Albin Jimenez to kick off Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay in Shelby County

Albin Jimenez, 2015 leading jockey at Indiana Grand, will be one of 19 official torchbearers for the upcoming Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay when it comes to Shelby County Saturday, Sept. 24. Jimenez will be the first torchbearer in the relay and will ride a retired Thoroughbred racehorse on the first leg of the event as the torch is carried into downtown Shelbyville.

albin_jimenez_in_torch_relay_2016-225x300Jimenez, a native of Panama, is once again among the top riders at the track in 2016, ranked in second place with 73 wins through the first 94 racing programs. He is the regular rider aboard 2015 Indiana Horse of the Year Lady Fog Horn and is closing in on 1,000 career wins. Jimenez and his wife, Marybeth, reside in Shelby County during the 120-day racing season with their 18-month-old daughter. He is very honored and excited to be part of the process.

“It is a real honor to be part of this special event,” said Jimenez. “I am borrowing a newer saddle to use because I want to make sure I represent the track in the best way I can. Riding a horse for my part of the relay is a little different, and I am going to practice on the actual horse I’m using. I’m excited for the event.”

Jimenez is very community-minded during his time in Shelby County. He was part of the Indiana Grand group earlier this year that provided cleanup assistance to the Shelby Parks and Recreation during a major softball tournament. He is also one of the jockeys that attends the annual visit to Riley Hospital for Children during September to honor Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. He never hesitated to step up and support the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay when he was one of 38 nominated for the role of torchbearer in Shelby County earlier this year.

Jimenez recently went through training and a tutorial session for his responsibilities of carrying the torch on the relay. The torch is equipped with a camera and video recorder, allowing each of the torchbearers to snap photos and videos during their journey. Jimenez will wear his traditional jockey helmet, boots and pants and will wear the official gold jacket that all torch bearers wear during the event. His horse will be decked out in gold and blue to represent the colors of the state of Indiana. The retired Thoroughbred racehorse will also don the red number one saddle towel to signify the first torchbearer for Shelby County.

Albin Jimenez guided 2015 Indiana Horse of the Year Lady Fog Horn to yet another stakes victory Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016 in the $150,000 Florence Henderson Stakes at Indiana Grand. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

Albin Jimenez guided 2015 Indiana Horse of the Year Lady Fog Horn to yet another stakes victory Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016 in the $150,000 Florence Henderson Stakes at Indiana Grand. (Photo by Linscott Photography)

On the morning of the torch run, Jimenez will receive the torch via helicopter to Shelbyville Municipal Airport near Indiana Grand. He will then begin his half-mile journey south before handing the torch off to the next relay participant, Pam Meyer. Jimenez will follow an official state escort on the route. The event will begin at 10 a.m. and is expected to last a couple hours on the selected route.

The Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay will travel through all 92 counties in the state. The event began Saturday, Sept. 10 in Harrison County and will conclude Saturday, Oct. 15 in Marion County in downtown Indianapolis. Shelby County has several activities planned around their portion of the Torch Relay, including a Shelby County Bicentennial Torch Run BBQ and Brewfest in downtown Shelbyville beginning at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24.