'Winning Ponies' Welcomes Trainer A. Ferris Allen III and Jockey Jon Court

July 14, 2011
Hosted by John Engelhardt

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Episode Description

Since the New Kent County track opened in 1997, the Virginia native, now 58, has been the top trainer seven of the 12 seasons. Last summer, he saddled a single-season record 30 winners, according to official records. In all, he has saddled 201 winners at Colonial Downs. “These years at Colonial Downs have been awesome for me,” said Allen, whose main training operation is in Maryland. “I shake my head and wonder why I have done so well.” Ferris Allen’s passion for horses goes back to his childhood years at Warwick Stable, his father’s horse farm in eastern Henrico County’s Varina area. “I was galloping horses at 11 and riding in races at 13,” Allen recalled. “As I have said many times, if I wanted to be around my dad when I was a kid, I had to be around horses. We had a good father-son relationship. But that doesn’t mean he was easy on me.” His father is Albert Ferris Allen Jr., whom everybody calls Bert. A fixture at the same table in Colonial Downs’ Turf Club when the horses are running, Bert Allen has missed just five racing days in 12 years. After graduating from The College of William & Mary, where he played baseball, Ferris Allen returned home to teach government and coach baseball at Varina High School. At the same time, he was training horses for Bert and running them at Charles Town in West Virginia. “Ferris would van the horses home from Charles Town late at night,” Bert said. “I would put ’em to bed, because he had to go to school the next morning.” Three years of being a high school teacher and a horse trainer nearly wore Ferris out, so he quit his teaching job to condition racehorses full time. It turned out to be a good move. During his 35-year career, Ferris Allen has saddled more than 1,700 winners at racetracks from Delaware to Florida. Jon Kenton Court was born November 23, 1960 in Gainesville, Florida. Having grown up in Florida, Jon Court began riding in Colorado at the now closed Centennial Park in 1980. He rode in Louisiana for 12 years before moving to Kentucky and Indiana in 1995 where he was a top rider at Hoosier Park from 1996 to 1998. In 1999, he gained his 2,000th win at Kentucky Downs. In 2001, he rode Percy Hope in the Lone Star Derby, winning, and in the Preakness Stakes, placing 9th. He holds the record for most wins by a jockey (2) in the Lone Star Derby. In 2003, was his big break when he won the Japan Cup Dirt on Fleetstreet Dancer.

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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