Jockey Alan Garcia’s perfect rail riding finish to capture the Grade 2 Autumn Stakes, his second stakes win in two days, at Woodbine Racecourse helped lead to him being named the Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week for November 2nd – November 8th. 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.
Garcia gave his mount in the $200,000 Autumn Stakes, Are You Kidding Me, a textbook ride from post position one. Under Alan’s guidance, the 5-year-old son of Run Away and Hide found space inside and surged past 2-1 favorite Lukes Alley late to win by a half-length in the 1 1/16-mile test on the all-weather main track.
Are You Kidding Me stalked in fourth, 2 1/2 lengths back through much of the race as longshot Royal Son set the early fractions. Lukes Alley took command briefly in the stretch after a wide closing move from fifth, but could not out finish Are You Kidding Me, who hit the wire in 1:43.41. Garcia rode the winner for long-time leading Canadian trainer Roger Attfield.
“We were behind the speed, comfortable, and saved some ground in the end,” Garcia said. “When it opened up, my horse wanted to go on.”
The day before Garcia captured the Jammed Lovely Stakes by a more comfortable margin when drawing away aboard Strong Incentive to win the $150,000 Saturday feature by four and a quarter lengths for trainer Chad Brown.
Garcia is currently fourth in the rider standings at Woodbine in his first season riding full-time at the premiere Canadian thoroughbred meeting. Garcia, 30, returned to North America after a stint riding in Saudi Arabia. He moved his tack to the Middle East in November of 2014.
“I think sometimes a change is good,” Agent Anthony Esposito remarked. “He’s gone to Saudi and he’s gotten the taste of riding those live horses again, riding a lot and winning a lot. I think momentum is very important for jockeys; they’re competitive people. And resume-wise, he totally fits in with the colony at Woodbine.”
For the week, Garcia had three winners from 11 starts with one second place finish and two third place finishes. His total earnings for the week were $200,487.
JockeyTalk360.com spotlights the riders across North America and around the world who may be the bravest, toughest and most accomplished of all athletes. The Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week is selected by a vote of representatives of America’s Best Racing, the Daily Racing Form, Equibase, the Jockeys’ Guild, the Paulick Report, the Thoroughbred Daily News, National Thoroughbred Racing Association, National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, Thoroughbred Racing Associations, and Turf Publicists of America.