Cesar DeAlba Wins Sam Thompson Memorial Jockey Award
The California-based rider is the seventh winner of the annual award.
August 1, 2017
Jockey Cesar DeAlba has been named the winner of the seventh annual Sam Thompson Memorial Jockey Award. DeAlba will be honored at an awards presentation in the winner's circle at Ruidoso Downs on Sunday, September 3rd during the All American Weekend.
DeAlba will receive a trophy and a belt buckle commemorating the award, as well as a signed and numbered Limited Edition bronze statue of Sam Thompson and Champion Corona Kool by artist Linda Manion made exclusively for the Sam Thompson Memorial Jockey Award. His name will be added to a permanent plaque. This plaque is housed in the Racing Hallway, along with the most distinguished horses and awards, at the American Quarter Horse Association in Amarillo, Texas.
The Sam Thompson Memorial Jockey award is a peer-elected award. Every summer, ballots are mailed to U.S. racetracks that are running Quarter Horses. Active jockeys are invited to vote for the person whose personal character on and off the racetrack reflects positively on Quarter Horse racing. This year, the five nominees were: Cesar De Alba, Jorge Martin Bourdieu, Alfonso Lujan, Esgar Ramirez and Ricky Ramirez.
Previous winners of the Sam Thompson Memorial Jockey Award are: Roy Brooks, the first winner in 2011; Gilbert Ortiz in 2012; G. R. Carter Jr. in 2013; Cody Jensen in 2014; Eddie Garcia in 2015; and Ramon Sanchez in 2016.
DeAlba was born on October 2, 1981, in Guadalajara, Mexico. His family moved to the United States in 1989 and settled in Southern California, where his father was a jockey, as is his uncle, Eddie Garcia. DeAlba began as a Thoroughbred jockey but transitioned to Quarter Horses.
Riding full-time at Los Alamitos, DeAlba has ridden many graded stakes winners, including champion Moonist, who he rode to 21 victories and 11 stakes wins.
“The best advice I can give to a young jockey is that nothing is more important than remaining humble,” said DeAlba, who has the desire to continue learning to become an even more accomplished rider. “I want to be as successful as I can be and hope that I can do this for as long as I know how.”
DeAlba and his wife, Becky, a state track veterinarian, have two sons and live in Cypress, California.
Speedhorse Magazine, in conjunction with The Jockeys' Guild, developed the Sam Thompson Memorial Jockey Award and modeled it after Thoroughbred racing's George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award. The award is named in honor of jockey Sam Thompson, who suffered a fatal riding accident in 2008.
One of the leaders in the jockeys’ room during his riding career, Thompson was a Jockeys’ Guild senator, the room representative at Los Alamitos, and a council member of the Los Alamitos division of the Race Track Chaplaincy of America.
For more information on the Sam Thompson Memorial Jockey Award, contact Speedhorse at (405) 288-2145.
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