By Karen M. Johnson
Apprentice Carol Cedeno has already made her presence known this year at Philadelphia Park and the Meadowlands. The 19-year-old is now tackling Aqueduct, and got off to a quick start opening day of the inner track meet by winning two races on Nov. 28.
Cedeno, a natural light-weight at 103 pounds, piloted six horses on the inner-track opening card. She won the fourth race aboard favored Love That Wicked and scored in the finale with Love Aboard, the third choice in the betting.
A native of Puerto Rico and a graduate of the jockey school there, Cedeno won her first race in New York aboard Bizzy Trick at Belmont Park Oct.. 13. Through Nov. 28, she has ridden six winners in New York.
Cedeno gave Love That Wicked a patient ride that resulted in a head win over Tricky Tuck. Love That Wicked, trained by Gary Gullo and owned by Coffeepot Stables, came from well off the pace in the six-furlong maiden claiming race to wear down Tricky Tuck in the final yards under brisk urging from Cedeno. The 3-year-old gelded son of The Wicked North returned $8.20 as the favorite.
“I think she rides very, very well,” Gullo said after Love That Wicked’s win. “She looked good switching her stick. She has good hands and knows how to save ground.”
On Love Aboard, Cedeno came from off the pace to win the first-level allowance race by a length. Love Aboard, trained by John Hertler and owned by Tri County Stables, returned $13.
Cedeno retains her five-pound allowance until February 28, 2008.
Through an interpreter, Cedeno said she will travel between Aqueduct and Philadelphia Park during the winter months.
“I’m very happy to be riding in New York,” Cedeno said between races Nov. 28. “I’ve gotten some great opportunities from trainers and I’m grateful for that.”
Cedeno had no family connection to racing; she was just a horse-crazy kid.
“I had a relative, who had horses and knew I liked horses, so I was able to ride around the neighborhood,” Cedeno said.
Through Nov. 28, Cedeno has won 110 races from 897 mounts in the United States. Her mounts have earned over $2.3-million. In Puerto Rico, Cedeno won five races from 75 mounts, before moving her tack to this country in April.
While in Puerto Rico, Cedeno attracted the attention of trainer Ramon Morales. Morales called his brother, Jose, an agent in New York.
“I sent for Carol after I heard about her from my brother, “ Jose Morales said. “I think she has a good future ahead of her. She is a very likeable girl. What I really like is that she has a strong finish. Sometimes girls can’t ride strong at the finish.”
At the Meadowlands meet, which concluded Nov. 10, Cedeno booted home 14 winners to secure 10th place in the standings. At the current Philly Park meet, she has 71 wins from 541 mounts. Despite arriving in Pennsylvania four months into the meet, Cedeno is eighth in that track's standings.