First Career Win for Jockey Arana
Rider visits the winner’s circle after a long quest to become a jockey.
November 17, 2014
Jockey Minor Arana had a picture perfect moment in the sixth race on Sunday night after piloting the Quarter Horse Pixel Perfect to victory in the 300-yard dash at Los Alamitos.
Trained by Angela Aquino for owner Ashley Garcia, Pixel Perfect scored a nose victory in the event for $2,500 claimers, but its meaning was that of a stakes race for the 26-year-old rider. For Arana, Pixel Perfect represented his first ever riding victory in eight career mounts. It was a moment that was seven years in the making for the native of Guatemala.
“I groomed horses for five years before I started galloping horses two years ago,” Arana said. “All along my dream was to be a jockey. My intention was to ride competitively. I was in my mid-20s, but I always felt that I could do it and ride professionally.”
Arana made his professional debut earlier this year aboard the Danny Montes-trained R Little Pete on October 18. He hit the board for the first time later that night when he piloted Lucky Golane to a third-place finish in what was his second mount ever. He had his first runner-up effort aboard Good Lite on November 8 before enjoying his first ever visit to the winner’s circle on Sunday.
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“I felt really comfortable aboard Pixel Perfect tonight because I’ve been working with the horse for about a month,” Arana said. “I knew her well so I was feeling pretty good about her chances. It was a great feeling to cross the wire first and to be in the winner’s circle was exciting. This was one of my goals and I can’t thank the trainers and owners enough that have given me their support and helped me along the way. I’ve learned a lot from the other riders. They’ve given me a lot of great advice and I’m very grateful.”
Arana has two brothers who also work as grooms in the barn of Angela Aquino.
“I’m very lucky to have all three of them helping me out,” Aquino added.
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