07/31/2007 11:00PM

Chavez back as an agent


Felix Chavez put on a new hat this week, the hat of a jockey agent. Chavez, 68, was forced to retire from training last November due to health concerns. Chavez said he previously worked as a jockey agent, "for about a month after I got out of the army, while I got down to my riding weight." He rode from 1955 to 1971.

He began training at River Downs in 1971, and trained for 35 years, starting horses at 13 different tracks. Chavez clocked at Turfway Park this spring, but couldn't wait to get back to River Downs.

"I just love the backside at River, the people there are like family," he said.

Chavez saw Ramon Luna win a stakes at Thistledown.

"I thought, wow, this kid really has some talent, so I did some checking and I found out he didn't have an agent," he said.

Chavez met with Luna and was impressed. "He is really a great kid with a great head on his shoulders," he said. "He deserves a break. "He will get better and better."

* Bens Reflection, a three-time Ohio sprint champion, won his comeback following a year-long layoff at Thistledown last week.

"We wanted to run him at River, but none of the races we entered him in went," said Kathy Lowry, assistant to trainer Mike Nance at River Downs.

* Funeral services were held this past Tuesday for Bill Battaglia, who died July 25 of heart failure. Battaglia worked in publicity at Latonia racecourse in the 1970s and early 80s and was well known in the press box at Turfway and River Downs the past 40 years. He was 76.