At the Races

Reynolds wraps up retirement, begins racing again

Reynolds wraps up retirement, begins racing again

June 04, 2006|by LARRY YANOS

Fifteen years removed from "retirement," Lori Reynolds is back in the saddle.

"Never in a million years did I think I would return to race-riding following a time frame of getting married and raising four children, but here I am," Reynolds said. "And I'm really enjoying it."

Reynolds, the former Lori Strickland, is married to another jockey - Larry Reynolds. The Charles Town-based family includes four children ranging from 6 to 14 years old.

Ever since their marriage in February 1991, Lori has been following the career of her husband and the trials and tribulations of her children.


Now she has added responsibilities.

"I primarily work for (trainers) Scott Lake and Mike Atkins and I have indicated to them that I would ride their horses in races. I work them and gallop them in the mornings and I'm familiar with them. I'm not looking to ride on a daily basis, though - just when I'm needed."

That's unlike 15 years ago, when she rode practically every day of the week.

Reynolds was one of the leading female jockeys at Charles Town Races & Slots in the late 1980s and early '90s before deciding to call it quits.

At that time, Charles Town was considered a dominant racetrack for female riders. The likes of Lillian "Mitch" Kuykendall, Lori Youngs, Lori Bourne and Elaina Sheridan proved to be tough competition for many outstanding male riders - including Reynolds.

"I missed horse racing, but marriage and raising a family became very important," Reynolds said. "About three years ago, I started to gallop horses for some of my former trainers and owners and I became more and more involved with the racing scene."

A few weeks ago, Reynolds reached the winner's circle with Makin the Blues, a filly trained by Atkins.

"What a thrill. I was whooping and hollering. It was like I had just won the Kentucky Derby," Reynolds said. "I was very happy, not just for me, but really for the horse. She worked hard in the mornings and the hard work paid off with a win."

Speaking of hard work, Reynolds gallops horses every day but Sunday and will work longer hours once the school year ends.

"It's funny to see the kids root for Mommy," Reynolds said. "They never knew me as a jockey."

Lori said she and Larry often competed against one another in the late 80s and early 90s and the rivalry was renewed earlier this year at Charles Town.

"I finished third and he won and I was furious," Reynolds said. "I had the best horse but I was boxed in, had nowhere to go, and couldn't pass him. I was not happy."

Record run

Anthony L. Roman, Jr.'s Who's Bluffing broke the 6-furlong track record that he shared with six other horses Tuesday night when he won the $18,800 sixth race at Penn National.

The six-year old gelding, ridden by Thomas Clifton, rocketed out of the starting gate and outran his six rivals from gate to wire.

Who's Bluffing raced past the opening half-mile in 44.10 seconds and finished out his final quarter-mile in 24.67 for a final clocking of 1:08.77.

Multiple stakes-winner Saay Mi Name rallied for a distant second, finishing seven lengths back of the record holder.

Earlier this year, Who's Bluffing won a 6-furlong sprint in 1:08.80 to tie the time first posted by Dainty Dotsie on Aug. 13, 1977. That clocking had been equaled, but never bettered, by five other horses over the past 29 years.

Pony tales

The Belmont Stakes Day at Charles Town on Saturday will feature a 7 p.m. post time for the 10-race live thoroughbred racing card.

Jockey James Graham got his Memorial Day weekend off to a grand start by going 5-for-5 at Arlington Park last Saturday.

The five-win day was the first in the young career of the Irish-born reinsman, who has been riding in the United States for three years.

Graham, 27, notched the milestone win in the seventh race aboard Sobresaliente, getting up in the final stride of the 1-mile turf race.

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

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