By HRI Foreign Staff — Sports play a major role in people’s lives across the USA and in most other parts of the world. From football to basketball, soccer, golf, baseball, and hockey, there are just so many cool sports to follow. This range of choice and the exciting action they all contain makes it easy to see why so many people are sports crazy.
Catching up on the latest sports news is also lots of fun and is another reason why so many people are into them. Of course, keeping up with the latest stories is also sensible if you like to bet on games. This is because it keeps you fully informed on which teams are in form or any injury/suspension news which could influence how you bet. It can also help you to pick up on players who are having a tough time or breakout stars who are pushing their team to greater things.
Horse racing is another sport that is not only popular to follow but also full of breaking news to keep an eye on. One great example of this hype is around the best up-and-coming jockeys. But which jockeys might this be in 2022?
Jose Gomez’s rise in horse racing is a heart-warming story and he certainly ranks as a promising young jockey to keep tabs on. To date, the 21-year-old apprentice has taken part in 781 races over his whole career and won 99 of them¾plus netted 105 places and 102 shows. However, 2022 is his first full year of pro riding in the US and has seen him having to quickly get up to speed with what the circuit around New York involves.
When you have iconic former jockey Angel Cordero Jr as your agent and coach, it helps a lot. Gomez grew up in Michigan around racetracks before working at De Meric Stables in Florida as a groom. After riding some horses for trainer Kelly Breen, Gomez came to the attention of Cordero Jr and headed over to New York. Now racing in Saratoga, recent wins on Golden Rocket at 20/1 and Fast n Fearious at 20/1, show that he has what it takes to really push on in the future.
Although 18-year-old Jeiron Barbosa might still be very raw in terms of racing, he is a name on many people’s lips. He certainly seems to be a young rider with lots of potential and has every chance of a bright future ahead of him.
This could be seen in his performances at Laurel Park in March 2022, when he rode his first two mounts to victory¾despite only arriving from Puerto Rico a few days before! This shows that Barbosa not only has the hands and horse-riding skills to succeed but also real strength of character.
Since this amazing debut, he has gone on to have more success¾with recent wins on Maestria at Delaware Park and Queen Sheba at Colonial Downs catching the eye. Before making his move to US racing, this small but highly talented apprentice was active in Puerto Rican racing and took multiple wins there.
Another young rider who is making plenty of waves is 17-year-old Diego Herrera. Only racing officially since 2021, he currently competes on the Southern Californian circuit and seems to have everything required to make it. When you see his will to win, great handling skills, and superb racing intelligence, the growing attention he gets is not hard to fathom.
A Grade 1 win in January 2022 and more recent wins (such as Ellie Arroway in mid-August at Del Mar) show just what he can do. Due to this, there is every reason to think that he can really come on in the next few years. This could be helped by expanding his horizons beyond the Del Mar racetrack and working hard to further improve the natural skills he has on a horse. With his period as an apprentice finishing in April 2022, it will be interesting to see where he goes next.
Horse racing always has new faces to follow
We all know the current big names in horse racing¾from Irad Ortiz Jr to Tyler Gaffalione. While they may be well-established as successful pro jockeys now, focusing on riders like this is not the only way to get more from racing. Keeping an eye out for the best up-and-coming riders, such as those above, is also lots of fun for race fans.
Haven’t seen the others, but I’m pretty impressed with Jose Gomez.