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Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (PTHA)

  /  Backstretch Buzz   /  Kidd Breeden Waiting at Home, Hoping to Return to Action

Kidd Breeden Waiting at Home, Hoping to Return to Action


By Dick Jerardi

Kyle Frey’s last ride was on March 10 at Parx. Angel Arroyo’s last ride was four days later at Laurel Park.

Those are the two riders that jockey agent John “Kidd’’ Breeden represents at Parx.

“Kidd’’ is now at home in Newark, Delaware “doing stuff at the house that’s been pushed to the side for the last 15 or 20 years, some painting inside, yard work, stuff like that.’’

When a jockey wins a race, he gets 10 percent of the owner’s 60 percent of the total purse. An agent typically gets 25 percent of the jockey’s earnings, but the percentage is negotiable.

Right now, Breeden is getting 25 percent of nothing. He has applied for a government small-business grant. He has also been told that a self-employed worker like him will soon be able to “file for some form of unemployment.’’ Being a jock’s agent is like being a contractor. You are your own boss so it takes time for the safety net to reach you.

Frey is galloping horses at Parx for trainer John Servis. Arroyo is galloping for Trevor Gallimore. So they are in some action, but it’s not afternoon action.

“They’re getting paid a salary I think to work for those guys,’’ Breeden said. “They’re not making the money they could be making, that’s for sure.’’

It’s that way for just about everybody at Parx. It is a very much a community where all the members rely on each other.

The horses are still getting the daily care they require from all the dedicated backstretch workers, but it’s so hard without the rewards that come from racing itself.

So we all wait, try to remember the good times and hope there are more good times coming soon.

It was 15 years ago when Breeden was right there with his jockey Jeremy Rose during Afleet Alex’s great run through the winter and spring of 2005.

“A lot of good memories that’s for sure,’’ Breeden said.

Rose, who bought a pizza shop near where he grew up in Central Pennsylvania, has not ridden since Dec. 7, 2019 at Parx and may be retired. If so, he left behind some lasting accomplishments that included the 2005 Preakness and Belmont Stakes, 2,664 wins and mount earnings of nearly $80 million.

Breeden and Rose were an inseparable exacta in 2005. It was a months-long feast that began in Arkansas, moved through Kentucky, Maryland and ended in New York.

It was a time never to be forgotten. Now, as we all wait, we hope for more great times and unforgettable memories. But, at this very moment, we would all just settle for something in the vicinity of normal.