Racing & Wagering

Barn Notes: Friday, June 08, 2012

| Churchill Downs Communications | 07/18/2012 #

In Today's Notes:  Ride Along With Timmy When Brothers Nicholas Wins; Arlington International Festival Previews Saturday


Inquiring minds may want to know what it looks like to ride a winning race aboard a Thoroughbred. More specifically, what does it look like for the jockey to come from well back in the pack and then have to split two rivals in tight quarters before going on and eventually catching the frontrunner?

What does it look like to pass the finish line unopposed and what does the jockey see when riding back to the winner's circle to accept congratulations from the trainer?

What's it like to have cameras of all types trained on you and your horse as you get closer to the crowd in the stands, and what's it like to pose for a winner's circle photo while still aboard the horse?

Inquiring minds will get the answers to all those questions shortly when the "helmetcam" view of jockey Tim Thornton's winning ride aboard Louie Roussel III's Brothers Nicholas in Arlington's second race June 6 becomes public.

That's because an upcoming edition of Arlington's "Behind the Silks" Online Video Series about Arlington jockey Tim Thornton that is produced by Arlington television analyst Jessica Pacheco had Thornton wearing a tiny television camera on his helmet as he guided Brothers Nicholas to his come-from-behind victory.

Thornton rode two winners that day, also scoring aboard Richie Ravin's front-running Can't Stop Ravin in the sixth race. Knowing he was aboard the speed in that race, Thornton had switched his tiny camera to the back of his helmet for a "break-on-through-to-the-other-side" view of the other horses attempting to catch him.

"Tim has been great – so accessible with all of this," said Pacheco when speaking of her jockey/cameraman. "He's calling all the shots on where he places the camera and he has exceeded all my expectations. He's been knocking this thing out of the park every time. The other day, he wore it on the side of his helmet while aboard a horse that was breaking from the outside and he captured a view of all the horses breaking from the gate inside of him."

"Behind the Silks with Tim Thornton" is a series of videos chronicling the professional and personal life of the 25-year-old Louisiana-born jockey who has been a regular on the Arlington circuit for the last nine years.

"The life-of-a-jockey series seemed like it would be a cool thing to do when I first came up with the idea," said Pacheco. "Racing fans can get a whole different perspective on the sport. I wanted to let them know what these guys (and girls) go through."

A new episode of "Behind the Silks with Tim Thornton" is posted weekly on and on

However, Thornton's "helmetcam" will add a whole new dimension to the show.


Fans of Arlington's upcoming one-day International Festival of Racing on Aug. 18 may want to pay attention to several simulcast signals from around the nation this Saturday.

Six of the eight horses entered in Saturday's 140th running of the Grade I Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap at Belmont Park on Belmont Stakes Day are also original nominees to the upcoming 30th anniversary edition of the Grade I Arlington Million – centerpiece event of Arlington's International Festival of Racing.

Out on the west coast Saturday, British-bred Slim Shadey, owned by Phil Cunningham, and Ellen and Peter Johnson's Make Music for Me – both original Arlington Million nominees – are set to contest the Grade I Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap at Hollywood Park.

Also on Belmont Stakes Day in New York, Phillips Racing Partnership's original 2012 Grade I Beverly D. Stake nominee Winter Memories is entered in Belmont's Grade I Just a Game Stakes.