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Trainer Charles Essex to receive Martin Durkan Award; jockey Jose Zunino wins Lindy Award

September 25, 2009     E-mail this page to a friend!

Trainer Charles Essex and jockey Jose Zunino will receive special awards when Emerald Downs completes its 14th season of Thoroughbred racing this weekend.

Essex will be presented with the Martin Durkan Award and Zunino will be honored with the Lindy Award in separate winnerís circle ceremonies Saturday, September 26.

Racing secretary Bret Anderson and his staff annually present the Martin Durkan Award to a trainer who exhibits leadership, cooperation, sportsmanship and excellence on and off the track throughout the 91-day meeting.

Essex has had a sensational season while ranking seventh in wins with 30 and second in win percentage at 25.4. Born in Las Vegas, the 45-year-old Essex grew up in Granite Falls where his father owns and operates Granite Falls Thoroughbred Farm.

The Lindy Award, voted by the jockeys, is presented to a rider for accomplishment and sportsmanship throughout the season.

Zunino ranks 11th with 29 wins and recorded his first two Emerald Downs stakes wins aboard the 2-year-old gelding Hollywood Harbor in the Strong Ruler and Premio Esmeralda Stakes. A 40-year-old native of Argentina, Zunino impressed horsemen with his work ethic and upbeat personality.

The Martin Durkan Award is named in honor of the late state senator, a longtime proponent and enthusiast for racing in Washington. The Lindy Award is named in honor of Lindy Aliment, for decades the clerk of scales at Longacres and later Emerald Downs.