Best of 2019: First time jockey winners
Our Best of 2019 series revisits the stories, interviews, and videos that our readers — or our editors — loved most last year. Here, jockeys and their first wins.
A jockey’s first win is always a special moment, a reward for hard work that is typically commemorated with plenty of smiles and an icy bath on the return to the jockeys’ room. For some, it’s the start of a long and productive career, while for others, that first win might just be as good as it gets.
One rider who broke his career maiden in 2019 at Laurel Park was Victor Rosales. Riding primarily at Laurel, Rosales earned his first win in February and went on to win 54 races during the season. He even had a couple of stakes mounts (though no winners).
Just about two months prior to Rosales’ first career win, Felix Pinero earned his, in December of 2018. Now riding primarily at Penn National and Parx Racing, Pinero won three times in 2018 and 40 more in 2019. Like Rosales, he’s had a handful of stakes mounts.
FIRST WIN FOR VICTOR ROSALES
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Fancy Her Up dominated the Rachel’s Turn Stakes in fast time on a Charles Town card where veteran Hypothesis and Run to Daylight also won stakes.
Steve Asmussen and Feargal Lynch teamed up to win Saturday’s G3 De Francis Dash, their second win in the race in four years.
Hello Beautiful is odds-on to win for the eighth time in nine starts at Laurel Park in Saturday’s $100,000 Weathervane Stakes.
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith will ride Saturday at Laurel for the first time in 14 years, with three mounts, including Roadster in the Polynesian.
Familiar foes – Golden Key, Aaron’s Tap and Hypothesis – meet in Saturday’s Last Enchantment S. at Charles Town, and juveniles meet in two other stakes.
Laki gave trainer Damon Dilodovico his first graded win in last year’s G3 De Francis Dash. He’ll try to defend that crown Saturday.