05/04/2010 11:00PM

Mountaineer impasse with jockeys lingers


Jockeys and trainers at Mountaineer Park in West Virginia remained at a stalemate on Wednesday in discussions over a mount-fee increase sought by the riders, according to representatives of both sides.

Representatives of riders and the Mountaineer Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association met on Tuesday night for the third time in the last five days, but were unable to come to an agreement after an abbreviated discussion, according to Maria Catignani, the executive director of the horsemen's group, and Terry Meyocks, the president of the Jockeys' Guild, which is helping the riders push for the increase.

On Tuesday, only two riders accepted mounts for the Friday card. After the Saturday card was drawn on Wednesday, however, riders were named on the majority of mounts, although some riders had been named on more than one horse in a race. Many of the riders named on the Saturday card are not regular riders at Mountaineer.

Catignani said that she was "confident" that the track would be able to run on Friday and Saturday if the stalemate continued by utilizing riders who were not willing to hold out over the impasse on the mount-fee discussions.

The standard losing mount fee at Mountaineer Park is $50, though the fee can rise to as high as $105 in races with purses of $80,000 or more. At West Virginia's other Thoroughbred track, Charles Town, the scale begins at $75, rising to as much as $105 in races with purses of $100,000 or more.

Many jockey colonies have successfully pushed for higher mount fees over the past year, usually with the help of the Jockeys' Guild.