A jockey new to Canterbury Park has joined the colony. That jockey is Santiago Gonzalez and he comes with a nickname: El Ciclon. In English that translates to The Cyclone.
The native of Venezuela began riding at the age of 14 in his homeland and arrived in the States in 2013. He has won multiple graded stakes both at home and in the U.S.
According to a story in The Paulick Report, Gonzalez was given the nickname El Ciclon by a track announcer because of his “unrelenting, aggressive style.”
There is a dearth of nicknames these days it seems. Harken back to the Downs Days when they were more plentiful. There was The Bunny, Race Ridin’ Rockn’ Rollin’ Ronnie Allen Jr. or simply Rock n Roll, not so flattering was The Human Anchor.
Many recall The Glove — Luis Canchari. In 2011 The Mitten was proposed for Canchari’s son Patrick but the nickname just did not take.
In the mid ’90s, Luis Quinonez was known as The Q. We have had the Turf Doctor, the Lawn Ranger, and Paul Nolan was the Sod Surgeon. Anne Von Rosen became known to fans as The Baroness. It made sense, it stuck, and fans knew Anne because of it. Don’t forget Tommy ‘Beef’ Wellington. And Kevin Gorg nicknamed rider Keith Davis The Barbecue Man, possibly confusing Keith for Ken but that is beside the point.
The Shakopee Kid/Minnesota Kid was picking up steam with Alex Canchari when he was riding here but likely drops off the radar now that he is in Indiana.
Nicknames allow fans to identify with the jockeys. They create association and we simply need more. Suggestions are welcome.