Jockey James Flores took top honors in Oklahoma’s richest race for 2-year olds on March 26th at Remington Park. That big victory helped Flores add another award this week when he was named the AQHA/Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the month for March. The award is voted on by a panel of Quarter Horse racing experts for riding accomplishments and achievements for the previous month of racing.
Flores had to overcome a less than perfect start in the race but Coronas First Diva found her stride soon after and rallied to win the Grade 3, $440,000 Oklahoma Futurity on March 26th at Remington Park. The 2-year-old filly crossed the finish three-quarters of a length better than late-running Sweet Annie GL.
“She didn’t leave as good as she could but she’s such a natural, she caught on really quick,” Flores said. “I let her get her feet in front of her. I knew I had plenty of horse. She’s been training very well. I just let her do her thing and helped her a little bit on the end and she got us home.”
A relative new-comer to the game, Flores notched his first victory in 2011 and is coming off his best year ever in number of wins. He ended last season with 78 trips to the winners circle while riding mainly in Oklahoma, Texas, and Iowa during most of the year. He won 14 stakes races last season though the win aboard Coronas First Diva is his biggest triumph to date.
For the month, Flores had four wins, three seconds, five third place finishes and was first in AQHA earnings with $240,472.
The American Quarter Horse Association, founded in 1940, is the world’s largest equine breed registry and membership organization. With more than 5.6 million horses registered, AQHA functions as the official record keeping and governing body of the American Quarter Horse industry. AQHA records all American Quarter Horse ownership, processes approved show and race results, catalogs performance and produce data on all American Quarter Horses, maintains association funds and publicizes the American Quarter Horse industry. Find more at www.aqharacing.com.
The voters are:
Steve Anderson (Daily Racing Form)
Andrea Caudill (Q-Racing Journal Editor)
Martha Claussen (AQHA Wrangler Aces coordinator)
Chris Kotulak (Remington Park handicapper/analyst)
Doug McPherson (Ajax Downs & Kawartha Downs Handicapper/Chart Caller)
Don Stevens (Delta Downs announcer)