Quarter Horse Jockey Raul Ramirez got the job done when winning the $1,000,000 LQHBA Breeders Futurity at Evangeline Downs in the featured race for Louisiana-bred Quarter Horses held on November 28th. Along with being the second leading rider in wins for the month, that victory helped lead him to be named as the AQHA-Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Month for the month of November. The award is voted on by a panel of Quarter Horse racing experts for riding accomplishments and achievements for the previous month of racing.
Aboard Jess A Saint, the races’ slowest qualifier, Ramirez just got the bob in on the wire from his far outside post position at odds of eight-to-one. The brown gelding covered the 400 yards in :19.84 seconds recording a speed index of 92, to win by half-a-length and pocket the winner’s purse of $445,000.
“It didn’t matter that he was the tenth fastest qualifier in trials,” Ramirez said following the big win. “We were happy with our horse; he pulled up sound and was doing well.”
Raul has now won back-to-back editions of the Grade 1 Breeders Futurity. This year it was Julio Rio’s Jess A Saint for trainer Miguel Rodriguez. Last year, he was victorious with Jls Dashn And Zoomn, owned by Jose Guzman and trained by Brenda Foster.
Ramirez, a Laredo, Texas native, has been at or near the top of the standing for wins, win percentage, and earnings for most of the 2015 season. Ramirez is primarily Louisiana-based, and hangs his tack in the jocks room at all four race meets throughout the year in the Bayou state.
Ramirez comes from a race family, as he is cousin both to jockeys Saul Ramirez, and former rider J.R. Ramirez. His father, Raul Sr., was also a jockey before his death in an auto accident in 2012 at the age of 61.
When asked about the success he is having for 2015, the 33-year-old race rider stresses his faith as a key ingredient in the outcome thus far in the racing year.
“I feel the reason that I am able to accomplish my dreams is because of God,” said Ramirez. “I try to do my best every time I go out on a horse also to make my parents feel proud of me, even though my father is no longer with us. I am very thankful to the trainers, owners, the grooms, and my agent that have helped with me to accomplish so much in 2015 thus far. With the help of God, and my family and friends we’re going to keep doing well.”
For the month Raul had 13 wins from 62 starts with 11 seconds and five third place finishes. He was third in earnings for the month of September with $552,231 and second in total wins.