Apprentice Cesar Salcedo, on his 87th mount, recorded his first career victory May 4 at Golden Gate Fields when he guided 1-2 favorite My Game to a front-running score in the second race.
A 22-year-old native of Anaheim, Calif., Salcedo began riding last December at Turf Paradise in Phoenix. Salcedo went 0-for-74 at the Arizona track, but did have 10 second-place finishes.
At the urging of jockey agent Don August, Salcedo moved his tack to Golden Gate Fields in April and tallied with his 13th mount at the East Bay racetrack. My Game took command shortly after the start and maintained a clear advantage throughout the five-furlong race for $5,000 maiden-claimers.
"It was really exciting," said Salcedo of turning into the stretch with a big lead. "I didn't want to celebrate until I got there. As soon as I crossed the wire I experienced a feeling like no other. I was never so happy in my life."
Trained by Gloria Buckridge, My Game defeated Oakie Flyer by one length in :58.87 on the Tapeta and paid $3 to win after breaking his maiden in his sixth career start.
Salcedo acknowledged that he could have broken his maiden earlier but mistakes resulted in him being on the wrong end of photo finishes.
"I got beat a nose on a couple of them," said Salcedo. "I made mistakes and it cost me, but I learned from those mistakes."
Salcedo, who rode only My Game Sunday, is scheduled to ride two horses when racing resumes May 8 at Golden Gate Fields. Salcedo has the call on Go On Red in the first race and Coco de Carchy in the fourth.