LARC NEWS Posted: 1/13/2018 10:21:24 PM

While riding stalwarts like Eddie Garcia, Ramon Sanchez, Rodrigo Aceves, Eduardo Nicasio, Cruz Mendez and Alejandro Luna remain the familiar faces in the Los Alamitos jockey’s room, there are plenty of fresh new names in the local riding colony. From the 23-year-old Guatemalan pilot Edgar Payeras, to the Venezuelan rider Eduard Rojas Fernandez and the Irish lady Kellie McDaid, it’s a new list of up and coming jockeys wearing the silks at the Orange County oval.

            Payeras has only been riding for four months after being a quick study. “Trainers Ruben Gomez and Mike Harrington have helped me a great deal,” Payeras said. “I’ve won races at the Fresno Fair and now at Los Alamitos. I’ve only been riding for a brief period of time.”

            McDaid has been galloping horses in Southern California for a few years and had some opportunities to ride as well. Hard work has paid off for the young pilot, as her first victory came in the first race of the night on Saturday, December 16 aboard the 18-1 longshot Really A Princess. Her family watched her pilot Elimination Round to a third place finish in the fourth race on Friday, January 5 before returning a couple of racing nights later to score her second career win, this time aboard the 14-1 longshot Cali Encounter in the fifth race on Saturday, January 13. Her smile in the winner’s circle has said it all for McDaid, winning races is quite a thrill.

            In the Quarter Horse ranks, Cesar Gomez is an established national name. In 2017, Gomez piloted 48 winners for earnings of $1,013,032. Gomez had a solid year in 2016 as well, picking up 53 victories with earnings of $1,309,261. He guided Ditto Head to a qualifying spot in the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity last December 17 and the 27-year-old is hoping to enjoy his time in Cypress, California. The list of new names at Los Alamitos also includes Cecily Evans - already a two-time winner here this season - Johnny Andre Allen, Raul Zapien and Juan Carlos Ramirez. It will be interesting to see how the local colony develops in 2018. Plenty of new names and a lot of strong talent at Los Alamitos.



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