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Where Are They Now?
Some familiar jockeys are missing from the Chicago scene after making an impact here last year. Now they are making an impact elsewhere.
Eusebio “Eddie” Razo, Jr., left late in last fall’s meet with 25 wins to his credit. “I’m going to Oaklawn Park to start getting on horses in the mornings prior to their meet opening in January,” he said to this reporter in Hawthorne’s jocks’ room on his last afternoon. “I need a couple of weeks down there to get established.”
Get established he did. Razo has been moving between second, third, and fourth in the jockey standings at that meet, winning at an 18% rate, quite an accomplishment for a new rider in that competitive colony.
Reached at his home last week while back for a brief visit with his family, Razo reported, “I have been fortunate to ride for a number of trainers who are doing well at Oaklawn, especially Chris Richard (second in the trainer standings, winning at a 41% clip) and Steve Hobby (fourth in the standings, 19% wins). Razo is positioned to have his success carry over to Chicago when he returns after Oaklawn closes come mid-April.
Larry Sterling left Hawthorne in November and headed to Arkansas where his family has a small farm. “They have 40 acres about seven miles from Oaklawn Park,” Sterling explained from his parents’ farm. “I wanted to enjoy some time with family and rest my body and mind.” He does that by fishing, playing golf, and getting on horses when the urge strikes. Larry’s father, trainer Larry Sterling, Sr., has horses on the farm and at Oaklawn.
“I’ve had about 80 mounts and won 11 races,” Sterling revealed. That’s about a 14% win rate. “I’ve accepted mounts at a leisurely pace. I’ll be riding much more when I return to Chicago after this meet ends in mid-April.”
Jesse Campbell left earlier than anyone, departing from Hawthorne on November first. “With the Fair Grounds meet opening on Thanksgiving Day, I wanted to arrive early and start getting on horses in the morning to build relationships with the trainers,” he explained from Louisiana.
His strategy worked. Campbell is currently seventh in the standings, winning at a 14% clip, and has recorded over a million and half in purse money.
“It was a business decision to come here,” Campbell continued. “I was riding a lot in Chicago for trainers who come to New Orleans for the winter, and it only made sense to come here and ride for them. I likely will ride here to the end of this meet (March 25), then go to Oaklawn to mid-April, then be back for the end of the Hawthorne meet.”
Ramsey Zimmerman also chose the Fair Grounds for the winter, departing after the last day of the Hawthorne meet. “It’s not easy to break into a meet that’s already half-way through,” Zimmerman assessed from La Fayette, Louisiana. “But, I had relationships with several trainers that come here for the winter, and I hired an agent that has relationships with the locals. Those two factors have meshed well for me.”
Zimmerman is winning at a 13% rate and currently is twelfth in the jockey standings, commendable for someone who came in when he did. He can easily crack the top ten with continued momentum. And then what? “A couple of trainers have suggested I ride the Lone Star meet after this one,” he revealed. “We’ll see.”
Good luck to our jocks, and we will welcome you back!