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Future Appears Bright for Juan Hernandez

Juan Hernandez finished third in the standings at the recent Fairplex Park meet. The 20-year-old rider from Mexico City won 18 races from 73 mounts (25 percent) over 13 days, trailing only upstart leader Edwin Maldonado (26 wins) and perennial Pomona king Martin Pedroza (19).

“I’ve been riding almost four years and come from a racing family,” Hernandez said. “My father and brother were in racing.”

Hernandez rides 6-1 chance Dancin Upside Down for trainer Carl O’Callaghan in Monday’s inaugural Zuma Beach Stakes, a one-mile turf event for 2-year-olds.

“There’s a really big difference riding at a 5/8 (mile) track like Pomona and riding at Santa Anita,” said Hernandez, whose agent is Ramon Silva. “But if you’re on the best horse, that helps a lot.”

Barry Abrams sees a bright future for Hernandez. “He’s just learning, but he listens, he rides like you ask him and he tries to get you fourth and fifth money,” the trainer said. “He rides just as hard for fourth as he does for first.”

The field for the Zuma Beach, race three of 10: Dancin Upside Down, Juan Hernandez, 6-1; Gervinho, Rafael Bejarano, 2-1; Buckleberry Grey, Martin Garcia, 5-2; Den’s Legacy, Garrett Gomez, 3-1; Visualization, Victor Espinoza, 20-1; and I’m Wide Awake, Corey Nakatani, 5-2.



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