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Charles Town a 'wonderful situation' for Boulmetis

January 16, 2005|by LARRY YANOS

larryy@herald-mail.com

The attractive purses offered by Charles Town Races & Slots caught the attention of jockeys agent Jim Boulmetis.

So in December of 2003, the 44-year-old racetrack employee decided to leave the friendly confines of Philadelphia Park and start a new chapter in his life at the West Virginia thoroughbred oval.

"I'm glad I made the move. I'm very happy here," Boulmetis said. "The purses are great, the people are great, it's just a wonderful situation."

At Philadelphia Park, Boulmetis handled the book for Kendrick Carmouche and Jorge Duarte.

Carmouche decided to move south with Boulmetis and the two enjoyed a successful 2004 campaign as the jockey finished second in the overall yearly standings.

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Boulmetis added jockey Vernon Bush to the list late last year when the veteran rider decided to move from Suffolk Downs to Charles Town to be reunited with a former employer - trainer Kevin Joy.

"Having both Carmouche and Bush is great," Boulmetis said. "They are excellent jockeys who work hard and get the job done."

His last two years at Philadelphia Park, Carmouche finished behind Stewart Elliott (of Smarty Jones fame) in the jockey standings, while Bush came to Charles Town with some impressive statistics from New England.

Boulmetis has been involved in horse racing for a number of years.

"My dad (Sam) is in the racing Hall of Fame. He rode for many years and then was a state steward in New Jersey from 1968 to 2004," Boulmetis said. "My brother is currently a state steward at Philadelphia Park. He was a jockey as well and got seriously injured in Maryland in 1981. He is paralyzed from the waist down."

Like father and brother, Jim also eyed employment in the horse racing industry.

"I started working at the racetrack at Garden State, near our home in Cherry Hill, N.J.," Boulmetis said. "I got too big to become a jockey so I trained horses for 15 years and then decided to become a jocks agent about six years ago. I like it."

Boulmetis says Carmouche and Bush will hopefully make an impact on the jockey standings at Charles Town in 2005.

"We will try to work together as a team," Boulmetis said. "Vernon has first call for Joy, Carmouche rides for everybody."

The agent said Carmouche and Bush will call Charles Town home in 2005 with occasional visits to the Maryland racetracks, Delaware Park and Philadelphia Park.

A normal day for Boulmetis: "I usually get to the racetrack by 6:30 in the morning and get out around 1 o'clock the days they take entries. I'm back for the evening programs from beginnning to end."

Boulmetis is impressed with the Charles Town facility and the friendly atmosphere.

"I like it here very much," Boulmetis said. "The people are friendly. They have accepted us. That's very nice coming to a place we have never been before. Everyone has been supportive and nice."

Pony tales


Charles Town will offer a special racing program Monday for Martin Luther King Day.

The live thoroughbred card gets under way at 6:30 p.m. There will be 10 races.

· Aqueduct will play host to the first ever Jimmy Winkfield Stakes on Monday. The $75,000 race for 3-year-olds is named for legendary African-American jockey Jimmy Winkfield, who won back-to-back runnings of the Kentucky Derby in 1901 and 1902.

Winkfield was inducted into thoroughbred racing's Hall of Fame last summer in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

· California-based jockey Rene Douglas is the 122nd rider to gain 3,000 victories. Douglas, who won the 1996 Belmont Stakes aboard Editors Note, is currently riding at Santa Anita Park.

· Dean Sarvis, the top jockey for Turfway Park's 2004 Holiday Meet and currently leading its 2005 Winter-Spring Meet, brought home five winners at the Florence, Ky., racetrack Wednesday night.




Larry Yanos is sports editor of The Daily Mail. He covers horse racing for The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2311, or by e-mail at larryy@herald-mail.com

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