Jose Luis Delgadillo - New Jockey in the Room

Jose Luis, Karina (My Wife/His Sister) & Myself at Hollywood Park

I come from a family that had no connection to the world of horse racing. My father is a handicapper and fan of the sport, he brought me along to the track as a child and that is when i fell in love with horse racing.

In contrast, my now brother-in-law, apprentice jockey Jose Luis Delgadillo, was born into the world of horse racing.

I have had the pleasure of knowing the Delgadillo family for about seven years now. I met Jose Luis when he was ten-years-old and at that time he was just another kid with a dream, he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his dad.

There is his Dad Agapito Delgadillo with a winner at Stockton, Lil' Jose Luis in the Raiders cap & belt buckle.

He is the son of jockey Agapito Delgadillo who currently rides at Santa Anita Park in the Southern California circuit (he is having a great meet). His Dad began riding at a very young age and has ridden at tracks like Hipodromo De Las Americas, Caliente, Bay Meadows, Golden Gate, Pleasanton, Santa Rosa, Fresno, Stockton, Turf Paradise, Los Alamitos, Keeneland, Sunland, Zia Park, Albuquerque, Fairplex, Del Mar, Hollywood Park, and Santa Anita Park. (I might have missed some more).

Father & Son having fun and celebrating dinner after one of his Dad's wins.

Jose Luis traveled and grew up going to most of these race tracks along his Father. I asked him to write a small piece in his own words about his journey to becoming a jockey and the feeling of getting his first career win last Sunday.

Jose Luis: "Being a jockey has always been my dream, I love horses and horse racing.  I always wanted to be like my father, Jockey Agapito Delgadillo. My first step towards my dream was closer to reality once I turned fifteen.  My dad took me with him to El Paso TX.  While he was riding at Sunland Park I was galloping horses at a nearby ranch. After that I went back to California and got my galloper's license.

Jose Luis learned to gallop horses at a ranch in Texas. (His Mom went to visit him)

I galloped in Santa Anita Park, Hollywood Park and even got to gallop at Delmar.  It felt great knowing I was one step closer to my dream.  I then moved to San Francisco and was galloping at Golden Gate Fields and it seemed like I was ready and decided it was time to get my apprentice license.  I debuted at Portland meadows, although I didn’t get my win, I gained experience that I believe is helping me a lot now that I’m riding here at Golden Gate Fields.
Once he got his exercise rider's license, Jose Luis began working horses in Southern California (Del Mar)

Being a jockey is not easy, you are riding an animal that weights 10 times more than you. You also have to maintain a specific weight and as an apprentice jockey is even harder because we have to weigh less than a regular jockey.  We are also risking our lives out there.  I had my first spill two weeks ago and although I had already gone down while galloping, its nothing compared to when you’re actually riding in a race. Everything happens extremely fast. Thank God nothing major happened to me but it sure does hurt a lot. I was in pain and really sore for the next three days. Many asked me do you still want to ride, specially my mother, my answer was and will always be yes.  It hurts and yes it’s dangerous but the passion I have for horse racing is bigger than anything.

Jose Luis got his first career win at Golden Gate Fields.

 I got my first career win last Sunday at Golden Gate Fields and I have to say it was the best feeling ever.  When you really want something you have to work hard to accomplish it. Many would tell me that I was not going to make it, that I was taller than my father and it was going to be hard for me.  But there were also those people that believed in me like my parents and sisters. I never gave up and thanks to God, my dedication and to all the ones that supported me I have accomplished my goal. Of course this is just the beginning of my career, there are still many more goals to accomplish like making the Eclipse Awards, going to the Kentucky Derby, being leading jockey at Santa Anita Park and riding in the same race as my father.  I have been doing all this while still trying to finish my High School Diploma. Horse racing is my passion and as long as God lets me I will accomplish all my goals. "

His fellow Jockeys at Golden Gate gave him plenty of ice cold celebration baths after his win

I also got to ask Jose Luis a few more questions.

Me: How is it riding at Golden Gate in the same jockeys room where your Dad had good success?
Jose Luis: It's great because i have the same locker he used to have when he used to ride there and alot of the people around the track remember me when i was young. I also have the same valet and same agent Rogelio Olguin.

Me: I seen that Dennis Carr was very happy for you when you won.
JL: Yea he rode many races with my Dad so he was very happy for me as well as many of the other jockeys.

Me: Do you feel pressure now that you are riding?
JL: Yes, because many people always tell me that they like my Dad and that he rides good. So it feels good to be riding but I also want to be better than my Dad.

Me: Who is your favorite jockey other than your Dad?
JL: Joel Rosario

Me: Okay now for some non-racing questions. What is your favorite restaurant?
JL: Dave and Busters

Me: Do you have a girlfriend? (Ladies pay attention)
JL: Not right now but accepting applications. I love them all. Lol.

Me: What is your favorite sport other than Horse Racing?
JL: Soccer!

Me: What is your dream car?
JL: Corvette

Me: Who is your favorite Brother-In-Law?
JL: You!

Me: We have a pretty cool name huh?
JL: You got it!

That's a wrap.

Thanks Cuñado and hope many winners are coming your way. See you soon, stay safe!

You can follow Jose Luis Delgadillo on twitter @Jos3_Delgadilo

Give me a follow @LosPonies and also stay tuned to the #ABRV in 2013. Check out everything about America's Best Racing and my new gambling blog on followhorseracing.com

I watch horses run around.

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1 comment:

  1. This was great I enjoyed it, other than the fact that I bet on the 4 who came in second. Bueller27