Cardenas Adds Black-Type Stakes Winner To His Riding Resume

Jockey Luis Cardenas continued his career progression on Saturday, piloting Runaway Rumour to an upset victory at 13-1 in the $100,000 Wild Applause Stakes for 3-year-old fillies over the Widener turf course at Belmont Park in Elmont, Ny.

The victory was the first black-type stakes win of Cardenas’ career, with the New York-bred Runaway Rumour facing open company for the first time and improving to 3-for-3 overall after besting the Chad Brown-trained favorite Minaun by a half-length.

Cardenas previously captured the $70,000 Peeping Tom Stakes with Gustavo Rodriguez and Andrew Gurdon’s Ryan’s Cat for trainer Rudy Rodriguez in March, a starter stakes on the New York Claiming Championship Day program at Aqueduct Racetrack.

After making the first three starts of his professional career in 2019, Cardenas became a regular in 2020, notching 41 wins to lead all apprentice riders on the highly competitive NYRA circuit.

Now a journeyman, Cardenas has been trying to assert himself in one of the world’s major horseracing circuits. The native of Lima, Peru has amassed a 33-38-62 record in 440 mounts this year, compiling earnings of more than $2 million entering Sunday. With more than 1,000 career starts on his ledger, Cardenas earned a trip to the winner’s circle in a six-figure stakes contest, marking the next step in a career that started when Cardenas worked as a groom and hotwalker at Monmouth Park.

“I couldn’t believe it, to be honest,” Cardenas said with a smile. “I got in the car afterwards and I was so excited, but I was trying to keep my emotions together. But as soon as I drove back home, I was thinking about my family. I get strength from them. If you have a lot of faith, nothing can go wrong.

“Running down the stretch, I could hear everyone cheering and it got me pumped up. I’m pretty sure the horses sensed it too; they could feel the energy,” he added.

The 24-year-old Cardenas said he wanted to be a jockey from the time he was 6, and his career prospects improved when he moved to the United States at age 12. As he got older, Cardenas willingly traveled the country to make that dream a possibility. Besides his experience in New Jersey, Cardenas also went to South Carolina to work at the Webb Carroll Training Center before eventually returning to the metropolitan area, working in New York as an exercise rider for trainers Leah Gyarmati, Bruce Levine, and Randi Persaud among others.

“It’s been a lot of work but I give thanks to everybody; my agent, P.J. Campo, the trainers, the jock’s room, they all help me out. Everyone tries to help you out here,” Cardenas said. “Watching the replays has been really important. With Runaway Rumour, I watched the replays and she was fantastic, so I tried to imitate the way the jockeys rode her before, and it worked out very well.”

Cardenas’ style has led to success, though this year has provided an additional challenge as he no longer has the five-pound bug. But the extra weight hasn’t deterred Cardenas, who said he’s just trying to use his preparation to continue the success he’s enjoyed as an apprentice rider.

“The weight difference is a factor; I don’t think five pounds is a lot, but it makes a difference,” Cardenas said. “Now that you’re a journeyman, you have to prove you belong in here. There’s a lot of ups and downs in this business, but my family keeps me together. I love this sport. It’s my life. It’s always what I wanted to do and I just want to keep moving forward.”

The post Cardenas Adds Black-Type Stakes Winner To His Riding Resume appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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