Abel Cedillo’s five-win day at Del Mar, including a victory in the Let It Ride Stakes aboard Strongconstitution, led to Jockey of the Week honors for October 26 through November 1. 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.
Abel Cedillo said he was feeling “lucky” when racing began Sunday afternoon at Del Mar. He had a mount in all nine races and when he won the first one, he said his confidence went up. By the time the day was done, the 31-year-old Guatemalan had finished first five times, including a confident ride in the day’s feature, the $75,000 Let It Ride Stakes aboard Roadrunner Racing or Sayjay Racing’s Strongconstitution.
As the mile grass stakes race for 3-year-olds unfolded, Cedillo was up close along the rail, but heading home the field bunched at the head of the stretch. He looked outside, but quickly wheeled his Constitution colt alongside the fence where there was the smallest of openings. Both rider and horse were game as they dove on through and held off Hronis Racing’s Heywoods Beach for the score.
Cedillo’s earlier winners on the card were 1st Race – Spielberg ($3.80); 2nd Race – War Path ($8.60); 4th Race – Freedom Lass ($13.00), and 5th Race – Chollima ($5.40).
“Five wins today, wow. I was feeling lucky and when I won a close one with that first one (Spielberg by a neck in the first race), I had lots of confidence,” Cedillo said. “Then I rode with that confidence from there on out. I’d won five races on a single day once before up at Golden Gate Fields, but this is a first down here. My horse (Strongconstitution) ran strong in the stakes. We got through inside and he got it done.”
Cedillo out-polled fellow riders Jose L. Ortiz who won two stakes at Belmont Park, Marcelino Pedroza, Jr. who won two stakes at Indiana Grand, Luis E. Perez who won the most races for the week with nine and Ricardo Santana, Jr. who was third in total purse earnings.