Charles Town’s leading rider, Jose Montano, established an incredible precedent last Saturday night when he was honored as the Eclipse Award winner as champion apprentice jockey for 2012.
Montano, who won nearly 200 races as an apprentice in 2012 and rode primarily for Charles Town’s leading trainer, Jeff Runco, became the first Charles Town-based jockey to ever win an Eclipse Award. He won three stakes aboard In the Fairway, last year’s top West Virginia-bred two-year-old colt, and booted home four winners on an April card at the local track.
Montano was named champion apprentice on a night when Ramon Dominquez, who garnered his third straight Eclipse Award as champion jockey, was still recovering from a horrific spill at Aqueduct the day before that left him with a slight skull fracture.
Dominquez is expected to make a full recovery, but his eventual return to the races is not likely in the immediate future.
In three allowance races at Charles Town last Thursday, Trevor’s Journey, Lillyona, and Rockingglenroy posted wins at the local oval.
Trained by Jeff Allen, Trevor’s Journey prevailed by three lengths over Big and Bright for his second win in three career outings.
Trained by Kevin Patterson, Lillyona gained command soon after the break and was never threatened en route to his first win in two career starts.
Trained by Julie Hess, Rockingglenroy rallied wide in the lane to overhaul 2-5 favorite Bomber for his first win in two outings this year.