Shakin It Up and David Flores win the San Vicente Stakes on Feb. 17 at Santa ANita. (Photo courtesy of Benoit & Associates)
Hello everybody! It’s been a while since my last blog.
Since my last blog, my wife and I had our healthy, baby boy, John Lorenzo Flores, on Dec 5 — my first boy after four girls. I had to double check that it was a boy a couple of times; I finally got it. Now, all I need is to win the Kentucky Derby!!
Work has been super slow for me these past months, there were days when I wasn’t riding at all, not even working horses. One week, I only rode two horses. The flip side to that was I got to be home with my son.
But after 28 years of riding and to have that dramatic of a slowdown is a reality check. The fields are small and there are so many young, talented riders, which isn’t helping me too much. I was beginning to think I needed a rocking chair in the jocks’ room.
You hear all the time that this line of work goes in cycles — you’re up, you’re down. Like my wife says, “adrenaline junkies.” But when you’re down in this sport, it takes time to get it back up. You have to visit owners and trainers, and you have to be up every morning knocking on doors to get mounts, especially when there are so many riders and not enough horses. I’m up at 4 a.m. theses days working horses and knocking on doors to get the cycle back up.
A huge inspiration for us old timers is my buddy Gary Stevens … seeing my friend come back to riding after taking a break.
Gary is doing great; he is an amazing man. When he sets his mind to something, there is no stopping Gary. He is one of the Hall of Fame jockeys that is always there when you need him. To see him come back to riding is great for the racing industry. We need more spotlight on this amazing sport. It feels like the old days seeing Gary in the Jocks’ Room.
Sunday, Feb. 17, I finally had a winning day. Two great wins and one was the San Vicente Stakes (G2) on a horse called Shakin It Up. That’s what I needed, to be shakin’ up and back in the winner’s circle. It felt good.
I feel stronger and mentally better than ever, let’s shake it up and get some more winners. I’m in for the challenge.
I hope you are all in for the challenge of life and never give up when times are tough, just keep going forward.
See ya in the winner’s circle this week.
FLORES AFTER WINNING SAN VICENTE
Photo courtesy of Benoit & Associates