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Camacho captures title

April 24, 2005|by LARRY YANOS

larryy@herald-mail.com

Maryland-based jockey Eric Camacho has accomplished one goal.

Now, hopefully, it's on to bigger and better things for the 21-year-old apprentice rider.

"When I first started riding, my goal was to win a meet title," Camacho said from Pimlico Race Course. "Now that that's accomplished, I just want to stay healthy, ride strong and have a good year."

Camacho captured the combined Pimlico/Laurel Park winter meet championship with 60 wins - two more trips to the winner's circle than Ramon Dominguez.

Camacho was aboard 295 horses and showed 60 wins, 64 places and 42 shows. His mounts earned $933,530.

Dominguez rode 255 horses and showed 58 wins, 49 places and 42 shows. His mounts earned $1,075,775.

The 15-week winter meet ended last week. The 70-day meet began at Pimlico on Jan. 1 before shifting to Laurel Park on Jan. 26 when it was deemed suitable for live racing.

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Ryan Fogelsonger was third in the combined meet with 53 wins, followed by Erick Rodriguez (48)and Richard Monterrey (43).

"I'm real pleased with the meet title. We have some good jockeys here in Maryland and it was tough," Camacho said. "I give a lot of credit to my agent, John Salzman Jr. He has done a great job and so many top trainers have supported us during the entire meet."

Camacho, who becomes a journeyman next month, rides mostly for trainers Tim Salzman, Scott Lake and Howard Wolfendale.

He started galloping horses in February 2003, and won his first career race aboard Love Game on April 18, 2004 at Pimlico.

He has shown steady improvement while riding in Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia and West Virginia.

"I've ridden in Maryland, for the most part, and I'll continue to do that," Camacho said. "I may decide to ride more at Delaware Park when the Pimlico meet ends. Last year, I went to Colonial Downs."

Camacho rides some at Charles Town Races & Slots but said he concentrates primarily on Maryland, Delaware Park and an occasional visit to Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J.

His biggest win was a "little stakes" at Colonial Downs aboard Northern Babe.

Trainer Kenny Cox captured the first title of his career, winning 32 races - three more than John Rigattieri.

The veteran conditioner saddled three winners on March 9 and had four two-win days. Twenty-nine of his victories were for Gill.

Scott Lake (27 wins), Dale Capuano (22) and Chris Grove (21) completed the top five.

"Any time you have a shot to win a long winter meet like this, it's just huge," said Cox. "It's no easy circuit to beat. Just for that one reason, it's an awful big step for us."

Michael Gill reigned supreme in the owner standings for the 11th straight meet at the major Maryland tracks, finishing first 42 times. The Gill blue produced seven multiple-win days and had at least one winner 34 times.

Since arriving in Maryland in October 2001, he has won 464 races at Laurel and Pimlico.

Larrimore succeeds Combs


Brande Larrimore has been named assistant executive director of the Charles Town Division/Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.

She succeeds Don Combs, who left the West Virginia racetrack earlier this month to accept a position as a steward at Finger Lakes in Victor, N.Y.

"There are many things to be addressed," Larrimore said. "The governor has still not signed the workmen's compensation bill (which could have Charles Town contributing $4.6 million toward the deficit). And we also have fiscal-year issues to be addressed."

Pony tales


When West Virginia Breeders Classics Ltd. President Sam Huff glanced at the 2005-06 National Football League schedule, he saw that the Washington Redskins visit Denver on Oct. 9.

That's the day after the Breeders Classics card at Charles Town.

The NFL Hall of Famer, a member of the Redskins radio broadcasting team, said, "I won't be able to fly out with the team on Saturday but I'll get an early morning flight on Sunday to get there for the game."

For the second time in a little more than a month, Maryland-based jockey Fogelsonger was involved in a major spill.

The 23-year-old 2002 Eclipse Award winning apprentice was riding Christmas Slippers, the 2-1 favorite in Thursday's eighth race at Pimlico, when the filly appeared to prop at the half-mile pole.

Fogelsonger was thrown towards the rail and kicked by his horse. He was complaining of neck pain but was alert.

Fogelsonger was taken to Sinai Hospital for precautionary X-rays.

D.G. Van Clief Jr. has been hired as commissioner and CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.




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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