The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports

August 1, 2010

Torres off to hot start at Hoosier Park

Jockey has eight wins in first two days of racing

ANDERSON, Ind. — Apparently it is taking the bettors a while to catch on, but Francisco Torres is on a tear, and any horse he’s up on is a threat to win.

Jockey Torres has won eight races in the first two days of Hoosier Park’s thoroughbred meet, capping it with a victory in the first leg of the Don K. Memorial Starter Handicap Series on Saturday afternoon.

Torres rode Tourismo to an impressive win. Going right out of the gate to the lead he was never headed. Berlioz, with James Lopez at the reins, nearly reeled in Tourismo just before the final turn. Several horses took their shots at the winner down the stretch but could get no closer than the 1.25-length winning margin.

“Looking at the program, there really was not much speed in this race today,” said Torres. “In the last few races, speed has really been holding up. So I warmed him (Tourismo) up in the post parade and hoped we could get out early. Once we were on the front, I wanted to keep him comfortable so he could finish at the end.”

The winning time was 1:37. As one of the long shots in the race, Tourismo paid $30.40, $12.40, and $7.80 across the board.

Grand Stage, with      jockey Nelson DeSouza, was second while Gold Legion, with Rodney Prescott, was third. There will be four other rounds for this series before the meet ends.

The win aboard Tourismo was the third of the day for Torres, who opened up the meet Friday with five wins. Torres also connected with Prohibitive in the third race and Barton Springs in the fourth.

Torres leads the early charge for leading rider with eight wins followed by Leandro Goncalves, Fernando De La Cruz and Prescott, who each have two. Randy Klopp and Barbara McBride are tied atop the early trainer standings with two wins apiece.

“It’s great to get off to such a good start,” said Torres. “It’s not so much anything special I’m doing, but it’s the horsemen who are giving me the opportunity. I am getting better horses, and that makes the difference.”

Torres is no stranger to the Hoosier Park oval. He was a frequent visitor at the track during the first four years of competition, winning numerous stakes races. His biggest win thus far was recorded in the 1996 Indiana Derby, which was contested for $100,000 at the time.

Torres guided Canyon Run to victory in the second running of the event. In all, Torres has more than 2,000 career wins and numerous leading rider titles to his credit. He recently completed the 2010 meet at Churchill Downs in fourth place and also snagged a fourth-place finish in the standings at Indiana Downs in only limited starts.

“Coming from Indiana Downs and getting back to Hoosier Park is great,” said Torres. “Hoosier Park has a great atmosphere. I’ll just give it my best and hope everything falls into place.”

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