HRN Original Blog:
Bay Area Backstretch

Juan Hernandez will try his luck in Southern California

Jockey Juan Hernandez has been a top 5 rider at Golden Gate Fields since he arrived here from Mexico in 2009. In his two full years of riding he has been in the winners circle 349 times.

The curtain is about to go down on the opening act and now he is heading for the big stage.

Hernandez, 20,  is about to take the same route traveled by Kevin Krigger last December, and is going to try his luck in the big circuit of southern California.

Like Krigger, Hernandez is one of the top jockeys at GGF but in a move different than his predecessor, he is bringing his agent Ramon Silva, with him. The two will head out as soon as the current meet ends next Sunday.

“Me and my agent have been talking about it for the past few months and now is the time to give it a shot,” Hernandez said. “I want to try something different. It’s everybody's dream to be at a different place, maybe get lucky and get a nice horse.”

Hernandez said had been getting calls from agents about moving his tack down south but he has done so well here, he never accepted.

With another successful season about the end (4th place in the standings with 78 wins), he figures now is as good a time as any to make the move.

And as far as taking one of those agents up on their offer, Hernandez never gave it a thought.

“I told him he could get an agent from down there but he said he wanted to stay with me,” Silva said.

Silva sees this as a chance to test his ability as an agent as well. Before Hernandez got to GGF, Silva had the book of Joel Rosario and Luis Contreras (last years top rider at Woodbine).

“I want to give myself a chance,” Silva said. “I had those kids (Rosario and Contreras) and they decided not to take me when they moved on. I want to have the chance and I know Juan is good enough to be there.”

Summer Hit Backs Hollendorfers Confidence

The story of Summer Hit just keeps getting better.

In case you missed it Summer Hit won the $100,000 Silky Sullivan Stakes on Saturday by a long neck over multiple stakes winner Stoney Fleece.

The three-year-old was claimed from his debut in January by trainer Candelario Villamar, a race he won by nine lengths. Villamar won the shake with Hollendorfer since both had dropped a claim. When Hollendorfer lost the shake, he immediately approached Villamar with an offer to buy him, which the new trainer accepted.

I guess you can say the rest is history. Since then he has run five times with three wins and second and a third and how is a stakes winner.

“I thought he ran huge,” Hollendorfer said. “I was concerned about it being his first time stretching out and first time on turf but there was nowhere else I wanted to try him. Bertrando horses (his sire) run good on the turf.”

Dollar Dollar Bill Y’all

Sundays are dollar days at GGF and the $1 entrance fee has proved to be a hit all year. Add in a Hispanic Heritage Day program, and a paid attendance of 9,346 was on hand Sunday, the second highest total in 18 years. Back on April 5th, 2009, over 11,000 people attended GGF for the highest in that time span. 


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Meet Don August

I have been involved in horse racing, from a fan to sportswriter, for the past 30 years. The first time my dad took me to the track, I picked a horse named "Black Tornado" and when he won, I was hooked.  From then on, I spent weekends and occasional school days at the race track, and my enjoyment of the sport led me to try my hand at being a jockey agent, which i did for 3 years. When that didn't work out as I had hoped, I concentrated on my writing career by covering big races and doing summer fair handicapping, off and on, for the Contra Costa Times.

Today, I stay involved in the sport by being part of a group that currently owns two horses stabled at Golden Gate Fields. As all owners, we have dreams of someday having that special horse.  Besides writing about horse racing I enjoy covering many sports and have had the honor of meeting and writing about some incredible athletes.

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