01/11/2013 2:44PM

Richard Migliore: Letter to the Editor

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Champion rider comes to defense of apprentice award

I have been reading with great disappointment about a growing movement to do away with the Eclipse Award for apprentice jockey. Turf writers I have great respect for have raised all kinds of reasons for the award's demise. I feel that the argument being made is a weak one and feel compelled to respond to this unfair and shortsighted idea.

I have always felt the Eclipse Awards are a celebration of our great sport. Over the years, categories have been added to enhance that celebration. This is the direction that our sport should be taking. I have read that there haven't been enough worthy candidates lately. Try telling that to these young men and women who get up at the crack of dawn while making great sacrifices - risking life and limb while endeavoring to do something that precious few are able to.

Another point being made is that honoring someone this early in their career is too much too soon because some past winners have had personal issues or have failed to fulfill their promise. Perhaps Major League Baseball should do away with Rookie of the Year since Darryl Strawberry (1983) and Dwight Gooden (1984) failed to overcome their demons and live up to their full potential. Closer to home how many 2-year-old Eclipse champions failed to be successes after their freshman season?  Should we do away with that category based on what they did after their championship campaigns?

Another writer said he didn't know enough about this year's candidates. I would hope that having the privilege of having an Eclipse vote would be taken seriously enough that the effort would be made to find out every candidate's story. You never know, one might be inspired, or better yet inspire, somebody else to go after their dreams in whatever field they chose. I am proud of my Eclipse Award as champion apprentice and understand firsthand the work it took to stand on that podium many years ago in front of all of the people in our great industry, the industry I am still proud to be a member of.

In closing, I will leave you with the words of the great philosopher Confucius "A youth is to be regarded with respect. How do we know that his future will not be equal to our present?"

Richard Migliore - Millbrook, N.Y.

Louisa Foye More than 1 year ago
Amen & well said by the Mig! Of course I'm biased, but I felt that Irad Ortiz, Jr. should have gotten the Apprentice Award last night, but I guess they are saying he wasn't an apprentice long enough, or perhaps that the kid from WV was more deserving! All I know is what a thrill it was to see Irad win the Alfred Vanderbilt on Poseiden's Warrior, and particularly to see him aboard the breathtaking Questing in the CCAO, in spite of drifting waaaay out down the stretch, and then on her in her dominant performance in the Alabama where she displayed incredible speed & power which is how I believe she wrapped up her Eclipse narrowly edging out MMA by 4 votes, in spite of my beloved MMA beating Questing @ Parx in the Cotillion with the thrilling stretch drive! But Irad was a part of this, and to win 3 Stakes Races at our prestigious Saratoga Meet is an amazing accomplishment in and of itself! And now on to "lil" bro Jose!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a horseracing fan, bettor and handicapper from texas and watch thousands of races every year and I can tell you that I would make a better eclipse voter than some of these bozos!
Honnimae More than 1 year ago
Hav de grace. Was no HOTY.
Don Reed More than 1 year ago
In response to people who think that this letter was written by someone other than Mr. Migliore: "Of course! Why, hardly a day goes by when NYRA staffers refer to famous historians and philosophers. In fact, it's really annoying. "I mean, it's impossible to get a job there unless, in the interview, you can quote Nietzsche, defending the memoirs of Saint Thomas Aquinas; or provide the exact day of the demise of the Roman Empire."
Michael More than 1 year ago
mig you really let me down in the breeder's cup with artey shiller not because I lost a win bet if i'm correct you took a fall pior to the race and you had no business taking that mount it wasn't fair to jimmy jerkens & the betting public
gio parker More than 1 year ago
Always liked MIG
Cover2 More than 1 year ago
Amen bro, don't think the entertainment industry, globes, AA's, sag et al drop catagories but add new ones, does the eclipse have a red carpet, entering ? If not need one !
Jeff Apel More than 1 year ago
Richard: What public relations firm wrote that letter to the editor for you?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you ever saw Mr. Migliore work on the NYRA televison network , you would not have posted this comment. . bb/pokny
DavidM More than 1 year ago
What an idiotic statement! The Mig is one of the most intelligent and articulate member of the racing industry. You are clueless.
Pom De Terre More than 1 year ago
what 3rd grader composed your post jeff?
Tom Tubtim More than 1 year ago
Mig. Your message is very loud and clear, well thought out, and that said a lot about your character. I am a retired Chief Warrant Officer in the US. Army. Over 25 yrs of my career, I spent countless time offering advise, counseling, and teaching soldiers of all ranks from private to officer about a matter pertaining to technical/tactical maintenance standard. Numerous hours I spent writing a letter of recommendation for award for Soldiers who went above and beyond their day-to-day duty and responsibilities. Honoring someone for his/her outstanding accomplishment is part of our warrior ethos and team spirits. Many of those awardees went on to become great leaders and some may not, some went on to contributed many great results in our society in their civilians lives and some may not. We all should try to find good in each other; especially, to our younger generation who is the future of our nation depending on. I am confident that your message would prompt the editor to reverse his/her decision. "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6 (NIV). May God bless you and keep you. Tom-
Robert More than 1 year ago
Mig has said it all.