06/09/2011 1:31PM

Belmont Stakes: Jockeys appear on Howard Stern's show


Jockeys Ramon Dominguez and Jesus Castanon, both of whom will ride in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes, appeared on Howard Stern’s immensely popular satellite radio show Wednesday, in a 15-minute segment laced with profanity that included frank discussions about weight management, rider’s earnings, and racetrack groupies.

Stern, who said that his father attends the races every day, began the segment by telling the riders that he was “here to give you guys props. It’s not easy to race these horses.” The interview then touched on a number of less-than-mainstream topics typical of a Stern appearance, including whether or not the two riders had seen each other naked in the locker room.

Both Dominguez and Castanon addressed questions about whether they had been approached by “the mob” to fix races, with both denying that they had ever taken part in any scheme to affect a race’s outcome.

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“Frankly, I think those days are over,” Dominguez said.

“C’mon, let’s fix a race,” Stern answered.

In the Belmont, Castanon is on Shackleford, the horse that won the Preakness Stakes three weeks ago. Robin Quivers, the co-host of the show, asked Dominguez why he hadn’t won the race.

“I guess I’m not as good as Jesus,” Dominguez said.

In response to questions about how the two riders were introduced to racing, Castanon said that he was first put on a horse by his father, a trainer in Mexico.

“Once I got on a pony, I thought, ‘This is fun,’ ” Castanon said.

The jockeys made the appearance in part to promote a 2012 calendar featuring “beefcake” jockey portraits by Barbara D. Livingston, a photographer whose work appears in Daily Racing Form . A portion of the proceeds from sales of the calendar, which includes a portrait of Dominguez, go to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys’ Fund.

Christine Sabia, a freelance publicist who produced the calendar and promoted the interview to the producers of the Stern show, said that she felt the segment went well. As far as Sabia and the producers were aware, no jockeys had ever appeared on Stern’s program before Wednesday.

“I was sitting in the green room during the interview and I was laughing, and as long as you can get laughs out of it, that’s good for a show like Howard’s,” Sabia said.