A new circuit, riding titles and multiple graded stakes victories led to overwhelming support for Abel Cedillo to be honored as TVG Breakthrough Jockey of the Year for 2019.
The award is voted on by a panel of industry experts who select a Jockey of the Week for JockeyTalk360.com based on weekly riding accomplishments by members of the Jockeys' Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 riders in North America.
It was a notable year for Cedillo, whose annual statistics improved year over year and posted career milestones for stakes victories and riding titles. After ten years on the Northern California circuit, Cedillo moved his tack to Southern California. The career change proved fruitful, as Cedillo expanded his resume and became a familiar face in the winner's circle on his new circuit.
Cedillo won the first Grade 1 stake of his career on Saturday, September 28 at Santa Anita Park as the upset winner of the $300,000 Awesome Again (G1) with Mongolian Groom ($52.80).
Cedillo was on fire that weekend; he rode Cleopatra's Strike ($20.60) to victory in the $200,000 John Henry Turf Championship (G2) on the same card as the Awesome Again and returned on Sunday to win the $200,000 Zenyatta (G2) with Paradise Woods ($9.60).
In 2019, Cedillo won ten of his 65 stakes starts compared to just two wins in 21 stakes mounts in 2018. He started in 34 graded stakes and won six, compared to just two graded stakes starts the previous year. In addition to his productive Breeders' Cup prep weekend, he won the Pocahontas Stakes (G2) at Churchill with Lazy Daisy, the Autumn Miss (G3) at Santa Anita with Keeper Ofthe Stars and traveled to Emerald Downs to take the Longacres Mile (G3) with Law Abidin Citizen.
Cedillo figured prominently in the rider standings in California this year. He won riding titles at the Del Mar fall meet and the 2018-2019 Golden Gate meet, and he tied with Flavien Prat for the riding title of the Santa Anita autumn meet. He was third by number of wins at the end of the Del Mar summer meet and finished in the top five at both Los Alamitos thoroughbred meets.
Through November, Cedillo has won 198 of his 959 starts in 2019, on track to pass his career high 200 victories in 2018. He is 1,201 for 7,864 lifetime. Cedillo has earned $5,899,44 in 2019 compared to earnings of $3,371,883 in 2018; in his career, he has amassed over $22 million in total.
Statistics used for Breakthrough Jockey of the Year are from January 1 through December 2, 2019.
Previous winners of the Breakthrough Jockey of the Year include:
2018: Drayden Van Dyke
2017: Tyler Gaffalione
2016: Flavien Prat
2015: Florent Geroux
TVG is a television channel dedicated to horse racing, operating alongside an online betting network active in 35 U.S. states. TVG offers live racing content, handicapping and race analysis on two television channels available through cable, online, or streaming devices. TVG is owned by FanDuel Group, the U.S. Division of Paddy Power Betfair.
JockeyTalk360.com spotlights the riders across North America and around the world who may be the bravest, toughest and most accomplished of all athletes. The Jockeys' Guild Jockey of the Week is selected by a vote of representatives of TVG, America's Best Racing, The Daily Racing Form, Equibase, Horse Racing Nation, The Jockeys' Guild, The Paulick Report, The Thoroughbred Daily News, National Thoroughbred Racing Association, National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, Thoroughbred Racing Associations, Turf Publicists of America and Racing Stats & Info on Twitter.
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