Apprentice jockey Elvis Trujillo was victorious in his first United States race Wednesday at Hollywood Park, riding 19-10 second-favorite Britetonzmyday to a half-length victory over favorite Icantgoforthat to open the eight-race card.
Trujillo rode 35 winners in his native Panama and 55 in Mexico City before arriving in the United States on Tuesday night.
David Flores, who rode Icantgoforthat, recommended the 18-year-old Trujillo come to Southern California after watching him ride five winners during an all-star jockey competition in Mexico City on Sept. 8.
"He caught my eye that night," Flores said. "He looks good on a horse and horses run for him."
With Flores serving as translator, Trujillo said: "I'm very happy. I've come from far away to do this. He gave me hope. I plan to stay here for my career."
Trainer Wesley Ward, an Eclipse Award winning apprentice jockey in 1984, gave Trujillo his first mount.
"He's very polite, but also driven," said Ward of Trujillo.
Ward also gave Trujillo a leg up for his next mount, a fourth-place finish aboard Lazer Storm.
Later on the card, California Sage beat 14-1 long shot Golden Bonus by a length in the $42,000 feature race. Ridden by Kent Desormeaux and carrying 118 pounds, California Sage ran 1 1/16 miles on the turf course in 1:43 2/5 and, as the third choice in a field of eight, paid $7.60, $5, and $3.20.
The win was the third in 12 lifetime starts for California Sage and was worth $25,200, raising the career earnings of the 3-year-old son of Corslew to $82,844.
Golden Bonus returned $12.20 and $6.20, and Painted Avenue, who finished third in the allowance race for 3-year-olds and up bred in California, paid $5.40 to show.