RICARDO SANTANA, JR.
Born: 11/19/1992, Chorio, Panama
Resides: Hot Springs, Arkansas
- Jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. picked right up where he left off in 2013 and easily won his second straight title in 2014. During the meet, he won eight stakes, including the Southwest Stakes with Tapiture, the Honeybee Stakes with Euphrosyne and the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap with Lemon Drop Dream. Last year, he earned his first career graded stakes in the Count Fleet Stakes aboard Justin Phillip. His first stakes victory also came at Oaklawn in the 2011 Spring Fever aboard Salty Wave.
- Success followed Santana Jr. throughout 2014. He earned his first title at Churchill Downs after finishing in a tie with Corey Lanerie during the September meet. During that time he won the Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes with Lucky Player and the Open Mind Stakes with Aireofdistinction.
- 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.