Jockey Rafael Bejarano celebrated the 4,000th win of his Thoroughbred career on Saturday at Santa Anita Park, riding the 3-year-old filly Portal Creek for trainer Bob Hess, Jr. The 37-year-old rider was born in Arequipa, Peru.
“I feel blessed. Over all these years, this job is a love and it's all about the horses,” Bejarano said. “First of all I would like to thank all the trainers and the owners for always trusting me and giving me support all these years here at Santa Anita and in California. Also want to thank my agent and my team that I've had all these years. I'm really happy right now, I've rode 4,000 winners, and I can't express myself.
“This track has always been so special for me, my first day I started here I won six races in one day (April 8, 2006) and it was very special all these years have gone by and I've been having a lot of hard times and accidents but I really enjoy riding, especially here at Santa Anita, It's such a beautiful place, I'll always enjoy it.
“I love horse racing its part of my home and part of my life, we spend a lot of time here from the early morning to sometimes evening. All the riders, the groomers, the trainers, the owners, they spend so much time working so hard, putting all they have, all the love they have. It's very good for us everybody enjoys everything every day we love horse racing.”
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