Carlos Lozada was dominant throughout the meet, topping a very competitive jockey colony to claim his first ever leading rider title. The 34-year-old native of Puerto Rico finished the meet with a record of 428 starts, 95 wins, 70 seconds and 52 thirds and purses of $1,076,410.
He began riding in the United States in 2007 after attending Puerto Rico's Escuela Vocational Hipica, the famed jockey school with a noted list of riders, including Irad Ortiz, Jr, Jose Ortiz as well as 2018 Harrah’s Louisiana Downs top-ranked rider, Emanuel Nieves.
The soft-spoken rider was the 17th-ranked rider in 2018 at Louisiana Downs, but united with former jockey and highly successful agent, Ronald Ardoin, this year.
“There is no doubt that Ronald made a big difference for me,” said Lozada. “He works hard in the mornings and got me a lot of mounts. He won so many races in his career and was very helpful when I asked for advice.”
One of the biggest wins of the meet came on Super Derby Day when Lozada guided Sugarland Thoroughbreds LLC’s homebred Eskenformore to victory in the $60,000 River Cities at odds of 30-1. He had ridden the 6-year-old mare, trained by James Hodges, and explained his change of tactics in winning the turf feature.
“I rode her like I knew her,” stated Lozada. “I felt she needed to be closer to the lead and knew she had plenty left for the finish.”
Winning leading rider honors at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs meant a great deal to the devoted family man, supported by his wife, Eileen Quinones and their three sons: Anthony, Jean Carlos and Jandriel.
“I was a little nervous toward the end,” he acknowledged. “Providing for my family is most important to me, but I want to thank every owner and trainer who believed in me and gave me the opportunity to win my first title!”
Lozada will head to Delta Downs for their upcoming Thoroughbred meet, which gets underway on Tuesday, October 8.
It was also a very successful season for Joel Dominguez, who finished second with 91 trips to the winner’s circle, edging Lozada in purses, with mounts earning $1,091,671. Dominguez, who was third in the standings last year, is represented by retired rider Don Simington. Jockey Aubrie Green finished third with 54 victories; a solid step up from her seventh-place finish here in 2018. Richard Eramia and Hector Del-Cid tied for fourth with 47 trips to the winner’s circle.