Photo: Hollywood Park
Apprentice jockey Eswan Flores, who recorded his first
thoroughbred victory aboard Kelly Leak in a six-furlong turf race Monday, was
still accepting congratulations in the stable area Wednesday.
“I had a good night’s sleep,” said the 18-year-old high
school senior from El Monte when asked how he celebrated his maiden score.
Agent Derek Lawson explained that Flores needed the rest.
“He had ridden Saturday and Sunday nights at Los Alamitos and got up Monday
morning to get on seven horses at Santa Anita. “I gave him Tuesday off and told
him to relax.”
Flores, who had ridden 21 previous winners in quarter horse
races at Los Alamitos, had never ridden on turf before his date with destiny
aboard Kelly Leak. He looked like a seasoned pro, taking him back along the
rail, saving ground and waiting patiently for an opening between horses in the
“I got some advice on how to ride the turf in the jockeys’
room,” explained Flores. “Octavio Vergara said not to stay too far off the
Lawson quipped, “The only time he had been on grass before
was when he was mowing it in his yard.”
Flores will be back in action with one mount Thursday, two
Friday night and four Saturday.