“That wasn’t how I wanted to get it,” said Vargas, a 53-year-old veteran of New England racing. “But, it is been a long career with a lot of injuries and I’m just glad I made it here. It meant a lot to do this here, at home.”
Vargas, a native of Puerto Rico, scored the first win of his stateside career on May 20, 1979, also at Suffolk Downs. In 1980, his 227 victories were second among all apprentice riders and he was the leading rider for the Spring meet at Suffolk Downs, the first of his four meet titles at the East Boston oval.
Also on the nine-race card, Jacqueline Davis rode three winners and is currently second in the jockey standings with 36 victories, 13 behind 2010 leading rider Tammi Piermarini.
Davis began her hat trick by sweeping the early double with Be That It May ($3.00) and Leon’s Rose ($11.80). She was back in the winner’s circle following a victory in the featured eighth race with Victoria Drive ($7.60).