Jara needs more mounts

Panamaian jockey Fernando Jara.
New York Racing Authority

Let’s turn the clock back to June of 2006. This was the time of the year that neither the Kentucky Derby or Preakness winners were in the Test of Champions for three year olds. Jazil took advantage of the field and emerged victorious. An established Panamanian jockey Fernando Jara rode that horse.

Jara is in the news once again, seeking mounts in order to prepare for a big race — maybe the Preakness, the middle jewel of the trio, or even the Belmont Stakes again.

As of this writing, he does not have a horse for the upcoming Kentucky Derby, and neither did he have one in a prep event for the Derby last Saturday at Aqueduct race track in Ozone Park.

Jara has to be around more horses during his time at Aqueduct race track and then Belmont.

Last year he rode on 186 mounts at the New York Racing Association tracks and turned in 19 first place finishes. Now he needs more mounts to pass this mark.

Jara comes from a family of racing. He dropped out of regular school at a young age (14) and entered Laffit Pincay’s jockey school in Panama. His father Jorge Jara was a trainer and is now retired and his grandfather Hugo was a jockey and trainer.

The 28-year-old Jara has been riding for 13 years. His first winner came in 2002 when he rode Soy Soeberano . He also rode at Gulfstream Park in Florida and in Chicago. Howoever, while riding he hurt his collarbone and went down from a spill and took time off before he recuperated; and he returned to action.

However, riding at Aqueduct has been great to him.

“It’s where you find the place and where the best horses are,” he said. “The best jockeys and trainers are here (at Aqueduct). It’s great to be here , and I can collect some good money here.”

During an exclusive he told a reporter that his greatest winner was when he was aboard Invasso in the Dubaio Cup in 2007.

Being a jockey hasn’t been his only sport or activity.

“I used to play soccer (n Panama),” he went on, after he finished in fifth place when he was abard Moneyinyourpocket on a day when Aqueduct hosted the Wood Memorial, in preparation for the Kentucky Derby. “I still play soccer in Elmont. I play pick up games during my free time. When I play my position is forward.”

The jockey’s long range goals in horse racing are to stay here in the United States, win big races do good, and (most important) to stay healthy. Without health we can’t do anything Health comes first and we go from there, and hopefully get aboard better races and do good. I want to get on (better) horse races.

Last Saturday afternoon, all the attention was focused on the 10th and featured race, the Wood Memorial when Frosted upset Daredevil and El Kabeir to win the race and head to the Kentucky Derby.

“I hope that he (Frostad) runs in the Derby,” Frosted’s jockey Joel Rosario said. “He rode a very good race.”

If everything goes in his favor, Frosted will return again to ride in the Belmont Stakes, but the middle jewel of the trio is the Preakness in May.

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