with a SHOW parlay, as he salvaged SHOW, well clear of the 4th place finisher, while providing a 20% ROI, returning $2.40 to SHOW. Thus, we add $4 to the initial $20 for Day 2.

Selections for the Day 2 Pimlico Friday, April 5th card are Page 2.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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