One of two jockeys to win two stakes last week, Ruben Fuentes was named Jockeys’ Guild Foundation Detox Jockey of the Week for January 7 – 13, 2019. The award is voted on by a panel of experts for riding accomplishments by members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 riders in North America. Jockey of the Week is sponsored by FoundationDetox.com, America’s #1 Equine Toxin Remover.
Only two jockeys won two stakes last week; Javier Castellano swept the pair of Grade 3 events at Gulfstream, and Ruben Fuentes picked up two wins in two stakes starts at Turf Paradise.
Fuentes shipped back to familiar Turf Paradise for the two stakes, first winning the $30,000 Glendale Handicap aboard Impasse ($9.20) in a sweeping move from the back of the pack. He returned to the winners’ circle two races later in the $75,000 Colton Fitzsimmons Mile, this time aboard post-time favorite and Brazilian-bred Ohio ($3.60) in a six-length romp. Both winners were trained by Michael McCarthy.
The stakes wins were his only wins in nine starts, giving him a 22% win percentage. He had won two previous races this year and has 93 victories in his 913 career starts.
Fuentes was the sixth leading North American jockey by stakes earnings last week and added $69,538 in total earnings for the year. In his career, he has earned over $2.6 million, including $1.57 million earned last year.
Fuentes, 20, began riding professionally in 2015; his first mount was in a maiden claiming event at Zia Park on December 22. He returned to ride at Ruidoso in the summer of 2016, picking up several Quarter Horse mounts in addition to nearly 200 Thoroughbred starts between New Mexico and Turf Paradise in Phoenix, Arizona.
He is a recent addition to the competitive Southern California jockey colony. Fuentes ran his first race on that circuit on Jan 2, 2017 at Santa Anita and won shortly thereafter, on January 20.
Though he has not yet won a graded stake, he has placed in several graded stakes races, including a dead heat for third place in the $100,000 Red Carpet Stakes (G3) at Del Mar with Escape Clause last November. Escape Clause returned under Tyler Baze on Saturday to win the La Canada Stakes (G3) as the post-time favorite
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