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Hugo Sanchez Follows A Family Tradition

By Rebecca Roush

Family tradition and passion are what jockey Hugo Sanchez credits to guiding him into the world of racing. Growing up in Peru, he was introduced to the sport by his father, brother, and uncle, who were all jockeys. “I knew right away that I wanted to follow in their footsteps,” Sanchez recalls.

Although he did try out different sports in grade school, the 5-foot-2-inch rider says he was too short for many of them. “I loved soccer and baseball, but it was basketball and football I just couldn’t play because of my height,” he said with a laugh. Nevertheless, he still tried his best to stay active and participate in anything he could. “If there were any activities or games being played in my town, I was almost always there,” he recalled.

Sanchez was 10-years-old when his father took a job as an exercise rider and his family moved to Florida. He began his professional riding career at Gulfstream Park in 2012 and won his first race months later on a horse named Alejandro at Calder Race Corse in Miam. He continued to race in the area for four years before making his way to Canterbury Park in 2015 with agent Richard Grunder.

Nearly a year later, Sanchez fell from a horse, breaking the tibia and fibula in his left leg. His eight-month recovery was a “long process,” Sanchez recalled, but sure enough he was back in the saddle on opening day the following meet at Canterbury. “Even though it was a tough battle to get better, it was all worth it to be able to get back out there,” he said.

Now, two years after the injury, Sanchez is winning at a steady clip, adding to his more than 2,400 career starts and nearly 400 wins. He has also earned more than $6.4 million for his connections over the years.

Sanchez says that his main goal for his career in riding is to “stay healthy and have fun.”

“Not very many people can say that they love their job as much as I do,” Sanchez said. “I can’t see myself doing anything else but racing.”

When Sanchez is not busy getting prepared for his races by going through the details of each of them, he enjoys fishing and spending time with his family back home when he can. “My family is very important to me,” he said. “We are all very close and they are my biggest fans.”

Game Type Tables Waiting
2-100 SL Holdem48
8-16 Kill Holdem41
3-6 Kill Holdem21
40-80 Holdem28
20-40 Holdem16
10-20 MIX14
0-0 MASSAGE08
6-12 Omaha-807
2-100 SL OMAHA05
5-100 SL OMAHA05