Joe Badilla Returns to Riding
Champion jockey returns after eight year absence.
May 16, 2014
On May 11, champion jockey Joe Badilla Jr. rode his first race in eight years, and he made it a winning one.
Mounted on 21 Partnership’s Zoomin Away, Badilla proved he hadn’t lost a step as he won the Zoetis SunRay Starter Allowance Challenge at SunRay Park as the even-money favorite.
He is also named to ride Hector Borunda Cardena's Apollitical Rally in Race 3 at SunRay Park on Sunday.
Badilla began riding in 1990, and has mount earnings of more than $23.2 million.
He took 2005 off from riding, then stopped riding again after making 58 starts in 2006.
He was the sport’s champion jockey in 1995, 1998-99 and 2001.
Among his biggest wins were the 1999 All American Futurity (G1) win A Delightful Dasher, Los Alamitos Million (G1) victories aboard Kingman Kid and Evening Snow and the 2002 Champion of Champions (G1) with Whosleavingwho.
Since 2005, Badilla has worked as a trainer. Among his stakes winners is Grade 2 winner Zulu Dragon ($181,009).
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