Jockey Profile: Junior Alvarado

Profile Picture: D.S. Williamson

D.S. Williamson

February 19th, 2019

On Feb. 18, Junior Alvarado won the Hollie Hughes Stakes aboard Bavaro. Trained by Linda Rice, the Freud sired gray horse went off the favorite in a field of 6. Alvarado immediately took Bavaro to the lead. The horse didn't look back, notching yet another victory for Junior's 2019 belt.

If you don't follow racing on the east coast, you might not know much about Junior Alvarado. Those who do pay attention to Aqueduct and Belmont are well aware of Alvarado's immense skills. Check out more info on Junior Alvarado, one of the best jockeys in North America.

Junior Alvarado On his Way to His Best Year Ever

Alvarado's Mounts Have Already Earned Over $1 Million

Junior's mounts have already earned over $1.55 million. Most of the earnings came from his amazing ride aboard Tax in the Withers Stakes. He had to wait for room before bringing Tax up the rail. It's hard to know how good of a horse Tax really is because Junior rode him brilliantly.

Enticed - 2018 Gotham Stakes

Enticed went off third choice behind Free Drop Billy and Firenze Fire to win the 2018 Gotham Stakes. Alvarado kept Entice in the second flight, about 4 lengths behind pace-setters Old Time Revival and Cove Blue. Jeremy Rose made what seemed like a winning move on Old Time Revival before the stretch. At the top of the stretch, Old Time Revival was ahead and appeared on his way to a massive upset. But, Junior knew how much horse he had, and he never gave up on Enticed even though Old Time Revival had a 2-length lead deep in the stretch.

Celestine - 2016 Just A Game Stakes

Although he knew he had put Celestine on a ridiculously fast pace, long shot La Berma got the half in 23.36, Alvarado also knew that he had to stick close to the front runner to have any shot of getting distance between himself and the closers. Junior had gotten Celestine to relax so well that even after a 1:09.633 three-quarters, she kicked it into gear beautifully in the stretch.

Harmonize - 2016 Del Mar Oaks

Alvarado tried different tactics aboard Harmonize in the 2016 Del Mar Oaks. He took her back off a relatively easy pace, anything close to 48 for a half-mile over the turf at Del Mar means it's a slow pace. It didn't appear Harmonize had any shot. She was well behind the front runner in deep stretch, at least 4 lengths, and although Junior appeared to get her to switch gears, other closer were bearing down on the front runner as well. It's still amazing how he got Harmonize up first with a quality closer like Decked Out on the outside, favored Mokat on the other side of him, and front runner Stays in Vegas that close to the wire.

Princess Violet - 2015 Madison Stakes

Only 6 horses ran in the 2015 Madison Stakes. Even though Princess Violet went off at 5/1, because the field was so short, she left the gate the fifth choice in the betting. Junior remained patient aboard Princess Violet even though favored Lady Sabella got an easy lead. He didn't step on the gas pedal until he had to. In the stretch, it looked like talented Stopchargingmaria might run right by Princess Violet. Not so. As hard as Johnny V. tried, Alvarado kept coaching more and more out of his mount.

This Aqueduct meet, Junior's second in the jockey standings behind Manuel Franco. Alvarado's got 51 wins as of Feb. 18. Franco's got 59. There are plenty of racing days left for both jockeys to step forward and grab the riding title. The Alvarado-Franco battle should be epic!