Although he has been prominent in Fair Grounds’ jockey
standings during three of the four seasons he has ridden here (he broke his
shoulder in the other), Peruvian-born jockey John Jacinto
may not be
able to fly under the radar anymore at Fair Grounds after riding nine winners
in the last two racing days in New
Orleans through Saturday.
Last season he enjoyed a four-win day at the Crescent
oval, and on Friday he tied that mark, but with five trips to the winner’s
circle on Saturday, including tallies in both Saturday stakes, Jacinto has
journeyed into new territory at Fair Grounds.
“I’ve had six winners in one day at Shreveport
(Louisiana Downs), but I guess with nine winners in two days I think I broke my
own record,” said the amiable 30-year-old native of Lima.
“It’s really special what has happened over the last two days, it’s been a big
plus for me, but all I’ve done is what I always do—put them in a spot where I
think they can win. Actually, at the beginning of this season things were a
little tough, but things have begun to turn around for me now, thank God –
especially this week. I hope I continue to finish up strong at Fair Grounds,
and then go on to have a good meet at Shreveport.”
Jacinto has ridden successfully on more major circuits before
at tracks in Kentucky
and New York,
but for this summer he wants to stay on the Louisiana
circuit so he can be near his daughter Casey, who is currently living
with her mother in San
“Casey is about four-and-a-half now, she’ll be five June
11,” said Jacinto, “and she has the keys to my heart. I go to visit her at
least once a month and I talk to her at least once a week. She picks me up, she
renews my energy, and that’s all that counts. She’s the reason I’m going back
because this will be the first time she’ll be able to spend the summer with me.
Maybe next year I can think about a major circuit again, but for now, I just
look forward to spending this summer with her.
She’s pretty smart,” Jacinto said. “If she’s watching a
race on TV, she can look at the screen and say: ‘There’s my Daddy.’ She used to
see me on my Equicizer machine at home riding with a stick. Now, I’ve bought
her a tiny little stick so she can sit on the machine with it, but she likes to
chase me around the room with it instead. I’ve bought her a couple of ponies
and she likes to ride them, too. Now, horses are in her blood.
“Casey might be the biggest thing in my life, but I’d also
like to thank all the people who have supported me throughout my career here,”
said Jacinto. “If I tried to name them all, I might forget to name somebody,
and I wouldn’t want to do that. So I’ll just say they all know who they are.
But mostly I’d like to thank my agent, Jerry Reites. He represents me
really well. He’s been like a Daddy to me. I mean that. He really has.”
Rachel Alexandra Right Back At It Again Sunday Morning
Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra was “right back
at it again” during her regular gallop Sunday morning, according to Fair
Grounds clocker Billy Pettingill.
“She came out on the track about 6:20 this morning,” said
Pettingill, “and she was really full of herself once again today. They let her
stretch her legs a little this morning, but she stayed cool, calm and collected.
A lot of the horses out there today looked a little washy. It must be due to
the sudden change to warmer weather, but not her. She never turned a hair. She