Maxim Rate earns her first Grade 1 victory in the Gamely with Juan Hernandez aboard for trainer Simon Callaghan
Juan J. Hernandez won the second Grade 1 of his career and two Grade 2 races to garner Jockey of the Week honors for May 24 through May 31. The award, which is voted on by a panel of racing experts, is for jockeys who are members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 active riders in the United States as well as retired and permanently disabled jockeys.
Trainer David Hofmans gave Hernandez the mount on Award Winner in the Grade 2 Charles Whittingham Stakes on Saturday. Breaking from the rail in the field of four, longshot Award Winner overhauled the pacesetter Acclimate to register a huge upset in the mile and one quarter race on the Camino Real Turf Course in 1:59.27.
“This was a really big win for us,” said Hernandez. “I knew that horse (Acclimate) had a lot of speed, so I let him go and my horse relaxed. I waited until the quarter pole and asked him one time and he really picked it up and made a huge move in the stretch.”
Hernandez then won his second graded stakes of the day on Magic On Tap for trainer Bob Baffert in the Grade 2 Triple Bend Stakes. Riding Magic On Tap for the first time, Hernandez settled the 5-year-old in third behind Eight Rings and Lambeau. He gained the advantage in mid-stretch to win the seven-furlong contest in 1:23.54.
“My horse, he helped me a lot, he broke really sharp and I was behind the speed all the race then when I hit the quarter pole, I asked him to go and he responded really well,” said Hernandez. “It feels great to win a big race like today.”
On Monday, trainer Simon Callaghan gave a leg up to Hernandez on longshot Maxim Rate for the first time in the Grade 1 Gamely. Off at 13-1 in a field of seven fillies and mares three and up, Maxim Rate stalked the pace while fourth early. Hernandez took advantage of favorite Charmaine’s Mia fading a sixteenth of a mile from home as well as holding off a late run from La Signare to win by a half-length in 1:46.61 for the mile and one eighth turf contest. The win gave Hernandez the second Grade 1 win of his career and his seventh graded stakes of the year.
“She broke out of there, really clean break, she relaxed really well for me,” said Hernandez. “She’s a very classy filly, you can do whatever you want with her.”
Weekly stats for Hernandez were 22-6-1-6 for a 27 percent strike rate and 59 percent in-the-money. Total purse earnings of $583,760 led all jockeys for the week. Hernandez currently sits second in the standings with nine racing days to go at the Santa Anita Winter/Spring meet.
Hernandez out-polled Kyle Frey who tied Tyler Gaffalione for most victories with nine, Santiago Gonzalez who won two stakes at Belterra and Jaime Rodriguez who had a 32 percent win rate.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2021 Paulick Report.