HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Apprentice jockey Alexandra Jara registered her first career victory in the U.S. while lighting up the toteboard in Sunday’s second race at Gulfstream Park.
Riding in her 10th race since arriving from Panama, the 23-year-old 10-pound apprentice guided 80-1 outsider Naheelah to a narrow victory in the $25,000 claiming race for fillies and mares.
Jara, who attended the Laffit Pincay Jr. jockey school and rode briefly with considerable success in Panama, is the sister of Fernando Jara, who rode Jazil to victory in the 2006 Belmont Stakes at 18 and was the regular rider of 2006 Horse of the Year Invasor. She was in attendance at Gulfstream Park in 2007 when her brother rode Invasor to victory in the Donn Handicap (G1).
“It’s great for me that I won my first race here,” she said. “One day, I’m watching races here and now I’m winning races here.”
Jara overcame traffic on the turn into the homestretch with a wide rally to prevail by a neck on the Daniel Harvey-trained mare. She had to survive an objection before being able to celebrate her first victory.
“It feels great to get the first winner. I thank the trainer for giving me the chance to ride this horse,” Jara said. “He told me how to ride her and that’s what I did.”
Here's the photo finish