Several top jockeys from the Caribbean are participating in the 2017 horse racing season in the United States, which began with the Kentucky Derby on May 6. Among the top eight Caribbean jockeys are two Jamaicans Rajiv Maragh and Shaun Bridgmohan.
Maragh, 31, was born in Kingston and moved to Florida at age 13 with his family. It was in Florida that he began his horse training career, In February 2004, Maragh rode the first winner at Tampa Bay Downs and got a big break when he ranked 14th in national earnings in 2008. In July of 2015, he suffered a serious injury at Belmont Park, but returned to riding after 16 months of recovery. In 2017, his earnings total $3,422,503. He rode Irish War Cry in the 2017 Kentucky Derby. Collin Maragh, Rajiv’s father, was a jockey in Jamaica and now works as a trainer in South Florida. Rajiv’s brother Shamir is also a jockey, beginning his career in 2010.
Born in Spanish Town, Shaun Xavier Bridgmohan, 38, also moved to South Florida with his family at the age of 13. While he was still in school, he worked as a hot walker, groom and exercise rider at a Florida racetrack. Upon graduation from high school, Bridgmohan began his riding career and achieved his first win in 1997 at Calder Race Course. Six months later, he won six races on a single card in Queens, New York, at the Aqueduct Racetrack. He finished 1998, his breakout year, by winning the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey. In 2007, he again won six races on a single card in New Orleans, Louisiana, on December 22 at Fair Grounds Race Course. He had his 3,000th win on April 1, 2017. His earnings for 2017 total $1,267, 533.
Of the other eight top Caribbean jockeys, Joel Rosario comes from the Dominican Republic, and the other five – John R. Velazquez, Jose Ortiz, Irad Ortiz, Jr., Manuel Franco, and Victor Carrasco – are from Puerto Rico.
Source: News Americas Now
Photo Credit: Instagram @josephsigmo