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Dec 16, 2011


            Peter Ferriola, who topped The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) trainer standings in 1987, 1991, and 1992, died on 12/9/11 in Spring Hill, Fla. from complications of a stroke and chronic diabetes. He was 69.

In a career that spanned 1978-2001, Ferriola garnered nine meet titles at Aqueduct Racetrack and two at Belmont Park. He retired with a record of 1,129 wins, 999 seconds, and 900 thirds from 6,085 starts and $26,292,286 in purse earnings.

Ferriola, originally from Philadelphia, began working in racing in 1969, quitting his jobs as a truck driver and a barber to work for trainer John P. Campo, Sr. in New Jersey. He later went to California to work for Bobby Frankel, living off food stamps with his family until Campo asked him to return to New York as his foreman. Ferriola went out on his own in 1978.

“He was a good horseman,” said trainer Bruce Levine, who worked for Campo when Ferriola was serving as his foreman. “He was the first one who was running with turndowns. He was ahead of his time. Then everybody started using them. His horses always looked well and ran well.”

Ferriola is survived by his wife, Ingrid, daughter, Veronica, son, Peter, Jr., and granddaughters Bella and Holly. His son-in-law, Tony Micallef, is the agent for apprentice jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr.

Ferriola will be cremated in Florida. Memorial service plans are pending. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. Go to to read the rest of the article.

Jockey Jorge Chavez, was unseated during the running of the ninth race on Sunday December 4th and was taken to North Shore Hospital and diagnosed with a left clavicle fracture, five left rib fractures and fractures of L1 and L2 vertebrae. He is supposed to be sidelined up to five months. His mount Silver Mast took a bad step on the turn over the turf course and fell, she rolled over Chavez but actually got up and walked away. Chavez, who is now 50, was the leading rider on the NYRA circuit from 1994-1999 and won the eclipse award as the nation’s Outstanding Jockey. Chavez won the 2001 Kentucky Derby aboard Monarchos as well as two Breeders’ Cup wins. According to Equibase statistics he has 4,526 career victories in North America. Chavez is not having a great year with just 22 wins from 297 starts and it will be interesting to see if he can return from this injury at his age.

Rapid Redux continued his winning ways when he scored a wire to wire victory at Laurel Racetrack on Tuesday, 12/13/11. He recorded his 21st straight victory and his 19th win in 2011. His trainer David Wells said that Rapid Redux came out of that race “really well” and was scheduled to go back to the track on Saturday morning. “He cooled out sound, ate his dinner last night,” Wells said. “He’s sound and bright and looks really good.” “We really won’t know what we’ll do till Friday or Saturday, but I’d like to try one more,” Well said. “In a perfect world I’d like to race him Dec. 31 and retire him right after the race. I’d like to retire him sound, and if we keep going something eventually will happen. He might even be retired after this race. We’re just not sure yet.” Whether he runs again or not his feat of 21 straight wins will not be topped any time soon, if ever at all and the fact that a starter allowance runner can have the racing world talking any time he runs is always a good thing for the game.

It is also sad to report that the 1991 Kentucky Derby winner Strike the Gold was euthanized at Karacabey Stud Farm in Turkey on December 13th. He was still active as a stallion in Turkey. He fractured his left front pastern while in his paddock and after an exam by a team of veterinarians it was decided he should be euthanized. Strike the Gold was by top stallion Alydar and was Nick Zito’s first Kentucky Derby winner. He retired from racing in 1993 with a record of 6-8-5 from 31 starts and earnings of $3,457,026.

 It was also sad to report that on December 15th, 2011, Indian Charlie, sire of four North American champions including Indian Blessing and Uncle Mo, died. Indian Charlie had hemangiosarcoma, a rare form of cancer, and was euthanized at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, according to a statement from Brereton C. Jones’s Airdrie Stud in Midway, Ky., where Indian Charlie stood. He was to have a $75,000 fee (stands and nurses) in 2012.

Go to or to read the complete articles on all of these stories.







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