Thursday, 30 May 2019 09:16

Longshots and a hot Jose Rocha

Written by Dale Johnson, RMTC
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Orlando Foster is thrilled to be racing in Canada Orlando Foster is thrilled to be racing in Canada

The weekend at Rocky Mountain Turf Club had plenty of excitement, with Jose Rocha, returning to the track after a serious injury last year putting on a show.

The show started the last race Saturday in a seven-furlong allowance race that wrapped up the card for the day. Rocha was aboard a long shot named, "Swift Arrow", trained by former leading rider Terri Landaker. Rocha kept the horse in contention throughout the race and then launched a huge stretch rally to pick up the victory and send home a few happy betters with a payout of $70.80 to win.

Rocha then followed up on Sunday winning the first three races of the day, two thoroughbred and one quarter horse race. Jose was injured badly early last spring and missed an entire year of racing. He has obviously recovered and is riding as good as he ever has.

Another rider who is opening up some eyes is a new arrival to Rocky Mountain Turf Club. Orlando Foster, has made his way to Rocky Mountain Turf Club at the urging of his friend and fellow Jamaican, Ruja Lahoe.

Orlando ...or as his friends call him, "Chucky", enrolled in the legendary Jockey School in Jamaica in 2003. Orlando raced in Kingston up to the end of last year. Orlando is thrilled to be in Canada and says he hasn't had to make any major adjustment to the Rocky Mountain Turf Club even though it is is a half-mile track and the track in Jamaica is a mile and a sixteenth. Orlando said a horse is a horse and a track is a track and it's all good. He rides his first quarter horse this upcoming weekend, which will be a first for him, as they don't have quarter-horse racing in Jamaica. However Orlando says that he rode lots of two-year-olds in Jamaica at quarter horse distances for one of the leading trainers in Jamaica, Phillip Fioni, so he's not anticipating any issues.

Orlando has ridden the majority of horses for the Jill West barn and is quite happy with both Jill and her horses. Orlando has one goal and that is to keep going further with no end in sight. Orlando says his advice to all jockeys in Jamaica is to try and come to Canada if you get a chance, as it's a great place to live and race. When asked if he had any last words, Orlando simply said that he wants to come back every year as he absolutely loves it. I have a feeling racing fans are soon going to love Orlando, "Chucky", Foster very soon as well.

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