Apprentice jockey Eswan Flores gets his first win at Hollywood Park
Before the fire works have gone off on the Fourth of July, 18-year-old apprentice jockey Eswan Flores had reason to celebrate. He earned his first career victory riding thoroughbreds at Hollywood Park on Monday, guiding Kelly Leak to victory at odds of 15-1 in the fourth race at six furlongs on the turf.
Then his face got put into shaving cream courtesy of jockey Patrick Valenzuela during a post-race interview, and other jockeys pelted him with buckets of water and eggs on the way to the jockey room.
Flores, who attends Fernando Ledesma High School in El Monte, has ridden in four races since making his debut on Friday, and his horses have finished first, second, third and last. He had never ridden a horse or worked a horse on the turf before Monday's race.
"The trainer told me to do whatever I want," Flores said. "I hit him a couple of times after the wire because I didn't know where the wire was. I was just so excited. My whole family was here today. My mom, my cousins and some of my friends _ all of the people that have been helping me along. I've got my report now for school."
-- Eric Sondheimer