‘Racing Is Secondary Right Now’: Keeneland Cancellation Keeps Rafael Bejarano In California

by | 03.21.2020 | 4:47pm
Rafael Bejarano

On second thought, Rafael Bejarano is staying in Southern California.

Citing “scarce opportunities,” in Southern California two weeks ago, agent Tora Yamaguchi said the 37-year-old native of Peru would be riding regularly in Kentucky after the Santa Anita Derby on April 4.

At that time, Bejarano had four wins from 66 mounts here, but has progressed since and with Keeneland cancelling its spring meet due to the coronavirus pandemic, decided to remain in Southern California, where in 2008 he swept all five major Southern California titles and was a finalist for an Eclipse Award as outstanding jockey.

“With Keeneland cancelling, it kind of left Raffy without a place to ride,” said Yamaguchi, who has represented Bejarano since 2015. “We really had little choice but to conduct business here for the time being.

“In the overall picture, racing is secondary right now but we're all trying to make the best of things and do what we can.”

As of March 19, Bejarano ranked 76th all-time with 4,056 career wins from 20,053 mounts (20 percent), earning purse money of $204,806,993.

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