Oaklawn: Gary Stevens Picks Up Book Of Incoming Jockey Nik Juarez

Newcomer Nik Juarez is scheduled to arrive Saturday in Hot Springs and begin getting on horses Sunday, said Gary Stevens, the agent who will represent the jockey for the first time during the 2022-2023 Oaklawn meeting that begins Dec. 9.

Stevens said Wednesday night that he will also continue to book mounts for Geovanni Franco, who returned to Oaklawn last season and finished sixth in the standings.

Juarez, who has been based on the East Coast and the Mid-Atlantic, entered Thursday with 909 career victories, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization, the first coming in 2013. He ranked 22nd in North America (United States and Canada) in victories (187) and 28th ($6,459,719) in purse earnings in 2017.

“He’s a little G. Stevens,” said Stevens, the retired Hall of Fame rider. “I didn’t know him. I’ve watched him. Ron Anderson, my old agent, had him at Gulfstream two years ago and I’ve watched him ride. I knew nothing about him personally, other than watching him ride. I’ve been a fan of his.”

Franco made his Oaklawn debut in 2016 and rode 45 winners the following year to finish third in the standings. Franco then relocated to Southern California before returning to Oaklawn last December. He rode 29 winners at the 2021-2022 Oaklawn meeting.

“I’ve got Geovanni and him (Juarez) and it’s a perfect match,” Stevens said. “They’re both excited. I’m excited.”

Franco is now riding at Churchill Downs and Horseshoe Indianapolis.

The post Oaklawn: Gary Stevens Picks Up Book Of Incoming Jockey Nik Juarez appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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