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Bridgmohan, Ramseys Set Sights On Saratoga

Photo: Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography
Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan kept quiet about leading the jockey standings throughout most of the Spring Meet, but finally was ready to talk after he clinched his second Churchill Downs riding title on Saturday night.
“I tried something new this year,” Bridgmohan said. “I let my riding do the talking and I kept my mouth shut. I guess you could say I’m a little superstitious.”
Bridgmohan, who tied with Calvin Borel for the meet lead at Churchill Downs at the 2006 Fall Meet, led the rider standings at the Spring Meet through Memorial Day last year. He held a 26-24 lead over Corey Lanerie before Lanerie won 47 races over the final 19 days of the Spring Meet and finished 24 wins ahead of Bridgmohan.  
“Last year I started out great, but then I slowed down and Corey was able to pick up some momentum and went by me,” Bridgmohan said. “This year, my horses ran well consistently throughout the whole meet.”
Bridgmohan, a 34-year-old native of Spanish Town, Jamaica, is ranked 11th in all-time wins at Churchill Downs with 487.
“I would have to say this is the best meet I’ve had here,” Bridgmohan said. “The horses showed up and ran well and a lot of the trainers I ride for had great meets too and that helped. I also give a lot of the credit to my agent (Lenny Pike). He did a fabulous job and put me on a lot of good horses.”
Bridgmohan, a winner of more than 2,500 races during his 17-year career, said he had the rider standings in the back of his mind during the final weeks of the Spring Meet.
“I was thinking about it a little bit because it was something I really wanted,” Bridgmohan said. “The riding colony here is strong, like always. We’ve got some very good riders here.”
Bridgmohan, who entered Sunday’s program with a 51-43 lead over Rosie Napravnik, will ride at Saratoga when the meet begins on July 19.
He will be joined at Saratoga by fellow Churchill Downs riders Napravnik, Alan Garcia, Joe Rocco Jr. and Robby Albarado.
The majority of the Churchill Downs jockey colony will remain in Kentucky to ride at Ellis Park, including Corey Lanerie, Ricardo Santana Jr., Leandro Goncalves, Dylan Davis, Brian Hernandez Jr., Miguel Mena, Borel, Norberto Arroyo Jr., Jesus Castanon, Jon Court, Victor Lebron and John McKee.
Owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey entered closing day of the Spring Meet at Churchill Downs with a record 30 wins and will collect their record 19th owners’ title at the Louisville racetrack. The Nicholasville, Ky. couple now have set their sights on collecting their third leading-owners title at Saratoga.
“You can tell them to look out at Saratoga,” Ken Ramsey said. “It’s the 150th anniversary and I’m bringing enough horses up there to win the owners’ title. I know I’m going to have some competition up there, but I think you might be talking to the leading owner at Saratoga for the 150th anniversary meet.”
The Ramseys won the owners title at Saratoga in 2008 and ’09, but Mike Repole’s Repole Stable took home the trophy in ’10-12.
“Repole’s reign is getting ready to come to a screeching halt,” Ramsey said with a grin.
The Ramseys, the all-time leading owners at Churchill Downs with 362, won 25 races at Keeneland’s Spring Meet and shattered the previous record of 12 wins by an owner during a single meet.
One of the few holes in the resume of the Ramseys is the absence of a victory in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI). That is something they hope to change soon.
“Next year, I’m changing my focus completely and going for quality over quantity,” Ramsey said. “We’ve got to win this Kentucky Derby. We’ve got to get our picture taken on the other side of the track (in the Kentucky Derby Winner’s Circle).
“I’ve sent seven horses to Todd Pletcher and we actually think five of them are Derby material. They’re working right now and they’ll be running at Saratoga. We also think we got the best 2-year-old colt out of the OBS sale a few weeks ago (Hip 176). We named him Ichiban Warrior. Ichiban means No. 1 in Japanese.”
Ichiban Warrior is a bay son of First Samurai and sold for $155,000 at the OBS June Sale. 


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