"It feels good to get it done," said the 25-year-old jockey.
Born in Puerto Rico, Rosario was 6 when his father, jockey Hector Rosario Sr., moved the family to Ohio. Inspired by his father's 18-year riding career, mostly spent at Thistledown in Cleveland, the younger Rosario began working as a hotwalker and groom when he was 14 years old.
At 16 he was galloping horses at Thistledown, and he began his own career as an apprentice jockey in late 1999 and won his first race in November at the Cleveland track. He credits the late trainer Albert Palacios for his early success.
After recovering from an injury, Rosario moved his tack to New York in 2000 and resumed his apprenticeship. He ended 2001 as a finalist for the Eclipse Award for leading apprentice rider, which went to Jeremy Rose. Rosario returned to the Midwest in 2002 and now rides primarily in Ohio and Kentucky, where he is represented by agent Randy Romero.
Rosario has 16 career stakes wins, most recently the New Year's Eve Stakes at Mountaineer aboard Excellerant.
On Saturday, jockey Sidney P. LeJeune Jr. won his 1,000th race when he guided Heelbolt to a front-running victory in the third race at Delta Downs.
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