Jockey Hernandez Shows Amazing Horsemanship For Win At Santa Anita - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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Jockey Hernandez Shows Amazing Horsemanship For Win At Santa Anita

Juan Hernandez

If Juan Hernandez captures Santa Anita's jockey crown by one victory, he can point to Saturday's seventh race as the difference maker.

The 29-year-old native of Veracruz, Mexico, had all he could do to stay in the saddle after his mount, Fly the Sky, stumbled badly breaking from the rail at the start of the 1 1/8-mile turf event, let alone winning by a neck in a breathtaking display of athleticism and horsemanship.

As the Equibase chart reads: “Fly the Sky stumbled badly leaving the gate and almost unseated the rider, Hernandez recovered impressively and was able to regain his irons shortly after, settled inside, tipped out to the two path on the far turn, split foes in upper stretch, steered out in the final furlong, surged late outside the top pair and nailed Niles Channel in the closing moments.”

Words don't do it justice. You have to see it to believe it.

Click here for a video of the race.

“Juan was just about over the horse's head, but the horse got up quickly and kind of pulled him back onto him,” said Steve Knapp, trainer of Fly the Sky.

“When the horse took off, Juan had his left foot in the left stirrup but his right foot was all the way on the other side of the horse, and when he was about to fall over, his right leg was all the way on the left side of the horse, so he had both legs on the left side of the horse.

“He was very strong to pull himself up and get his foot back into the right stirrup. It was incredible. He said when the horse got up, he just took off and put himself into the race.”

Fly the Sky provided the 62nd win for Hernandez at the current meet, leaving him 10 behind departed leader Flavien Prat, currently riding regularly at Keeneland.

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