Bossier City, LA – Many features on apprentice jockeys making their mark involve young riders, even teenagers, winning their first races at an early age. Some come from a racing family, following in the footsteps of a father, uncle or cousin.
Louisiana Downs apprentice Aubrey Green has written a very different story for her journey in becoming a professional jockey, defying the standard script in pretty much every way! Green is 30-years-old and a mother of three children. Born in Boise, Idaho, she grew up in a very small town of Riley, with virtually no exposure to racing.
“I was raised in a very sheltered environment,” said Green. “We didn’t watch much television and the only horse racing I ever knew about was the Kentucky Derby.”
Her family owned a Quarter Horse and Green began riding when she was nine, but was more intent on studying and going to college than becoming a jockey. She married at 18 and had three children, who are now six, seven and eight-years-old.
“I guess I was a broodmare first,” she jokes, acknowledging that even as a busy young mom, she had a desire to pursue a career to ride professionally.
“I had a really rough debut,” she recalled. “I was 23 and rode my own horse in a stock race at a fair meet. I was pregnant at the time, but knew that I wanted to keep going.”
The next year she began galloping for a few trainers and rode in a schooling race at Pocatello Downs; then on to Wyoming Downs, where she rode her first winner in August, 2015.
She made her way to Delta Downs in Vinton, Louisiana with little success, but had much better fortune when she traveled to Turf Paradise at the end of 2015.
Green credits journeyman Isaias Enriquez for helping her learn the ropes when she arrived at Turf Paradise. She was just 100 pounds and, in her words, ‘couldn’t switch a stick without hitting myself in the mouth’!
“He took me under his wing because he saw I wasn’t scared and believed that I had potential,” recalled Green.
Enriquez helped her get stronger, guiding her through a fitness regime of running, lifting weights and “riding” on an Equisizer that they built from scratch. He showed her how to twirl her whip and she practiced all night. The next day she walked up to her mentor, twirling the whip like she had been doing it for years.
“He just smiled and I knew that I had proven he wouldn’t be wasting his time helping me learn,” stated Green.
“The first time I beat him in a race, he was so happy, he just lit up,” said Green. “He is riding on the West coast, but still follows me and calls with his feedback.”
Despite the positive encouragement from Enriquez and several trainers, it has not been an easy path for Green. She has ridden in seven states, with mounts at Santa Rosa, Ferndale, Hamey County Fair, Los Alamitos, Delta Downs, Turf Paradise and now at Louisiana Downs.
“I knew it was going to be tough,” she admitted. “I almost quit after Delta. Then I realized that this is where I belong. I want to set a good example for my kids and truly believe that if you work hard, you can accomplish anything.”
Green has ridden 424 horses to date with 40 wins. She has already doubled her results from 2016 and is enjoying riding full-time at Louisiana Downs this meet. Her goal is to show trainers that she can put her mount in an advantageous position and will ride as hard on a favorite or a 30-1 longshot.
Being away from her children is very tough on Green, but she has support from her two rescue dogs, Jagger and T-Bone. She smiles when she recalls a recent win.
“I had a ton of horse and was closing down the lane, which was freakin’ awesome,” said Green. “When I dismounted, the groom said ‘wow; I thought you were one of the guys’. That was my best compliment yet!”
Positive, focused and grounded in her ability to rise to the challenge in a very demanding profession, it’s hard not to root for Aubrie Green.
Big Week for Jockey Richard Eramia
Jockey Richard Eramia parlayed a huge day of racing into a week of national merit as he was named JockeyTalk360.com Jockey of the Week.
The honor is bestowed to the North American Thoroughbred rider with the best record for the week. Eramia won five of the seven races on the June 21st card Louisiana Downs. The 38-year-old rode 42 races in six days at Louisiana Downs and Lone Star Park. Eramia won 17 races; the most victories of any other jockey in the country, which garnered him the award for the week of June 19-25. The award is voted on by a panel of experts by members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 riders in North America.
“It was a pretty exciting week,” said Eramia. “I have a very good driver: my wife Jessica, which makes the commute between the two tracks much easier”
Eramia makes his home in Dallas, just four miles from Lone Star. Monty Penney handles his book in Texas and Ronald Ardoin books mounts for him at Louisiana Downs.
Currently the leading rider at Louisiana Downs, the hard-working veteran is highly respected in the jocks room.
“Richard is an amazing rider,” said apprentice Aubrie Green. “He has been very kind to me and is someone I admire for his work ethic and professionalism.”
Exotic Racing Set for July 4 at Louisiana Downs
Back by popular demand, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs is hosting the Exotic Animal Races on Tuesday, July 4. Ostriches and Camels will take the post between Live Horse Racing. The family-friendly activities begins at noon with bounce houses, face painting and water-slides on the apron. Eat up as food trucks serve up great local bites or check out the buffet dining in Harrah’s Club, with an “All you can eat, All day” price of $24.99. The live racing gets underway at 3:15pm.
Louisiana Downs Trainer and Jockey Standings
Through June 26, last year’s leading trainer Joey Foster continues to hold a commanding lead over his fellow conditioners with 27 wins. Ronnie P. Ward and H. B. Johnson are tied for second with seven wins with Denise Schmidt in third place with six wins. Richard Eramia has soared to the top of the leader board with 33 wins, eight more than Gerardo Mora, who finished third in the jockey standings last year. Alexander Castillo is next with 22 victories followed by Jose Andres Guerrero who has won 20 races. Red Rose Racing has moved into the lead in the owner standings with six wins. Jorge Gomez and Patti Turner are tied for second place with five wins and William K. Harris and Beverly Burress follow closely with four victories.
About Harrah’s Louisiana Downs
Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and was purchased by Caesars Entertainment in December, 2002. With annual Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing seasons, the track is committed to presenting the highest quality racing programs paired with its 150,000 square foot entertainment complex offering casino gambling, dining and plasma screen televisions for sports and simulcast racing.
For further information, please contact:
|Trent McIntosh | Assistant General Manager
8000 East Texas Street | Bossier City, LA 71111