Rivera Wins First Career Race at Gulfstream
Monday, August 14, 2023
HALLANDALE BEACH – Jon Rivera celebrated the first win of his riding career after guiding Pesky to a 1 ¼-length victory in Race 2 of Sunday’s program at Gulfstream Park.
The 22-year-old native of Puerto Rico got away from the gate sharply aboard the Arindel homebred 2-year-old colt to chase pacesetter Dudewithaname during the backstretch run of the 5 ½-furlong maiden claiming race. The 10-pound apprentice asked Pesky on the turn into the homestretch, and the Florida-bred son of Union Jackson responded to pass the tiring pacesetter and draw off to a comfortable victory.
“I feel great. It’s a dream come true to be winning races out here and having fun,” said Rivera, whose family has been involved in racing in Puerto Rico for generations.
Rivera ventured from Puerto Rico to Ocala to prepare for his riding career.
“When I came here, I went to Ocala. I want to thank Abracadabra Farms for always giving me a chance,” said Rivera, who also worked for Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse for a few years.
Pesky ($9.20), Rivera’s fifth career mount, followed Juan Alvarado-trained stablemate Dot ($5.60) into the winner’s circle to complete an Arindel Daily Double ($31.60) to kick off Sunday’s card.
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