Meet Jockey Eusebio Razo, Jr.!
Meet Jockey Eusebio Razo, Jr.!
By M. Scott McMannis
Jockey Eusebio "Eddie" Razo, Jr., was destined to be in Thoroughbred horseracing. His grandfather trained horses. His father had a six-month career as a jockey and has been a horse trainer all his life. His father has two brothers that train horses. Numerous family members, spanning three generations, worked or are working with horses in various capacities.
"Around Mexico City horseracing just about everyone knows of the Razo's," summarized Razo, Jr.
The same can be said around Chicago horseracing. Ask someone if they've seen Razo and the response might be, "Which one? The jockey Eddie, his father the trainer, his brother?" And why not? The Razo name has been around Chicago racing for over a quarter-century. Jockey Eddie Razo was born in Mexico City in 1966.
"I was barely 13 when I took out my license to gallop horses," laughed Razo. "I couldn't wait. At 15 I had my jockey license. "I learned much of what I know from my father," Razo continued. "He had ridden briefly, and he had about 60 horses in his care when I started out. He insisted that we learn everything about horses, not just riding them but also all aspects of caring for them. It was hard work, but it made for a good foundation and I am thankful for the experience."
Razo, Jr., has two brothers and two sisters. One brother, Alejandro, has also made a career in horseracing. More on Alejandro later.
Razo, Jr., began riding in Mexico in 1980. In 1983 he decided to spend a week visiting his cousin, Alphonso Razo, who was galloping horses at Arlington Park. That week-long vacation turned into a two-year stay. It was a fateful extension.
"I was doing some riding here," Razo continued. "One day I had a mount for a lady who said to me, 'If you win this race, you can have a date with my sister.’ I won the race, but was disqualified to last! However, I later won again for her, got the date with her sister, and her sister ultimately became my wife."
In the interim, though, Razo, Jr., returned to Mexico. In 1986 he received a phone call from trainer Steve Specht. "Steve said if I would come back to Chicago he would put me on all his horses," explained Razo. "He had 40 head and that meant a lot of business for me. So, I came back to Chicago, reunited with Steve, and with my wife-to-be, Doreen."
Razo, Jr., has tried other locations.
"I've gone to Minnesota, Louisiana, Kentucky, New York, but every time I would come back here," he said. "I've built up my business, thanks to the help of many people, such as Moises Yanez, Chris Block, Tony Granitz, Gene Cilio when he was alive, and now Andy Hansen and Greg Geier. They have been helpful and loyal to me, and I am loyal to them."
Razo, Jr., lives on a farm near northwest-suburban Long Grove with Noreen, his wife of 20 years, and their 11-year-old son, Nicholas. They bought the farm from Doreen's parents.
"Sure, someday," responded Razo. "I'm thinking of riding until my late 40's, then having a breaking and training facility, maybe here, or Kentucky, or Florida. "But right now I'm concentrating on my riding and helping the transition with my father's business," concluded Razo. "My brother, Alejandro, is taking over my father's stable here. My father is staying on for as long it takes to make the process a smooth one, and then he wants to permanently return to Mexico."
Buena suerte, Eusebio.