Vergara Wins Inaugural Apprentice Competition
Photo: Michael Burns
Octavio Vergara Jr. winning aboard Drop to Pop at Woodbine on Aug. 20.

Octavio Vergara Jr., a regular at Arlington International Racecourse, captured the inaugural "Canadian Apprentice Invitational" at Woodbine by recording a win and a second-place finish from two races on the Aug. 20 evening card.

The event featured 10 apprentice jockeys from across North America competing for bragging rights and a trophy in a two-race riding event where points were assigned based on finishing position.

Vergara finished with a total of 45 points, having earned 25 points for his victory and an additional 20 points for a second-place effort. He was followed by Woodbine-based Erika Smilovsky (39), and Laura Carson (32), who rides at Parx Racing, Delaware Park, and Belmont Park.

Vergara, born in Hollywood, Fla., in 1986, arrived at Woodbine with 419 career mounts and a record of 32 wins, 34 seconds, and 56 thirds.

"It was awesome, I love it," Vergara said of his first visit to Woodbine. "The track at Arlington is similar, but I took a real liking to Woodbine and would love a chance to come back here."

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