Jockey Profile: Jose Valdivia Jr.

Profile Picture: D.S. Williamson

D.S. Williamson

July 5th, 2018

One of the best jockeys in the United States has his tack at Arlington Park. About 20 years ago, Jose Valdivia Jr. used to throw down at Santa Anita Park. Back then, he was known as one of the best young turf riders at Santa Anita.

Now, he wins aboard almost everything at Arlington. How good has 2018 been to Jose? His 313 mounts has led to 63 firsts, 55 seconds, and 45 thirds. Valdivia's mounts hit the board 52% of the time. That's fantastic.

Check out a few of Jose's top rides. I personally remember the rides I've listed here because I backed Valdivia on all of them save for Ruler on Ice.

Jockey Profile:  Jose Valdivia Jr.

2001 Breeders' Cup Mile - Val Royal

Jose trusted his horse. That's how he was able to get Val Royal up and to the finish line first over New York turf star Forbidden Apple. Notice how Val Royal went about 10 wide around the final turn? That's the thing, though. Valdivia Jr. knew he was on the best horse that day. It didn't take much for him to get past Forbidden Apple because he knew once he got Val Royal motoring home, the horse's closing kick would bring him the victory.

2011 Belmont Stakes - Ruler on Ice

I had no money on Ruler on Ice to win the 2011 Belmont Stakes. I thought he had a shot, but there was no reason for me to believe that he'd take down the competition in one of the most wide open Belmont Stakes of all time.

The favorite was Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom. Nehro, Shackleford, and Master of Hounds, all got some love. Ruler on Ice went off at over 24 to 1. Jose showed he had become an all-around great jockey. He wasn't just a turf jockey. He could ride over any surface, even in a Triple Crown race over the mud, and find success.

2018 Arlington Classic Stakes - Ezmosh

Granted, Valdivia was on the favorite Ezmosh to win the Grade 3 Arlington Classic Stakes. Still, the race shows that he continues to excel at Arlington Park.

Valdivia is easily the top jockey at Arlington. From 152 mounts at Arlington, Jose's won 45 times. He's finished second 28 times. He's finished third 23 times. As of July 4, Jose Valdivia's mounts have earned an awesome 961,000.

Although not as well known as riders aboard horses at the California and New York tracks, Jose Valdivia Jr. has already proven that he's one of the best jockeys riding in the United States. You can check him out riding in Illinois on every Arlington Park race day.