Thursday, July 23, 2009

AP's horse racing interests: Girls, girls, girls

Working the sports desk this week as a vacation fill-in, I used the opportunity last night to get horse racing on three pages of today's daily paper. In the process, I learned what it is that gets the Associated Press interested in horse racing.


I'm at least half-serious.

Rosemary Homeister Jr. -- who reportedly tried her luck at Delaware Park earlier this year and couldn't get any mounts -- headed for Colonial Downs, instead, and has come away a big winner. Homeister has what would appear to be an almost insurmountable lead in the standings for the jockey title at the New Kent, Va., track. At this writing, she has 45 wins during the meet, with Sheldon Russell 14 in arrears at 31 and only five cards left to race. Russell would have to average three wins per day and Homeister would have to get shut out for the title to go Russell's way.

No, I'm sure not trying to jinx her.

More historically important, Homeister with a pair of wins on Monday's card passed Patricia J. Cooksey to claim second place on the all-time list of wins by a female jockey, with 2,139. Now only Julie Krone has won more races than Homeister among female jockeys, though with Krone's mark standing at 3,704, Homeister herself, now 37 years of age, said she doesn't plan to ride long enough to pursue the record.

And that caused the AP to take notice, at least after Colonial sent out a press release to that effect.

Homeister collected the Cooksey-passing win aboard Gambles List in the third race Monday (pictured). She later won aboard Out of Our Mine.

Of course, Homeister has plenty of race-riding bona fides beyond the sheer number of victories in the irons. Among them: She became the first female to win the Eclipse Award for apprentice rider (1992); She is only the fifth woman, and the most recent, to ride in the Kentucky Derby (Supah Blitz, 2003); and at least until Hialeah Park reopens (if it reopens), she remains the only female rider ever to win a jockey title there (2001).

So clearly the AP was interested a horse racing story if it focuses on the accomplishments of female jockey. It isn't exactly man-bites-dog, but it isn't your everyday racing story, either. ... Though the wire still didn't move a new photo where you could see Rosemary's face; I had to dig one up from 2003. (And, as an AP photo, I can't repeat it here, unlike the Colonial promotional handout, which was shot by Coady Photography.)

To cap the girl-power angle, Rosemary's tie-breaking ride was aboard a filly, too. And, of course, the biggest horse racing story of the year is that of a filly, Rachel Alexandra.

As for what else from the horse racing world that I squeezed in the paper, I got Del Mar's opening day news in a rundown of briefs on Page 2. Unfortunately, that included not only the Oceanside Stakes win by Afleet Eagle, but the spill that proved fatal for 8-year-old gelding Mi Rey(ARG) and left jockey Rafael Bejarano with facial fractures. (Unfortunately, you gotta take the bad with the good.) And, I shoehorned the NTRA Thoroughbred Poll in the agate.

Anyway, I guess we know what will get horse racing back on the sports pages: More emphasis on the ladies.


  1. No in-depth coverage of Del Mar's hat contest? I'm disappointed.

    Seriously, thanks for your effort.

  2. Darn, that one didn't make the wire.

    I did *notice* that they had a record turnout for opening day. That's positive-spin horse racing news.


  3. [Sigh. Third time trying to post this comment!]

    Good post. I think this is definitely the Year of the Lady in our world. Having two superstar fillies has been a blessing, I think, especially considering the sorry state of the older male division. I expect things to heat up this summer as we reach the Haskell and the Jockey Club Gold Cup, and of course, our Super Bowl in November, the Breeders' Cup. I expect RA and Big Z to win out their strings, and I'm hoping for a big splash from Stardom Bound (despite her connections to Cheatin' Rick Dutrow and IEAH, the villains of our industry).

  4. I don't know why it is, but sometimes (oftentimes?) Blogger makes me try to post the comment at least twice before it "takes," even at my own blog. I know Don Reed when commenting after other blog posts of mine has had issues with the profile selection option and ends up getting stuck with "Anonymous."

    In my experience, if I just go right back and click "Post Comment" again, without changing anything in the "Comment as" options, it usually accepts my comments the second time.

    Not sure what's up with that, but it happens to me not only on my own blog, but often when posting to other sites.

  5. Chief -

    I try to catch my post in Preview mode.
    But it often goes "Gone with the Wind" here.

    I assume you have a catcher's mitt that corrects most of our gaffes. Some of us dislike making gaffes among such esteemed literary experts out there. :D

    You might want to try another approach:
    Dashboard > Settings > Comments >

    Comment Form Placement
    Full page
    Pop-up window
    Embedded below post

    Just a suggestion.

  6. Sorry, I'm a little confused.

    Are you suggesting I change the placement of the comment form? Because I thought (and just checked) that "Embedded below post" was my current selection.

    Pardon the cluelessness. :-)

  7. Sorry. That's my fault.
    I'm the one who's clueless. :D
    Right now I've got your post embedded under the bottom okay.

    But when I ask for a Preview, I get a pop-up
    and a Word Verification to type in before sending.

    What I meant to convey was that often that PREVIEW button SENDS back to the server without the allowing for corrections on my end.

    Further complicating is the message in yellow
    that states my message will be reviewed before being posted. That yellow color blends into the background of your blog page and it's not always readily visible.

    Hope that helps a bit.
    Blogger does have a few technical issues they are working on. But more often than not it tends to be the user's browser the culprit rather than something we can work out on our own.

    I'll keep an eye on this issue and will inform you but you might want to a) switch to pop-up window input b) do away with the security word. (or both). It can't hurt.

  8. Thanks for the clarification. It's true that, depending on the theme and colors of a given blog, the comment form can be anywhere from easy to very difficult to read and use.


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