'Winning Ponies' welcomes Eddie Castro's agent Mike Gonzalez and Archarcharch's trainer William "Jinks" Fires

April 28, 2011
Hosted by John Engelhardt

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Episode Description

Calling in for Eddie Castro will be his agent Mike Gonzalez. Eddie Castro is not fluent in English and his agent does all the interviews for him. Eddie Castro (born 4/10/1985 in Panama) grew up on a produce farm there where he learned to ride saddle horses at an early age. Influenced by the accomplishments of other local jockeys, Castro attended the Panamanian Jockey School and began riding in races in December 2002. In just over three months he rode thirty-six winners in Panama then decided to move to the United States where he debuted on April 16, 2003 at Gulfstream Park in Florida. Although his fellow apprentice jockeys had more a three-and-a-half month head start, Castro wrapped up the year as the winner of the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey. On June 4, 2005 at Calder Race Course, Eddie Castro set an American record with nine wins on a single race card and on November 15, 2006 at Churchill Downs won his 1,000th race. That year, he rode Miesque's Approval to victory in the Sunshine Millions Turf and the Breeders' Cup Mile. William "Jinks" Fires (born: 07/23/1940 in Rivervale, AR), is the second eldest of the popular racing family. Of the nine boys and two girl in the Fires family, eight boys, at one time or the other, worked in the business with the most widely known being Hall of Fame jockey Earlie Fires. Another brother, Bucky, was a popular outrider in New York and Chicago as well as Hot Springs. Always among the leaders at Oaklawn Park, Mr. Fires enters the 2011 season with a deep stable headed by several promising 3-year-olds. Chief among the group of sophomores are $250,000 Southwest Stakes (G3) and $1million Arkansas Derby (G1) winner Archarcharch, owned by longtime client Bob Yagos and Patricia Blass’ Bluegrass Bull, third in the Smarty Jones. Fires has trained for Patricia and Gus "Buddy" Blass and their colorful line of “Shoe” horses for more than 30 years. Keeping things in the family, the regular rider for Archarcharch is Fires’ son-in-law jockey Jon Court.

Winning Ponies

Winning Ponies

Thursday at 5 PM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Variety Channel

On the show we will talk about the Sport of Kings. We will delve into the different features of the WinningPonies.com website. John Engelhardt will talk about the issues of the day that affect horse racing, such as synthetic surfaces, medication rule changes, the fate of the industry as a whole, VLTs and Casinos, and human interest stories of triumph and defeat. You will also hear our spot play of the week, where John will handicap the feature races for the upcoming weekend, and will give out his best plays. We will keep you abreast racing’s big events. Featured on the show will be guests (trainers, jockeys, jockey’s agents, owners, and celebrity handicappers). Promotional giveaways will be featured, such as brand merchandise and free WinningCredits.

"Winning Ponies" is broadcast live every Thursday at 8 PM Eastern/5 PM Pacific on the VoiceAmerica Variety Channel.

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John Engelhardt

John Engelhardt

You may recognize him as "Racing's Regular Guy." For ten years, John Engelhardt hosted the informative and sometimes irreverent handicapping show from his base at River Downs in Cincinnati, Ohio. He developed a passion for thoroughbred racing as a youngster at Saratoga, and has been able to make his love of the sport his life's calling.

Engelhardt, a native of Syracuse, New York is a graduate of the University of Dayton. His professional career in racing began as the track photographer at Beulah Park in 1983 and he has worked in racing ever since. John produced "The Stretch Run" for eight years, which aired on the CBS affiliate WCPO-TV in Cincinnati. For four years Engelhardt co-hosted "The Regular Guy Handicapping Show on HOMER 1530-AM in Cincinnati with former "Winning Ponies" host Ed Meyer.

John served as the President of the Turf Publicists of America in 2009 and 2010, after serving several years as the Midwest Vice-President of that organization. He is currently a consultant for Pinnacle Entertainment handling publicity, public relations, marketing, advertising and special events for River Downs. Under the "nom-de-course" of Heart of an Angel Stable, he has bred and owned thoroughbreds for 18 years.

"Racing's Regular Guy" has been exposed to racing on many levels and greets the sport with enthusiasm and well-rounded knowledge. Tune in Thursdays at 5PM PT, as he welcomes nationally recognized guests, who will help you find those "Winning Ponies.”

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