From the Paulick Report
Track announcer Bill Downes predicted a big night for the riders from the United States and had made them the morning line favorite at odds of 2-5 to win the International Jockey Challenge. The team came through, earning 52 points over Mexico’s 34 to take home the trophy and the title in the inaugural event.
Rodney Prescott of the United States team was the overall point leader, earning two wins and two seconds on the 10-race program to help catapult his country into the top spot. He was joined by teammates Jeremy Rose, Malcolm Franklin and Shanley Jackson, who also added wins to the tally for the combined effort.
Francisco Torres got Mexico rolling early on, winning two races and scoring one second for his team. The Quarter Horse riders, Victor Olivo and Christian Esqueda from Mexico, also contributed with a first and second in the evening’s ninth race to tighten up the score, but it wasn’t enough to get the win.
Indiana Grand’s leading rider Fernando De La Cruz scored 13 points total as the only member of the Peru team. He had two wins, one third and one fourth on the program to finish in third place on the leader board.
Orlando Mojica also represented Puerto Rico well, getting on the board twice with two thirds for an overall total of five points. Oriana Rossi of Italy scored three points while Yordanis Amaro brought in two points for Cuba. Ademar Santos had one point for Brazil.
The International Jockey Challenge was part of an action –packed program that included a zip line, mariachi band, international food samples, sword fighters and other strolling activity. All 10 races were included in the challenge.
Members of Team USA who competed on the program included Cheyanna Patrick, Jeremy Rose, Rodney Prescott, Malcolm Franklin, Octavio Vergara Jr., Harold Collins, Shanley Jackson, Troy Crissup, Julie Veltman and Jennifer Schmidt. Jockeys who represented Mexico included Francisco Torres, Alex Contreras, Ramon Rechy, Juan Guerrero, Gerardo Garrido, Victor Olivo, Christian Esqueda and Benjamin Martinez. Carlos Esquilin joined Orlando Mojica as the only other rider from Team Puerto Rico while Ademar Santos represented Brazil, Yordanis Amaro represented Cuba, Oriana Rossi represented Italy, Fernando De La Cruz represented Peru and Olaf Hernandez represented Venezuela.
A special ceremony was held after Race 3 to introduce the riders to those in attendance for the event. Each jockey walked down to the winner’s circle with their respective teams carrying their country’s flag.