Don’t look now, but Tiago Pereira has caught the eye of horsemen and handicappers alike since he began riding at Santa Anita three months ago.
The 37-year-old Brazilian could hardly be considered an overnight sensation, as he made a global impact in winning the $10 million Dubai World Cup in 2010 aboard Gloria de Campeao.
Pereira is part of a class of prominent Brazilian jockeys making their mark around the world: Joao Moreira in Hong Kong; Jorge Ricardo in Argentina; Manoel Nunes, Vagner Leal and Ivaldo Santana in Singapore; Silvestre de Souza in Dubai; and Eurico da Silva in Canada.
Fast forward to June 15, 2014, where Pereira is tied for seventh in Santa Anita’s Spring Meet jockey standings with 12 victories.
Success hasn’t gone to his head, as witnessed by this philosophy rendered by Pereira’s agent, Michael Burns. “I know who I am, I know what I’m about, but also I’m only 10 percent of each horse that I ride.”
A victory both Pereira and Burns are most proud of occurred for trainer Peter Miller aboard Two Is To Many in the fifth race on June 7. The comment line read in part that the horse “came back under urging” to win.
Pereira has been well-received by his peers, who have provided both support and advice. “Since arriving here, everyone has been good to me,” Pereira said. “I spend a lot of time in the room with Victor Espinoza, Elvis Trujillo and Edwin Maldonado, but I talk with everyone and we watch the races together.”
Pereira’s goal, understandably, is not only to win races, but to elevate his career by winning stakes races. “I believe that will come with greater opportunities,” he said.