NYRA Press Release
by Najja Thompson
Jockey Benjamin Hernandez earned his first career win in the continental United States in the second race on Wednesday’s card at Aqueduct Racetrack, piloting Alright Alright [No. 5, $10.20] to victory for trainer John Toscano.
“It’s so exciting,” said Hernandez, a native of Puerto Rico. “The best moment of my life. I’ve been waiting a long time for this. It’s been a long journey, so it’s very exciting.”
Hernandez, 27, graduated jockey school at Hipodromo Camarero earning his first win in Puerto Rico in 2012. Following an injury that delayed his career, Hernandez moved to New York and returned to the sport as an exercise rider on the NYRA circuit. He made his return to riding in the final weeks of the fall meet at Belmont Park, including a strong second aboard Kerry Boy on October 19.
“My goal is to keep riding and working hard every day,” added Hernandez. “In the mornings, I breeze horses and try to improve my skills and gain the confidence of the trainers and more opportunities. I’m looking forward to a great winter.”
The lucrative 23-day Aqueduct fall meet, which runs from November 2 through Sunday, December 2, continues Thursday and Friday with a first post time of 12:20 p.m. Stakes action returns this weekend with the Grade 3 $200,000 Red Smith Handicap slated for Saturday and the $125,000 NYSS Thunder Rumble on Sunday.