Carlos H. Marquez Jr. had always looked up to his Dad growing up and wanted nothing more than to be just like him. His father, Carlos H. Marquez Sr. was a successful professional jockey in the 70’s and had made a name for himself as a teacher at the world renowned Escuela Vocacional Hipica jockey school in his native Puerto Rico. The son, Carlos H. Marquez Jr. began riding in 1984 under the watchful eye of his father.
At Keystone Park (now Parx Racing) in 1985, C.H. Marquez Jr. scored the first winner of his career aboard Upstairs Maid.
Now with over 3,000 career victories under his belt, he still gives all the credit to his late father,
“I credit everything I have achieved to him,” Marquez Jr. said. “Of course, if you don’t get the horses or don’t have the support of the trainers and owners you won’t get anywhere, but to get to that position to ride for good people you have to have the work ethic. I give my Dad all of the credit for instilling that in me and giving me the upbringing that he did,” he said.
After his first win in 1985, Marquez Jr. continued riding throughout the Mid-Atlantic circuit at racetracks such as Keystone Park, and Monmouth Park. He first showed up at Arlington in 1987, but his business was thriving on the Mid-Atlantic circuit where he rode throughout the 90’s.
During this time, Marquez Jr. reached a new level in his riding career when he got the mount aboard Concerto in the 1997 Kentucky Derby where he would finish ninth. A few weeks later that same year, he guided Salt It to victory in the Black Eyed Susan Stakes at Pimlico. His father, Marquez Sr., also won the Black Eyed Susan in 1970 aboard Office Queen. This made winning a race of that stature even more exciting and emotional for Marquez Jr. when he won it 27 years after his father.
“It was big,” Marquez Jr. said. “To me it was a feeling I can’t describe. When he won the Black Eyed Susan it was a purse of $50,000, and when I won it the race was $200,000,” he explained.
“It wasn’t the money though; the money didn’t mean anything to me. To win a race like that and remember him and honor him on that day was incredible for me,” he said.
To this day Marquez Jr, and Marquez Sr. are the only father-son duo to win the Black Eyed Susan.
Carlos Marquez Jr. has had other notable wins including graded stakes victories aboard Mystery Giver in the GIII Robert Carey Memorial in 2003 at Hawthorne and Vacare in the Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup in 2006 at Keenland.
Marquez Jr. is named to ride six races for the Sunday Father’s Day card. Wile E Peyote (Race 1, 6-1 ML), Drama Star (Race 2, 3-1 ML), Purely Boy (Race 4, 4-1 ML), Side Pocket (Race 5, 8-1 ML), Gorgeous George (Race 6, 3-1 ML), Miss Izzy (Race 7, 3-1 ML),