Retired jockey Richard Migliore won over 4,400 races during his career that lasted many, many years through stops at most major racing circuits around the country. Migliore never won a Triple Crown race during his extended career, but he did capture one Breeders' Cup race, the 2008 Turf Sprint aboard longshot Desert Code. Migliore did also score in a couple of major Kentucky Derby prep races (the 1985 Wood Memorial with Eternal Prince and the 2004 Florida Derby with Friends Lake). He just never had the horsepower to win on the sport's biggest stages.
Anyone who ever sat through a handicapping seminar during my time as an announcer and handicapper in Texas will know that I was no great fan of Migliore for these large-scale events. I regularly discounted his horses, his chances, and his riding abilities. Now, Migliore is returning to racing as an employee of NYRA as a "broadcast analyst and racing office associate", according to the press release on his hiring. His racing office duties will include educating apprentice riders as to safe riding techniques and riding skills. He also will be educating owners to increase their participation in the industry.
I think this is a tremendous job by NYRA to bring aboard someone who has seen it all and done just about it all in racing to enlighten the next generation. Migliore might never have been my favorite, but I certainly had to respect his ability to work with what he had and get the most of his horses and himself. By doing this, NYRA is hopefully creating a new generation of intelligent and safe jockeys who will know the ins and outs of what they are doing before they ever get themselves into a dangerous situation and, more importantly, what is right course of action once they find themselves involved in something precarious. I also think Migliore will be invaluable to the NYRA television presentation in his analyst role through his experience aboard countless horses and in countless races. Again, Migliore's experience will be invaluable to the betting public at what was basically his home stomping grounds. All in all, NYRA should be commended for bringing Migliore into the fold by not only the racing insiders, but also the betting public.
Tune in again tomorrow for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!