Jockey Ezequiel Lara won his sixth race at Canterbury Park June 22 with Twilite Liason, kicking off his first racing season at Canterbury.
“It feels good to get my first win here,” Lara said. “It was good to get out there and hopefully everybody else seeing that we can get more mounts and more opportunities.”
Lara’s dad, Martin Lara, was also a jockey and raced at Canterbury Park in 1990.
“When he first started, he rode three horses that day, and he won two and finished second,” Zeke Lara said. “I really wanted to start riding because of my dad.”
Zeke Lara’s first mount was at Remington Park in Oklahoma City in the fall of 2017. He has also ridden on the east coast at Laurel and Delaware as well as Texas at Sam Houston. He came to ride at Canterbury Park for growth opportunity.
“I was just thinking about a new place and opportunity just to ride,” Lara said. “Somewhere where I can get going, where I can win more races and get my name out there and get recognized.”
Returning back to Canterbury Park is special for Lara. He started out galloping for trainer Francisco Bravo in the mornings and doing maintenence with the tractors and working for track superintendent George Moncrief in 2016.
“It’s kind of crazy because I remember working in the maintence office and just watching everybody ride and just thinking to myself, how can I get to that level?” Lara said.
Lara said many people helped him overcome “the steps, mistakes and obstacles” it took to become a jockey, inlcuding past agents like Joe Rocco Sr. and Francisco Torres.
“(Torres) was my agent and he was giving me a lot of information and tips and what to do and what not to do,” Lara said. “I owe a lot of respect and everything else to them.”
Being a new jockey at Canterbury Park with a new agent Alexandra Gerstel brings challenges, but Lara is trying to get his “foot in the door.”
“We are trying to stand out in any way we can,” Lara said. “It’s either showing up early or being the last one to leave – just trying to make any way we can to get into their barn and get the opportunity.”
Lara is enjoying Canterbury Park and is ready for more wins at The Park.
“I love it so far,” Lara said.