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Jose Valdivia, Jr. Scores Five on Saturday Card
Jose Valdivia, Jr. captured five races on Saturday’s 10-race card at Arlington International Racecourse, raising his total number of wins for the 2018 season to 104.
Valdivia started the day with a sweep of the first three races aboard Larry Rivelli’s Macho Alpha ($4.20), Justin Johns’ On My Toes ($4) and Carolyn Wilson’s Rivelli-trainee Silva Queen ($5.20) before scoring in the fifth race aboard Patricia’s Hope LLC’s Case Cracker ($3.80) for Rivelli again. Valdivia notched his final victory of the day in the ninth race with a strong rally down the stretch aboard Prairie Rebel ($5.40) for Louie Rousell, III.
“First and foremost, the most important person that is helping me do this is my wife, Renee,” said Valdivia. “I’ve always found that to be an athlete, you have to have some form of balance at home and at work. I believe that everything starts at home, and by her giving me the peace of mind to do what I do, there is just nothing like it. She’s the one who deserves all my credit. As much work as I put in, she puts as much work into my success.
Leading the current jockey standings by more than 20 wins to Mitchell Murrill, Valdivia has his fourth leading-rider title locked up with only three days of live racing left in the meet. The 2011 Belmont Stakes winner captured his title the past three years running, earning 141 total wins in 2017, 100 in 2016, and 84 in 2015.
“I’ve been lucky enough to have these opportunities,” Valdivia said following his fifth victory aboard Prairie Rebel. “Larry Rivelli and Vinnie Foglia (Patricia’s Hope, LLC) are my biggest supporters, as well as everyone else that I ride for. Everyone’s been good to me. The first time my agent Steve Leving took my book here four years back he said, ‘I’m going to make you leading rider,’ and he’s always been true to that so I can’t complain.
“It’s the horses. I win with the best stock so I’m just thankful for that opportunity.”
The 2018 live racing season at Arlington concludes next Saturday, September 22.