ARCADIA, Calif. — A 28-year-old native of Veracruz, Mexico, Juan Hernandez notched his 2,000th career win aboard the Peter Milller-trained Bedrock in Sunday’s seventh race, a $25,000 claimer for older horses at six furlongs on turf at Santa Anita.
In behind a wall of four horses with a sixteenth of a mile to run, Hernandez shifted outside and was able to prevail by three quarters of a length over 3-2 favorite Castle. Off at 7-1, Bedrock paid $17.00 to win.
A perennial leader at Golden Gate Fields prior to shifting his tack full time to Santa Anita last June, Hernandez currently has 37 wins at the current Winter/Spring Meet, which places him second in the rider standings to Flavien Prat, who has 44, with one race yet to be run today.
“I want to also say ‘thank you’ to the owners and trainers, my agent up north and my agent here, Craig (O’Bryan) and a big thanks to my people (at) Golden Gate Fields,” said Hernandez. “I think a lot of people (helped me). First of all, my family here, my family in Mexico, all these winners are for them…”
Hernandez, who will turn 29 on March 7, has been represented by veteran agent Craig O’Bryan since his arrival in Southern California.
“Not only is he a top rider, he’s a top guy,” said O’Bryan. “He fits any kind of horse, he’s a great judge of pace, finishes very well and he’s great with the people. I knew he had done very well up north, but he’s come down here and become a force. He’s a great family guy and his best days are in front of him, no question.”
Santa Anita Park Press Release
Photo: Juan Hernandez (Benoit)