Jockeys Announced for NTRA All-Star Jockey Championship

Ten invitations to compete in the seventh annual NTRA All-Star Jockey Championship at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas were extended on Saturday, May 31. Jose Santos, who rides Funny Cide next week in an attempt to become horse racing’s first Visa Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, heads the field for the popular competition slated for Friday, June 20.

Invitations were extended to Robby Albarado, Russell Baze, Ryan Fogelsonger, Edgar Prado, Jose Santos, Shane Sellers, Mike Smith, Alex Solis, Pat Valenzuela and John Velazquez.

Horseracing fans have an opportunity to choose another participant through an online poll at and Lone Star Park’s leading rider through Sunday will complete the elite cast of a dozen jockeys.

In addition, it was announced that Laffit Pincay Jr., the all-time leading jockey with 9,350 career wins, would be this year’s Guest of Honor, joining the esteemed list of past honorees: Eddie Arcaro (1997), Team Secretariat (1998), Bill Shoemaker (1999), Team Affirmed (2000), Bill Hartack (2001) and Joe Hirsch (2002).

This year’s NTRA All-Star Jockey Championship, co-sponsored by Daily Racing Form, will also include a special salute to the upcoming Universal Pictures film “Seabiscuit.”

“This year’s cast is an outstanding mix of riding greats from coast to coast,” said Lone Star Park President Corey Johnsen. “It should be another exciting event on June 20.”

Smith, Solis and Valenzuela represent the Southern California riding colony. Prado, Santos and Velazquez are top riders in New York. Meanwhile, Albarado and Sellers compete in Kentucky, while Baze and Fogelsonger represent Northern California and Maryland, respectively.

A seven-member selection panel chose the All-Stars: Michele Blanco, President of the Turf Publicists of America, Larry Craft, Lone Star Park’s Director of Racing; Hirsch, Executive Columnist for Daily Racing Form; Chick Lang Sr., Senior Racing Consultant for Lone Star Park; Tim Price, Horseracing Columnist for Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Jennie Rees, President of the National Turf Writers Association; and Gary West, Horseracing Columnist for The Dallas Morning News.

Albarado (1999-2003), Prado (1999-2003), Sellers (1997-2000, ’03) and Smith (1997-98, 2000, ’02-03) are five-time All-Stars. Solis (1999, 2000, ’02-03) is a four-time All-Star. Baze (2002-03), Santos (2000, ’03) and Velazquez (2002-03) are two-time All-Stars (2002-03). Fogelsonger and Valenzuela received their first invites to the competition.

Baze, Santos and Smith are Hall of Fame jockeys. Meanwhile, Prado (2000) and Sellers (1998) are past event champions. Other past winners of the event are Gary Stevens (1997), Pincay (1999), Jerry Bailey (2001) and Chris McCarron (2002).

Online voters at can vote for their favorite national representative in this year’s NTRA All-Star Jockey Championship through Saturday, June 7. They can choose between Javier Castellano, Jorge Chavez, Eibar Coa, Kent Desormeaux, Ramon Dominguez, Rene Douglas, Victor Espinoza, David Flores, Rosemary Homeister Jr., Richard Migliore, Corey Nakatani, and Cornelio Velazquez. The leading vote getter among the 12 aforementioned jockeys will receive the “fan’s invitation.”

Another berth annually goes to Lone Star Park’s leading jockey through Sunday, June 1. It’s a heated battle between Corey Lanerie and Eddie Martin Jr., who entered Saturday’s races tied atop the Lone Star Park standings with 48 wins apiece.

The jockey with the most points at the end of the unique four-race competition is crowned champion. Riding assignments are determined by a drawing Wednesday, June 18, and jockeys receive points for finishing first (12 points), second (6), third (4) and fourth (3) in each race.

Jockeys will vie for a record $200,000 in prize money in 2003. Along with the prestige of winning the event, the champion jockey will earn $25,000. Other prize money: $20,000 (second); $18,000 (third); $17,000 (fourth); and $15,000 (fifth through 12th).

The NTRA All-Star Jockey Championship annually raises money for disabled and injured jockeys. A percentage of the wagering on the four all-star races will benefit the Disabled Jockey’s Endowment. A portion of the proceeds from a luncheon, memorabilia auction, autograph session and golf tournament also go to the fund.

More than $600,000 has been raised in the event’s six-year history.

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