Santana Hoping To Stay In A New York State Of Mind Following Saratoga Meet

Ricardo Santana, Jr. surged up the early Saratoga jockey leaderboard with three straight wins on Sunday. The Panama native aggressively piloted Tainted Angel ($13.20), Somerset Sandy ($43.80) and Ginger N Rye ($24) to victory in Races 7-9. His five wins were tied for second with Jose Ortiz for the summer meet that entered its fourth day on Monday.

“I feel blessed to have the opportunity here at one of the big tracks. It’s been my dream to ride here [against] all the best ones,” Santana said. “There are so many good riders here and I’m a young kid coming to the big time. I learn a lot riding with the best colonies and I hope one of these days I’ll be at the top.”

Santana rode 14 winners in the 2016 Saratoga meet and has one graded stakes win to his credit at the Spa when he led Holy Boss to the winner’s circle in the 2015 Grade 2 Amsterdam for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen.

“A day like yesterday makes me keep working hard and keep working for my dream,” he said. “I don’t have a [specific] goal. I love my job. I’m here to learn and try my best. There’s so many guys who always help me with everything. They’re very supportive.”

Santana moved to the United States to ride in 2009 as a 16-year-old, starting at Delaware Park. He was the leading rider at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas at their meet from January to April.

Santana earned his first career Grade 1 win aboard eventual Belmont Stakes winner Creator in the 2016 Arkansas Derby and is closing in on 900 career wins, carrying 877 into Monday’s card.

After racing frequently at Belmont in the spring/summer meet, he said he plans to return to Elmont in the fall.

“My dream is to stay in New York and when Saratoga closes, I’ll go back and run in Belmont and I hope in the winter I can stay at Aqueduct. That’s my goal,” he said.

The post Santana Hoping To Stay In A New York State Of Mind Following Saratoga Meet appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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