Mojica Makes Inroads at Santa Anita
March 29, 2013 01:12pm

Despite winning at a seven percent clip this meet, Orlando Mojica has caught the eye of serious horse players. His reputation was enhanced after winning Thursday’s second race by a nose on 6-1 shot Secret Genius, who gave trainer Steve Knapp his seventh win this meet.

“She probably got to the lead a little too early,” Knapp said of Secret Genius, a committed stretch runner who rallied from sixth and last in the 6 ½-furlong race for older fillies and mares. “But Orlando kept her going. He’s a strong finisher. From the eighth pole to the wire, he looked like Pincay,” the reference being to retired Hall of Fame great Laffit Pincay Jr.

“If Orlando was getting better mounts, he’d be winning a lot more races.”

Mojica, a 31-year-old from Puerto Rico, is represented by agent Dudley Osborne, who was not concerned about the low win percentage.

“The plan was to ride as many as we can and not be choosy,” Osborne said. “We just wanted to get out there and be seen and let his natural talent get people’s attention. But as we get to Hollywood and go forward, we’ll be a little more selective and not just ride anything that comes our way.

“Once we get in the top 10, we’re going to be looking more at percentages, try to ride better stock and live horses.”

Mojica hopes to register his first Santa Anita stakes win Saturday in the $200,000 Echo Eddie Stakes. He rides Alydidit for trainer Walther Solis in the 6 ½ furlong race for 3-year-olds bred or sired in California.

The field for the Echo Eddie: Back to Bako, Julien Leparoux; Follini, Tyler Baze; Surfcup, Rafael Bejarano; Could Be Troubles, Garrett Gomez; Alydidit, Orlando Mojica; Indian Classic, Eswan Flores; Raised a Secret, Kevin Krigger; I’m Denny Crane, Aaron Gryder; Fighting Hussar, Victor Espinoza; and Lovmeister, Agapito Delgadillo.

Hunger was scratched.



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