Maria Remedio as a happy and successful rider (above left) as well as a loving mother (above right). (All photos courtesy of Nathan Perkel)
When most athletes retire from any sport they are involved in, 99 percent don’t ever un-retire and try for a comeback to the sport they previously played.
I am here to tell you a story of a jockey who retired in 2010 to become a mom, a mom of two children, who came back to the sport of horse racing after being away for two years.
This jockey’s name is Maria Remedio and this is her story.
She grew up in Wilmington, Del., and was pretty much a tomboy growing up. She has three brothers and one sister. She attended Hodgson Vo-Tech High School, where she wrestled for the boys junior varsity wrestling team. Remedio wrestled in the 103-pound weight class and logged a 9-3 record. She also joined the boy’s lacrosse team and became a key player.
Remedio also became a member of the U.S. Girls Wrestling Association and won individual titles in Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., and Virginia and was asked to move to the varsity team, which she ended up declining to do.
That is when the thought of being a jockey entered her mind. For the next 2 1/2 years, she exercised horses to get herself familiar with becoming a jockey. She did most of her exercising for trainer Graham Motion, for whom she ended up riding her first race at Monmouth Park
Remedio’s first win came on her 19th birthday on Oct. 20, 2004, and five years later in 2009, her first child, Caleb Dominic, was born Oct. 21, 2009.
Remedio’s second child, Arabella Danette, was born Aug. 9, 2011, and 39 days after giving birth by cesarean section, she thrilled her family by winning on her horse King Kobe at Delaware Park. I was at the track that day. Believe me, for a jockey after being away from riding for so long and going through what she did, to win a race less than 40 days after giving birth is an incredible story itself.
In fall 2011, she decided that she was going to move up to New York to live with her fiancé at the time, jockey David Cohen. After much consideration, she decided she was going to retire from riding racehorses. Remedio put family first and, because she was changing locations, riding in races was just not going to be a good fit for her at the time.
So she went to New York and tried to be a stay-at-home mom, but being at home all day wasn’t agreeing with Remedio. In 2012, she decided to move back to Bensalem, Pa., to resume her riding career.
Remedio had an incredible year in 2013. Below are some of her stats for the year:
- Remedio was the third-leading rider at Parx Racing by victories
- Out of 1,710 jockeys who rode in 2013, Remedio ranked 97th in purse earnings
- Out of all female riders, Remedio ranked 4th in purse earnings
- Out of all female riders, Remedio ranked 4th in wins
Being a female in a male-dominated sport is not easy. You have to have mental and physical toughness to ride professionally otherwise you will not be in the sport for a very long time. Remedio proved she has the mental and physical toughness, and she plans on riding for a long time to come.
For more information on female jockeys, please visit: www.femalejockeys.com
For more information on Remedio, please visit: www.facebook.com/jockeymariaremedio