Saturday, August 09, 2008
JOSEAN RAMIREZ WINS ABOARD FIRST MOUNT
LAUREL, MD. 08-08-08---Josean Ramirez, riding his first official race aboard Sir Classic Chris for legendary trainer King Leatherbury, won a close finish over What’s What and Jason Nguyen, who was also riding in his first official race, the second race on opening day of Laurel Park’s summer mini-meeting. Live racing returned to Maryland this afternoon after an eight-week hiatus in the form of a twilight racing.
“This was everything I could have hoped for,” Ramirez said. “I was a little nervous when we went to the gate but once we went in, I put the game face on and it was time to work.”
“I knew he (Nguyen) was getting desperate,” added Ramirez. “I had a ton of horse so I held back and waited to move. I let him go and he did it.”
“I have never had a jock win his first race on one of my horses,” said Leatherbury, who ranks third on the all-time win list with 6,250 victories. “Chris McCarron won his second.” McCarron is sixth on the all-time win list with 7,141 first place finishes.
The 21-year-old was brought to Maryland by agent Herson Rodriguez last month after graduating near the top of the class at a Puerto Rico Jockey School and has been breezing horses in the morning.
“This could be an Eclipse Award winner,” exclaimed Rodriguez, who has brought five other riders to the states this decade, including solid Mid-Atlantic riders J.D. Acosta and Luis Garcia. “To win his first race for King Leatherbury is an unbelievable feeling. He is level-headed rider who knows what he wants. We plan on riding wherever and whenever we can in Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.”
Ramirez received the traditional dousing from buckets of water upon his return to the jocks room.
“That was refreshing,” joked Ramirez. “I would not mind that happening every time, win or lose.”
The 21-year-old followed up with a wire-to-wire score aboard Resters Red Bullet ($4.40) for trainer Dane Kobiskie in the third race.
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