RED-HOT JOCKEY VICTOR SALAZAR PILOTS CHANCE IT NOW TO LA PACIFICA WIN
Victor Salazar is the hottest jockey at Los Alamitos right now. Since April 7, Salazar has won a meet’s best nine Quarter Horse races including the richest race of his career aboard Ed Allred’s Chance It Now in the $30,000 La Pacifica Handicap for 3-year-old fillies here on Saturday night.
Salazar, 30, began riding at Los Alamitos on August 30, 2020. His first mounts came with Jesus Nunez and included a stint riding for EG High Desert Farms. He has since becoming one of the choice riders for Scott Willoughby, last year’s leading Quarter Horse trainer at Los Alamitos. A native of Guanajuato, Mexico, Salazar has made the most of his opportunities in 2021. After picking up five wins from 49 mounts last year, he has already picked 13 victories this year, highlighted by his current purple patch for the top connections of Allred and Willoughby.
“This is hard to explain,” Salazar said after winning the La Pacifica. “It’s a big thrill for me. All jockeys want to win races, but it’s a big challenge to do so because everyone is working very hard and we’re all giving it everything we have. I’m so thankful for the opportunities that I’m having right now. It’s a good feeling to have and good feeling to share with a lot of people. My parents have always given me their support each day. I’m blessed. This is my first-year riding and each day I learn something new. I want to keep learning more all the time. It’s such a great feeling right now.”
The La Pacifica is Salazar’s second stakes win. His first came with Leah Carroll in the 110-yard Last Chance Dash Handicap on December 27.
The Allred-bred Chance It Now has now won three of her six career starts. Sired by Favorite Cartel and out of Elam Last, she’s a full sister to Ed Burke Million Futurity winner Chance To Excel. In the La Pacifica, the gray filly broke from the outside post number 10 and drifted out shortly after the start. Salazar kept her on task and she came flying from ninth to fourth and then to first across the wire to win the race by a head over Allred’s Roving Kind. Chance It Now earned $16,500 for the win to take her career earnings to $35,963.
Ridden by Henry Reynoso Lopez for Willoughby, the Kiddy Up filly Roving Kind earned $6,750 for running second. Armando Figueroa’s Perrys Everlasting finished third and picked up a check for 3,750. She was ridden by Irving Lara for trainer Jose Flores. The top three were followed by Sassies Blues Girl, College Scandal, Powerline Road, The Best Feeling, Teller Jazz MRL, Jess Fortunate, and Checkn Favorite.