Junior Alvarado Rides Cody’s Wish to Dirt Mile Win at Breeders’ Cup Classic

Junior Alvarado’s Wish has come true…

The 37-year-old Venezuelan jockey helped rally Cody’s Wish from last and survived a stewards’ inquiry to defend his horse’s title in the $1 million Dirt Mile at the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Junior Alvarado, Cody's DreamRidden by Alvarado, Cody’s Wish ran the distance in 1:35.97. Sent off as the 4-5 favorite, the 5-year-old horse paid $3.60 to win.

Cody’s Wish dueled leader National Treasure down the stretch. Cody’s Wish twice bumped National Treasure and jockey Flavien Prat before the Preakness winner made contact with Cody’s Wish, triggering the inquiry.

“Right when I got next to National Treasure, I know he kind of came out and tried to meet with my horse,” Alvarado said. “I just think at that point where he’s brushing my horse, I had the bigger horse and the mean horse, probably. I think my horse was feeling a little bit of a fight, and he tried to go right after the other horse.”

While fans chanted “Cody! Cody!,” the stewards studied video replays for seven minutes while the two horses were walked in circles on the track, waiting to see which one would get his picture taken in the winner’s circle.

It was Cody’s Wish by a nose.

“I knew it was nothing really to change the outcome,” Alvarado said. “My horse was already in front; he was never going to let that other horse go by again.”

Bob Baffert, who trains National Treasure, nodded his head at the finish, seemingly knowing that he had lost by the slimmest margin in horse racing.

The victory ensured a storybook ending for Cody’s Wish in his final race before retirement. He won 11 of 16 career starts, including eight in stakes races, and over $3.1 million in earnings.

Waiting in the winner’s circle during the inquiry was Cody Dorman, a teenager who has a rare genetic disorder and uses a wheelchair. He and the horse first met during a Make-A-Wish visit to a Kentucky farm when Cody’s Wish was a foal in 2018. Cody’s Wish walked over to Dorman’s wheelchair and put his head in the boy’s lap, creating a touching bond.

“That horse probably saved Cody’s life in a lot of ways,” said Kelly Dorman, the boy’s father. “I know him and the horse have made a lot of lives better.”

The Dorman family was on hand last year when Cody’s Wish won the Dirt Mile by a head at Keeneland, and they joined Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott in celebrating again.

“It’s probably one of the most memorable rides that we’ve all been on,” Mott said. “Sometimes it’s a small group that gets to enjoy the win. But I think this one’s been for a lot of people.”

Mott and Alvarado teamed to win their second Cup race of the weekend. They took the $2 million Juvenile Fillies with Just F Y I on Friday.

Lisette Olivera Signs with United Talent Agency (UTA)

Lisette Olivera has new representation…

The up-and-coming Latina actress  has signed with United Talent Agency (UTA) for representation in all areas.

Lisette OliveraOlivera will next be seen starring in the Disney Branded Television series National Treasure: Edge of History, an expansion of the popular National Treasure film franchise, told from the point of view of her character, Jess.

The action-adventure show’s young heroine is a brilliant and resourceful DREAMer who embarks on the adventure of a lifetime to uncover the truth about her family’s mysterious past and save a lost Pan-American treasure.

National Treasure: Edge of History debuts on Disney+ on December 14.

Olivera is joined in the show by Catherine Zeta-Jones, Justin Bartha, Harvey Keitel, Lyndon Smith, Zuri Reed, Jake Austin Walker, Antonio Cipriano and Jordan Rodrigues.

Its exec producers include Jerry Bruckheimer, Cormac and Marianne Wibberley, Jonathan Littman, KristieAnne Reed, Rick Muirragui (who also serves as a writer), Jon Turteltaub and Mira Nair (who also directs).

Olivera was previously seen starring opposite Sierra McCormick in Sean King O’Grady’s psychological horror We Need to Do Something, which made its world premiere at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival and was released in theaters by IFC Films.

Jacob Vargas to Appear on Disney+’s TV Series “National Treasure”

Jacob Vargas is treasuring his latest gig…

The 50-year-old Mexican-American actor and performer has landed a heavily recurring role in National Treasure, Disney Branded Television’s television series for Disney+ produced by ABC Signature.

Jacob VargasExecutive produced by the films’ producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Jon Turteltaub and writers Marianne and Cormac Wibberley, the project is an expansion of the National Treasure film franchise told from the point of view of young heroine Jess (Lisette Olivera), a DREAMer in search of answers about her family who embarks on the adventure of a lifetime to uncover the truth about the past and save a lost Pan-American treasure.

The series, whose pilot episode is written by the Wibberleys and will be directed by Mira Nair, centers on Jess, a Latina whose brilliant and resourceful mind loves a good mystery, and she has a natural talent for solving puzzles. Over the course of the show, Jess will uncover her own buried history, as well as the truth about her parents and her connection to a long-lost treasure.

Vargas plays Rafael a rugged, treasure-obsessed, adventurous soul with a good sense of humor.

Vargas recently portrayed Tony Ochoa on Mr. Iglesias for Netflix. He also recurred on Mayans M.C. and appeared on Luke Cage and Sons of Anarchy.

On the film side, he most recently was seen in Steven Soderbergh’s Kimi. His other film credits include Princess of the Row, The 33 and Diego Luna’s biopic Cesar Chavez.

Lisette Alexis to Star in Disney+’s “National Treasure” Television Series

Lisette Alexis has struck gold…

The young Mexican American actress will star as the lead in Disney+’s National Treasure television series from Disney Branded Television and ABC Signature.

Lisette Alexis

The project, executive produced by the films’ producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Jon Turteltaub and writers Marianne and Cormac Wibberley, is an expansion of the National Treasure movie franchise told from the point of view of a young heroine (Alexis) — a DREAMer in search of answers about her family–who embarks on the adventure of a lifetime to uncover the truth about the past and save a lost Pan-American treasure.

The series, whose pilot episode is written by the Wibberleys and will be directed by Mira Nair, centers on Jess (Alexis), a Latina whose brilliant and resourceful mind loves a good mystery, and she has a natural talent for solving puzzles. Over the course of the show, Jess will uncover her own buried history, as well as the truth about her parents and her connection to a long-lost treasure.

In the television extension of the National Treasure franchise, Jess is taking the proverbial torch from Benjamin Gates, the National Treasure films’ protagonist played by Nicolas Cage.

Production is starting in early 2022.

Alexis stars opposite Sierra McCormick in the Tribeca Film Festival selection We Need To Do Something, produced by Josh Mallerman.

The “National Treasure” Television Reimagining of the Nicolas Cage Films to Star a Latina

The long-gestating National Treasure television series will feature some Latina power…

The project, which has been granted a 10-episode order, explores the timely issues of identity, community, historical authorship and patriotism, told from the point of view of Jess Morales, a 20-year-old DREAMer who, with her diverse group of friends, sets off on the adventure of a lifetime to uncover her mysterious family history and recover lost treasure.

National Treasure

The series, which hails from the films’ producer Jerry Bruckheimer and original writers Marianne and Cormac Wibberley, is a reimagining of the National Treasure franchise.

Written by the Wibberleys and to be directed by Mira Nair (Vanity Fair), the series sees Jess Morales taking the torch from Benjamin Gates, the National Treasure films’ protagonist played by Nicolas Cage.

The development of the National Treasure series has been on parallel tracks with the long gestating threequel to Jon Turtletaub’s film franchise starring Cage, which brought in Chris Bremner as writer in January 2020.

Disney+ has several upcoming series based on the Disney movies, including Turner & HoochThe Mighty Ducks and a Beauty and the Beast spinoff.

Muniz to Star in “Christopher Hope and the Secret of Napoleon”

Frankie Muniz has found his next treasure…

The 30-year-old half-Puerto Rican actor, best known as the star of Fox’s Malcolm in the Middle, will star opposite Ashley Rickards in Christopher Hope and the Secret of Napoleon, a Paris-set mystery adventure thriller along the lines of National Treasure.

Frankie Muniz

French newcomer Thomas Lemoine, who came up with the idea for the film and co-wrote the script with Christiane Lemoine-Vultaggio, also stars in the $10 million production.

Lemoine will play Christopher Hope, a student working toward his master’s degree in history who is determined to uncover the secret behind the legendary lost treasure of Napoleon, supposedly hidden by Freemasons somewhere in Paris.

Lemoine also will co-direct the pic with cinematographer Peter Lyons Collister, who has lensed features such as Alvin and the Chipmunks and The Amityville Horror.

 

Munoz’s film credits include Big Fat Liar, Racing Stripes and Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!