RICARDO SANTANA, JR.
Born: 11/19/1992, Chorio, Panama
Resides: Hot Springs, Arkansas
- Santana, Jr. carried strong momentum into 2013 that propelled him to leading riding status with 70 wins, including five stakes. Among those stakes victories was his first career graded stakes victory in the Count Fleet Stakes aboard Justin Phillip for main client Steve Asmussen. His first stakes victory also came at Oaklawn in the 2011 Spring Fever aboard Salty Wave.
- Success followed Santana Jr. throughout 2013. He finished fourth in his first meet at Churchill Downs during the spring and picked up four more graded stakes during the year.
- Earned his first career leading rider title in 2012 at Delaware Park.
- He hails from Panama, which is also the birthplace of Hall of Famers Laffit Pincay, Jr. and Braulio Baeza. He is from a part of the country where you either join a gang or become a jockey and fortunately, he had the footsteps of his father, Ricardo Sr., a former jockey, to follow.
- The up and coming rider came to the United States in 2009 and settled in at Delaware Park where another Panamanian Gabriel Saez was already finding success. His ability and work ethic quickly caught the eye of trainer Ron Moquett, who had been told to “watch this kid” by Hall of Fame riders Jose Santos and Angel Cordero Jr. He considers jockey and another fellow Panamanian Cornelio Velasquez a mentor.