Winner of 175 Races with ‘Bug’ Named to Ride in 7 Races
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Jockey Cristian Torres, who finished up a highly successful apprenticeship Wednesday, will be keeping busy on his first day as a journeyman Friday, when he will have mounts in seven of 10 races at Gulfstream Park without the benefit of a five-pound allowance.
“I try not to think much about the weight. I just want to keep riding and keep learning, try to do my best and try to keep winning,” Torres said.
During his apprenticeship, Torres rode the winners of 175 races and more than $5 million in purses.
Torres rode his first winner, the Ralph Nicks-trained Dempsey, at Gulfstream April 21, 2019 and went on to ride a total of 122 winners last year. He enjoyed stakes success for the first time aboard Joe Orseno-trained Ms Meshak in the Added Elegance at Gulfstream July 27.
“It was an unbelievable year. My agent, Kevin Meyocks, worked hard every day to find me horses to win races on,” the 22-year-old jockey said. “I want to thank all the owners and trainers who helped me. It really means a lot to me. So many owners and trainers helped me, even during the Championship Meet.”
The Puerto Rico native went to high school in Orlando, FL before returning to Puerto Rico to attend jockey’s school to learn to become an exercise rider. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island in September 2007, he returned to the U.S. to work for Mark Casse. He galloped horses for the newly elected Hall of Fame trainer for 1 ½ years in Kentucky, New York and Florida before embarking on his career as a jockey.
Photo: Cristian Torres. Credit: Gulfstream Park