June 27, 2010

Martin Garcia is White Hot

Think back about a month and a half…Garret Gomez, two-time Eclipse Award winning jockey, was being pulled off Lookin at Lucky in favor of Martin Garcia. It was not a shock, as Gomez and Lucky had found themselves in the middle of rough trips every time they hit the track together this year. To many though, the rider who picked up the mount on the about-to-be Preakness winner, was a bit of a surprise. The casual race fan knew very little about this 25-year-old jockey from Mexico. Flash forward six weeks to present day, and Martin Garcia is a bona fide star.

Winning the Preakness changed his national notoriety, but Garcia has been rising up the ranks for several years. Since emigrating to the United States in 2003 and taking a job at a deli in Pleasanton, California, Garcia has taken the fast track to the American success story. From slicing prosciutto, Garcia soon began working at the track as a stable hand and an exercise rider in Northern California. There he galloped horses for six months before starting to race ride at Golden Gate Fields. On August 17, 2005, Martin Garcia won his first race aboard Wild Daydreamer at the Bay Meadows Fair. Since then it has been a steady climb up the ranks.

Now he may be America’s hottest rider, winning stakes at an alarming rate and traveling all over the nation to win them. A quick look of major stakes around the nation this year reads like a Martin Garcia highlight reel. Kinsale King wins the Palos Verdes, Jeranimo wins the Strub, Conveyance wins the Southwest, Game on Dude wins the Lone Star Derby, Champagne d’Oro wins the Acorn, Switch wins the Hollywood Oaks. Garcia was on them all. Throw in the Preakness, and you can see that Garcia is simply having a whale of a year. Each week brings another big win, and last night at Prairie Meadows, Garcia was at it again. Riding for his number one client, Bob Baffert, he blitzed the Iowa Derby field aboard the suddenly exciting prospect Concord Point.

I am not sure who he will be on next week, but with Martin Garcia in the saddle, whoever it is, has a big chance to take home first money.


LDP said...

He may just be hotter than that too. I was just thinking the other day, when I heard him riding home on a winner, what a roll he was on. He's like the Calvin Borel of Cali, and few more other tracks too. If he keeps this up he'll be the most sought after jockey come BC time.

darlene said...

when called to race Lucky I thought who the hell....Now it is Why the hell not He is riding like a champ Would always take a second look at whoever hes riding

Jason said...
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NJDerek said...

The sad thing is, unless he wins three races during the Breeders Cup, he'll probably be overlooked in the Eclipse Awards.

Mr. Ed said...

Don't want to be a negative Nellie but I could be white hot too if I had the mounts that martin gets.

railrunner said...

He is an incredible rider, I can't believe how prominent he has become in such a short amount of time!
@Mr. Ed-He wasn't just thrown onto good mounts right off the bat, he earned and worked his way to the top.