Jock Eric Camacho gets first win in six years
Jockey Eric Camacho, riding for just the third time in six years, picked up his first victory since 2016 when he guided Hillwood Stable’s Post Time, a 2-year-old Maryland-bred son of Frosted, to a two-length debut triumph Friday at Laurel Park.
Camacho, 38, exercises horses in the morning for trainer Brittany Russell, including Post Time, who ran 5 ½ furlongs in 1:04.26 over a fast main track in a maiden special weight originally carded for the Bowl Game turf course.
“Thank you, Jesus,” Camacho said. “I rode one race last year at Colonial Downs for [trainer] Michelle Lovell, just to stay busy and keep in tune and stuff. Previous to that I was off for 4 ½ years.
“This is for my brother, who passed away in 201,9 and my father, who passed away in 2021. So, this means a lot to me,” he added. “I wish they could be here for it.”
Camacho won 785 races between 2004 and 2016, capturing Laurel Park’s 2005 winter meet riding title. He finished third on Tap Attack Aug. 25, 2021 at Colonial, his first mount since running fifth on Perfect Game Cain Jan. 2, 2017 at Laurel.
Camacho, who as a teen decided to become a jockey after a chance meeting with rider Alberto Delgado, won the 2008 Forward Gal (G3) and Davona Dale (G2) on Bsharpsonata and 2013 Bashford Manor (G3) on Debt Ceiling.
“I’ll be picky here and there,” Camacho said about a possible comeback. “It’s all about opportunities.”
Post Time displayed plenty of energy before the race, and settled into fifth as even-money favorite Landon Jack set the pace into the far turn, going a quarter-mile in 22.45 seconds. Camacho tipped off the rail and swung widest of all leaving the turn as the half went in 44.79, and raced greenly through the stretch before reeling in the pacesetter inside the sixteenth pole and coasting to the wire.
“This is a colt that I’ve been on regularly. He’s a playboy. He likes to play around,” Camacho said. “As you could see, he came out of the paddock standing on his hind legs. But I do know the horse very well, that’s why I was never concerned at any point. He broke sharp and put me right in a great spot.
“Once he struck the lead and the front horse was down on the inside, he was kind of looking for someplace to go,” he added. “He knew where to go, to the wire.”