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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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Thanksgiving-Dinner

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When Thanksgiving and Horse Racing Meet; Thursday Selections at Laurel Park

Posted on 21 November 2012 by Gary Quill

Thanksgiving is the one day set aside for families to reflect on the past year and be thankful for ones health, happiness and prosperity. This year I’m thankful for the invitation to become a contributing member of the Horse Racing Nation (HRN) family. It was through the wonders of social media and this blog which caught the attention of a partner at HRN who recognized the need for a Maryland based blogger/handicapper.

As a kid growing up in northeast Baltimore, Thanksgiving Day was much like any other household in the United States. Wake up by 9:00 am to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, go outside for a quick pickup football game with whoever may show-up, return home in time to watch the early NFL game from Detroit and then…

Well, as I grew older it became apparent to me that my family’s Thanksgiving Day tradition took a small detour from the majority of Americans. That most families dinner commenced around 3:00 pm, give or take an hour. Not so according to the Quill family Thanksgiving tradition. We could watch the Dallas football game until about halftime which was about the time my Pop-Pop Quill and great-uncle Ray would arrive at our house from a day at the track. Priceless!

That was back in the 60’s and early 70’s. I miss those days… and my Pop-Pop and Uncle Ray, who have long passed. And with their passing, so did the Quill family Thanksgiving Day tradition. My Dad and I are still able to enjoy a day at the races from time to time, but never on Thanksgiving Day. The Quill family is now scattered throughout our great country and over the past 20 years I can count on one hand the number of times we’ve been together on Thanksgiving Day. Be thankful if you can spend this Thanksgiving Day with your entire family and think about what tradition is special to you on the fourth Thursday in November.

Laurel Park has its own Thanksgiving Day tradition which they started 25 years ago, in giving away either a pumpkin or apple pie (after the 5th race). First race post for the nine-race card is 11:05 a.m. with the $100,000 Geisha Stakes as the feature. Pies will be available at both Laurel Park and Pimlico. For those who wish to arrive early to handicap the card, free donuts with coffee or cider will also be available from 9:30 to 11:00 am. And if you get a call from home telling you they have burnt the turkey, invite them to meet you at Laurel’s terrace dining room for a traditional Thanksgiving buffet for $24.99.

Friday will be “Guys Day Out” free admission and live race program for Laurel’s nine-race card for all men at Laurel Park and half-priced draft beers. In addition, patrons will have a chance to win tickets to their favorite sporting event including the 2013 Preakness!

The holiday weekend of racing in Maryland concludes on Saturday featuring the $100,000 Gin Talking Stakes for 2 year olds going 7 furlongs on the main oval. First post for Friday and Saturday will be 12:35 pm EST.

If you are playing the ponies today, my opinions on Laurel Park’s card is on the next page. Best of luck and hope you have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

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