David Mattice
Assistant to the Director of Publicity
Phone: 585-742-9234
Jaime Rodriguez begins quest for third straight jockey title; Giveaways Friday and Saturday
FARMINGTON, N.Y. – Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack (FLGR) will kick off the 2015 live thoroughbred racing meet on Friday afternoon. The historic Western New York track’s 53rd season will begin with the nine-race Opening Day card. Post time for the first race is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. Racing gates open at 10:00 a.m.

Jockey Jaime Rodriguez will be vying for his third consecutive jockey title in 2015. Rodriguez is listed to ride in five races on Friday after finishing the 2014 meet with 160 wins

In three seasons at FLGR, the 24-year-old from Carolina Puerto Rico has recorded a total of 434 victories. He won six stake races since joining the local jockey colony in 2012.

Rodriguez will be honored after Friday’s sixth race for being the top FLGR jockey last year.

Chris Englehart will also be presented an award on Friday for his achievements in 2014. He was the top FLGR conditioner for the 12th consecutive year. Englehart saddled 97 winning horses to register his 14th career trainer title. Horses under the care of Englehart have notched a total of 3,642 victories in 16,502 lifetime starts.

New Faces

A total of eight new trainers have acquired stalls in the FLGR stable area. The majority of the fresh faces reallocated their outfits to FLGR after competing at Suffolk Downs in Boston, Massachusetts.

Tito Rivera is one of the new conditioners that will be saddling horses in the FLGR paddock. The 56 year-old grew up in Pawtucket, Rhode Island and spent the majority of his career at the New England tracks. He is a second generation trainer that started at Rockingham Park before moving his stable to Suffolk Downs. Rivera has amassed a total of 124 wins during his 14 year career.

Robert Raymond is expected to have the largest quantity of new competitors. Horses from the barn of Raymond have won 1,181 of their 9,623 starts.

Jacqueline Falk will both train and ride horses at FLGR this year. Falk has 29 victories as a trainer and 85 as a jockey.

Jose M. Rivera is a new jockey that has eight years experience in the saddle. The 26-year-old from San Juan, Puerto Rico spent most of his career at Hipodromo Camarero but also rode at Calder and Suffolk Downs.

Rivera has 570 lifetime wins and already achieved 14 victories this year.  He will make his FLGR debut aboard No Flaws in Friday’s seventh race.

Jockey Joel Cruz will return to action on Friday after being sidelined for over seven months. Cruz injured his leg in an incident that occurred on September 19, 2014, but is set to return after a full recovery. His first mount of 2015 will be in the third race aboard She’s Off the Hook.

“I appreciate everyone’s concern during my absence,” said Cruz. “I feel really good and am happy to be back”.

Cruz could reach a milestone in 2015. He is currently 17 away from victory number 1,000.

Opening/Derby Weekend

The start of the 2015 season coincides with Kentucky Derby weekend and fans can enjoy the action as well as receive commemorative gifts.

On Friday, the first 1,000 Members to check in at Player Extras will receive a free bucket hat. There will also be advance wagering on the Kentucky Derby. WYSL 1040 AM/92.1 FM will provide live coverage of the Opening Day activities.

FLGR will participate in a fundraising campaign that is being held Kentucky Derby Weekend by a group of racing organizations. A silent auction will take place on Friday with framed photos of famous horses signed by their respective jockey or owner. Pictures included in the event will be of California Chrome, Secretariat, Wise Dan and Zenyatta.

Proceeds from the collective effort will be donated to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF).  The money collected by the charity will provide individuals with health care and living expenses.

On Saturday, the first 1,500 Player Extras members to check in will receive a Derby glass. There will be a live 8-race card as well as simulcast wagering of the 141st Run for the Roses.

First race post time for live racing on both days is set at 1:10 p.m and giveaways begin when the racing gates open at 10:00 am.  
About Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack: In operation since 1962, the facility added gaming to its offering in 2004 and expanded again in 2013 by adding 33,000 square feet with a $12 million expansion. Nearly two million visitors annually now visit the facility highlighted by over 1,500 gaming machines, the 448-seat Vineyard Buffet, Wolfgang Puck Express, Remedy Bar & Lounge, as well as live and simulcast thoroughbred racing. Gaming doors open at 8 a.m. and racing doors open at 11:30 a.m. daily. For more information, visit

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