Updated on 09/18/2011 1:13AM

A chip off the old Bridgmohan block


Shaun Bridgmohan began his riding career at Calder following his graduation from high school during the summer of 1997, won an Eclipse Award as the top apprentice in the country the following season, and has since gone on to have a successful career as a journeyman that has included riding titles at Aqueduct in 2002 and Arlington Park in 2005. He also rode Private Vow for trainer Steve Asmussen in this year's Kentucky Derby.

Nine years after Shaun Bridgmohan started his career, Jermaine Bridgmohan is hoping to follow in his footsteps, and if early results are any indication, he's well on his way. It's taken Jermaine, 18, only two months to crack the top 10 in the jockey standings at the Calder meet, which began in April. As a testament to his popularity with local horsemen, Bridgmohan is listed to ride all 10 races on Friday's card.

The similarities between the beginning of the Bridgmohan brothers' careers even include having the same jockey agent, Cory Moran, who says he is looking to take the same path with Jermaine that he took with Shaun in 1998, when Shaun won the Eclipse Award.

"Right now the long-range plan for Jermaine is to stay here at Calder through the end of the Tropical meet and then head up to New York to ride this winter at Aqueduct," said Moran.

Like his older brother, Jermaine didn't accept his first mount until he completed his high school education; he graduated in June.

"That's the one thing my father was persistent about," said Jermaine, shortly before riding American Border to victory in Monday's finale. "I had to finish high school before riding any races."

Jermaine had been galloping horses locally here for the last three years, primarily for trainer Steve Dwoskin, who also gave Shaun his start.

"Shaun has helped me a lot," said Jermaine. "He tries to watch me ride as much as he can from New York and critiques my riding on a daily basis. But perhaps the biggest way my brother has helped me here is because of the name he has already established in the business. As a result, his success has become my success."

Jermaine said he is also looking forward to the day he can ride regularly alongside his older brother.

"That could happen this winter," he said. "Right now Shaun is uncertain whether he's coming back down for the Gulfstream Park meet or if he's going to stay in New York. I know riding with him every day will only help me to get better faster. Telling me something over the telephone is one thing. Actually being able to show me is even better."

Jermaine said he would also like to follow in his brother's footsteps and win the Eclipse as the nation's top apprentice next year.

"I guess it's a good thing I didn't start this year, because I wouldn't have had a chance for the award with the kind of season Julien Leparoux has had," he said. "But hopefully if I can make a good enough impression in New York this winter and carry on until the end of my bug next August, I'll have a good opportunity to win the award in 2007."

Among Jermaine's 10 mounts Friday is one in each of the co-features - Cajulena in the sixth race and Shimmering Crystal in the ninth race.

Cajulena had her two-race win streak snapped when she was beaten a head in her last start. Her last three starts have come on the main track. On Friday, she will return to the turf, weather permitting, where her competition will include Read the Label and the speedy Banner Elk.

Read the Label is undefeated in two starts on grass and will likely be favored in the five-furlong dash. Banner Elk was a 4 3/4-length gate-to-wire winner over the turf earlier in the meet.

Shimmering Crystal will likely be odds-on to win the ninth race, a seven-furlong dash decided under first-level allowance conditions. A 2-year-old daughter of Cat Thief, Shimmering Crystal has won both of her starts, including an 8 1/4-length triumph over $32,000 claiming rivals in her most recent appearance.

* Gin Rummy Champ worked a half-mile in 50.25 seconds Wednesday in preparation for Saturday's $45,000 Hooting Star Stakes on the turf. Gin Rummy Champ figures to go off among the favorites in the race, along with Paradise Dancer and Love My Mountain.