Martin Garcia Has Big Saturday Riding 3 Stakes Winners
In May of 2010, Martin Garcia rode the Bob Baffert trainee Lookin at Lucky to victory in the 135th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. This past Saturday, Garcia rode another potential Preakness entry to victory when Cupid claimed the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park.
Garcia followed the Cupid win with a pair of stakes wins at Sunland Park on Sunday. For his efforts and stakes wins, Garcia was honored with the Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week award for March 14th – March 20th.
On Saturday at Oaklawn Park, Garcia helped Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert get his sixth victory since 2010 in the Rebel Stakes with Coolmore’s Cupid. Making just his fourth start, Cupid showed a lot of heart and found a late gear as he dueled with Whitmore alongside at the 1/8 pole. Cupid fought off Whitmore to win the 1 1/16 mile Derby prep in 1:43.84. As the second-choice favorite at 5/2, Cupid paid $7.80 to win in the 14-horse field.
“He (Cupid) showed a lot of ability and we know he can run. He really proved today that he is improving. The distance doesn’t matter, he can go as far as he wants.”
Sunland Park was the destination on Sunday where Garcia would once again go wire-to-wire in the $415,000 Sunland Park Festival of Racing Stakes aboard Collected. After breaking on top Collected won by two widening lengths as the even-money favorite and covered 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.90 on a fast track. Collected paid $4.20 to win.
“I used a little bit of horse at the start, but once we got the lead he was cruising,” Garcia said. “When I asked him to go, he responded nicely. I think we even saved something for his next race.”
Trainer Justin Evans and Garcia teamed up to win the $100,000 Bill Thomas Memorial Stakes aboard Redneck Humor earlier on the Sunland Park Card. Redneck Humor went off at 5-1 and paid $11.60 to win.