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Blog - LIFESTYLE

John Velazquez photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

Recuerdo que a mediados de los años ochenta sentí una gran emoción cuando Julio Pezúa fue a correr tres carreras en una reunión en el hipódromo de Santa Anita, hecho insólito en esos años ya que eran poquísimas sino inexistentes las oportunidades que teníamos los aficionados peruanos de ver correr a un compatriota. Los tiempos han cambiado drásticamente. Ahora tenemos a Edgar Prado inducido al Salón de la Fama y ganando el Derby de Kentucky con Bárbaro; a Jorge Chávez ganando también el Derby de Kentucky en la silla de Monarchos; a Rafael Bejarano liderando consecutivamente las estadísticas del exigente circuito del sur de California; a Alan García ganando el Belmont Stakes y ahora último el Arlington Million y a numerosos látigos latinoamericanos siendo figuras en el resto de los hipódromos de la gran nación americana.

Yo recuerdo que fue Pezúa quien abrió la brecha en los 80's para que varios de estos talentosos jinetes peruanos se fijaran en EE.UU. o en nuevos horizontes. Luego llegó la consolidación de Prado primero en Maryland y después en Nueva York, donde Chávez ya era líder y figura.

Ahora nos complace enormemente ver los avances de los jinetes venezolanos como Javier Castellanos y en recientes años la consagración de Ramón Domínguez y antes de ellos Eibar Coa. Asimismo, la nueva ola de talentos como los hermanos puertorriqueños Ortiz en la Gran Manzana, el uruguayo Richard Eramia rompiendola en Louisiana Downs y la evolución de los grandes jockeys brasileños como Joao Moreira triunfando en Singapur, Silvestre De Souza contratado por Godolphin, Eurico Da Silva en Canada y Leandro Goncalves entre otros.

Es imposible dejar de mencionar a la gran escuela panameña con leyendas vivientes como Laffit Pincay Jr. y Jorge Velasquez, cuna de extraordinarios talentos que ahora tiene a José Lezcano, entre otros, como sus máximos exponentes, asimismo la gran escuela puertorriqueña encabezada hace muchos años por John Velazquez y la influencia mejicana iniciada por los pioneros Angel y Milo Valenzuela, y ahora emulada por talentos como Martín García, Mario Gutiérrez, Víctor Espinoza, David Flores y recientemente Luis Contreras.

MARIO GUTIERREZ

Gutierrez Burns

Photo courtesy of Benoit & Associates

América Latina, en algún momento llamada el Nuevo Mundo, es un crisol de sangres nativas y europeas. Las primeras proceden de la lejana Asia, concretamente de Siberia, cuyos habitantes cruzaron el estrecho de Bering durante la última glaciación y dieron origen al hombre americano, y las segundas proceden fundamentalmente de países como España y Portugal, y Francia en menor escala. Es un continente rico e inspirador,que ha dado a  la literatura universal figuras de la talla de Gabriel García Márquez y Mario Vargas Llosa, ambos ganadores del Premio Nobel. La influencia latina en la música ha sido determinante no sólo como elemento intrínseco de admiración sino también de fusión con géneros como el jazz y el rock. Quién no distingue un mariachi mejicano, una cumbia colombiana o un tango argentino.

La hípica no podía estar ajena a esta influencia. Los jinetes latinos con su peculiar biotipo, con su innata picardía y vivacidad han nutrido al deporte de los reyes de un atractivo adicional y han generado una ola nueva de fanáticos y seguidores en los hipódromos donde se presentan.

La semilla fue sembrada a fines de los años 40 con el arribo a USA de los hermanos Valenzuela, de origen mejicano. Y desde ahí en adelante, la hípica americana cosecha cada año, para beneficio de la industria y del espectáculo, nuevas y prometedoras figuras de la fusta latina.

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An Inexhaustible Harvest

I remember in the mid-1980s, I was thrilled when Julio Pezua was booked to ride three races at Santa Anita Park, an unusual occurrence since there were scarce, if not non-existent, opportunities for Peruvian residents to see a compatriot.

Times have changed significantly. Now, we have Edgar Prado inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame and winning the 2006 Kentucky Derby with Barbaro; Jorge Chavez also winning the Kentucky Derby aboard Monarchos; Rafael Bejarano consecutively leading the jockey standings in the demanding Southern California circuit; Alan Garcia winning the Belmont Stakes and, most recently, the Arlington Million; and many more talented Latin American jockeys making their mark in the rest of the racetracks across the great North American nation.

I remember it was Pezua who opened the gap in the 80s for several of these talented Peruvian riders to set their sights on the U.S. or new horizons. Then came the consolidation of Prado in Maryland and later in New York, where Chavez had already broken through and become a leader.

Now we are delighted to see the progress of Venezuelans riders like Javier Castellano and, in recent years, the accomplishments of Ramon Dominguez and Eibar Coa.

AN OWNER GIVES CASTELLANO A HUG

Owner Showing Castellano Love

Photo courtesy of Benoit & Associates

Also, the new wave of talent as the rise of the Puerto Rican Ortiz brothers in the Big Apple, the Uruguayan Richard Eramia breaking new ground at Louisiana Downs and the evolution in large of many talented Brazilian jockeys, such as Joao Moreira triumphing in Singapore, Silvestre De Souza contracted by Godolphin, Eurico Da Silva enjoying success in Canada and Leandro Goncalves, among others.

It is impossible not to mention living legends Laffit Pincay Jr. and Jorge Velasquez and the great Panamanian jockey school - Laffit Pincay Jr. Jockey Training Academy - home of extraordinary talents such as José Lezcano, among others. The great Puerto Rican riding school - headed for many years now by John Velazquez – has been a great source of talent and the great Mexican influence was started by pioneers Angel and Milo Valenzuela, and now emulated by talented new blood in Martin Garcia and Mario Gutierrez as well as Victor Espinoza and David Flores and more recently the emerging Luis Contreras.

Latin America, sometime called the New World, is a melting pot of native and European blood. The first came from distant Asia, including Siberia, where people crossed the Bering Strait during the last ice age and gave rise to the American man, and the latter mainly from countries like Spain and Portugal, as well as France on a smaller scale. It is a continent rich and inspiring, which has given world literature the likes of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Mario Vargas Llosa, both Nobel Prize winners. The Latin impact on music has been crucial not only as an admirable intrinsic element but also because of its influence on genres such as jazz and rock. Who does not recognize a Mexican mariachi, a Colombian cumbia or Argentine tango?

Horse racing could not be immune to this influence. Latino riders with their peculiar biotype, with its innate playfulness and vivacity, have nurtured the “sport of kings” an additional attraction and generated a new wave of fans and followers at racetracks where they are present.

The seed was planted in the late 1940s with the arrival of the Valenzuelas of Mexican origin. From then on, promising riders from Latin America have enriched U.S. and global racing every year for the benefit of the industry and the sport.

 

Image Description

Michael Burns

Michael Burns is a recognized international Thoroughbred writer, permanent contributor of prestigious industry trades, such as Blood-Horse, Racing Post and Thoroughbred Daily News, and served as the hispanic media publicist for Betfair Hollywood Park.

He covered South American racing and breeding for the Thoroughbred Times for a span of 10 years and worked as a North American correspondent for racing publications in South America.

A Communications graduate of California State University of Los Angeles, he wrote the essays corresponding to the prominent South American sires Embrujo, Practicante and Cipayo for the collection book "Great Thoroughbred Sires of the World."

En Espanol: Michael Burns, es un reconocido periodista hípico internacional, permanente colaborador de prestigiosas revistas especializadas de la industria, tales como Blood Horse, Racing Post y Thoroughbred Daily News, y detenta actualmente el cargo de Hispanic Media Publicist en Betfair Hollywood Park.

Image Description

Michael Burns

Michael Burns is a recognized international Thoroughbred writer, permanent contributor of prestigious industry trades, such as Blood-Horse, Racing Post and Thoroughbred Daily News, and served as the hispanic media publicist for Betfair Hollywood Park.

He covered South American racing and breeding for the Thoroughbred Times for a span of 10 years and worked as a North American correspondent for racing publications in South America.

A Communications graduate of California State University of Los Angeles, he wrote the essays corresponding to the prominent South American sires Embrujo, Practicante and Cipayo for the collection book "Great Thoroughbred Sires of the World."

En Espanol: Michael Burns, es un reconocido periodista hípico internacional, permanente colaborador de prestigiosas revistas especializadas de la industria, tales como Blood Horse, Racing Post y Thoroughbred Daily News, y detenta actualmente el cargo de Hispanic Media Publicist en Betfair Hollywood Park.

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