Jockey Alan Garcia, whose most recent stakes win came aboard Godolphin Stables’ Regal Ransom in the March 29 UAE Derby (UAE-II), will spend the spring meet at Keeneland in Lexington for the first time in his career, agent Tony Micaleff said March 31.
The New York-based Garcia, 23, has ridden at Keeneland on and off for the past two seasons, flying in to ride the occasional stakes contender.
“We’re looking forward to riding here,” Micaleff said. “After riding the season at Gulfstream, our business changed a little -- a lot of our trainers ship here first instead of going straight back to New York.”
Garcia’s main business at the meet will come from Lexington native Kiaran McLaughlin, who shipped a 40-horse string to Keeneland for the season, including Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren Jr.’s Charitable Man, a 3-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid who is now being pointed toward the April 11 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I). Winner of the $250,000 Futurity (gr. II) at Belmont Park, Charitable Man ranks 18th on the graded earnings list for entry into the May 2 Kentucky Derby (gr. I). Garcia also plans to pick up business from Christophe Clement, Shug McGaughey, and others.
“He’ll ride here until (April 24) and then go back to Belmont and ride there for a few days before he comes back (to Kentucky) for the Oaks and Derby,” Micaleff said.
The duo spent their first full winter at Gulfstream Park this season and finished fifth in the standings there with 41 winners from 239 starts. Last year, Garcia spoiled Big Brown ’s bid for a Triple Crown score when he won the Belmont Stakes aboard 38-1 shot Da' Tara.