INGLEWOOD, Calif. (November 11, 2012)—Jockey Eliska Kubinova was a smash in her Betfair Hollywood Park debut, winning with her first mount for some renowned connections Sunday.
Kubinova, who set an Emerald Downs record for wins (76) by an apprentice earlier this year, directed Valeria to a come-from-behind victory for owners Jerry and Ann Moss and trainer John Shirreffs – of Zenyatta fame – in the $20,000 maiden claiming affair.
A 23-year-old native of the Czech Republic, Kubinova had been working horses locally before getting her opportunity in the day’s final race.
“I can’t believe it’s true,’’ said Kubinova, whose agent is George Ortuzar. “I was alone in the (female jockey’s) room all day, so I really didn’t get a chance to talk to anybody. I read the Daily Racing Form on all the horses and I saw all of her races on tape.
“I talked with John earlier about this horse, so he really didn’t say much when he gave me a leg up. He told me she might be a little slow early because she gets nervous. I just tried to calm her down and make a run. Once I found room I was confident.’’
A nine-time loser against better company prior to Sunday, Valeria won by 2 ¾ lengths as the 9-2 third choice in the field of 13. The 5-year-old Elusive Quality mare was claimed out of the race by trainer Peter Miller for Altamira Racing Stable.
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