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Maldonado Makes Impact at Del Mar

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Who was the jockey on My Dark Vada, the $83.80 winner in Wednesday’s final race that cinched the 12th Pick Six carryover of the season at Del Mar? Edwin Maldonado, whose two wins Wednesday (he also took the first on Adelta for a $16.60 win payoff) moved him into fourth place in the jockey standings with 19 wins.

Maldonado, 29, was born in Ohio, started his riding career in Canada, then moved on to Texas and Louisiana before coming to California for the 2010 Fairplex Park meeting. He rode six winners last season at Del Mar, his debut at the seaside track.

Call this a breakthrough or breakout meeting?

“You could term it that,” Maldonado’s agent, Vic Lipton, said. “But actually we started at scratch, zero, at the beginning of Santa Anita and won 18 there, then won 25 at Hollywood and (now 19) here. So it has been a continuous growth to where we are now.”

Lipton was Maldonado’s agent upon the jockey’s arrival in California. Lipton became gravely ill, however, and the combination broke up for awhile before reuniting to start this year.

“I think he’s the same rider he’s always been, it’s just that more people are noticing now,” Lipton said. “ He’s always been a great rider.

“There are times when you’re not riding the right horse and your ability doesn’t show. But I think he’s the best rider I’ve had, talent wise, in 25 years. His work ethic is great and hopefully we make a pretty good team.”

 

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