Monday, July 15, 2024
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Hernandez in Pursuit of One other Del Mar Using Title


The final time we noticed jockey Juan Hernandez at Del Mar he was on the mistaken finish of a heartbreaking defeat within the jockey standings to old-time nemesis Flavien Prat, who received 5 races on closing day of the 2022 Fall Meet to grab the title from Hernandez. It is one of many few instances Hernandez has tasted defeat previously two years.

Undeterred, Hernandez went out and received the Santa Anita Winter and Spring jockey titles and is poised for one more good displaying this summer season at Del Mar. He’ll have to attend a day to get began. He was suspended for a whip violation on closing day at Los Alamitos.

“It is actually essential to get off to a superb begin,” Hernandez says, “as a result of the house owners and the trainers discover you successful races after which they wish to journey you. If I do not get off to a superb begin, that is alright, too. I am going to simply be working actually laborious and attempting every single day.”

It will not be straightforward for the 31-year-old rider from Veracruz, Mexico to duplicate final summer season’s efficiency. He received the primary race and completed with three wins on opening day. He received eight races within the first week and by no means trailed within the jockey standings, constructing an insurmountable lead by mid-August and coasting to his second using title at Del Mar. He beat Umberto Rispoli by 21 wins.

Hernandez attributes his success over the previous couple of years to good horses and being fortunate.

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“Good alternatives from the house owners and the trainers,” he says. “They have been supporting me rather a lot. I simply do the identical factor every single day. Exercise horses within the morning and provides all the possibilities to the horse to win the race within the afternoon.”

Hernandez additionally provides loads of credit score to his agent, Craig O’Bryan.

“He is the one choosing the winners,” he says.

And many them. Hernandez collected 30-graded stakes victories in 2022 and compiled earnings of over $15 million, his finest yr thus far. His earnings had been ninth-best amongst jockeys in 2022. But Hernandez isn’t above studying new methods to beat the competitors.

“I take note of each rider,” Hernandez says. “After they do one thing that I like I attempt to copy them and do the identical factor. They only make you a greater rider.”

With all of the success Hernandez has loved since leaving Northern California in June of 2020 comes the plain query, when is he taking his act nationwide and using the marquee races all year long. For example this weekend’s G1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park has attracted Mike Smith, Javier Castellano and Joel Rosario. However Juan says, for now he is content material proper the place he is at.

“I feel that is the purpose,” Hernandez says, “It is a risk however not proper now, possibly later. Proper now I am centered right here and I wish to hold doing a very good job right here.”

The remainder of the jockey colony has been warned.

This press launch has not been edited by BloodHorse. If there are any questions please contact the group that produced the discharge.


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