Jockey Alex Cruz's impressive streak was snapped on Sunday July 19th, 2021. He had won at least one race on 46 consecutive race days at Emerald Downs. The record was set in 1989 by Chris Antley, who won at least one race on 64 consecutive race days. The difference was Chris was running two tracks a day, in New York and New Jersey, on most days during that streak. Alex, on the other hand, had just one race card each night to extend the streak. The previous Emerald Downs record was 30, set by Kevin Radke in 2003.
I was able to talk to Alex and this is what he had to say about his career and the streak:
"I'm very proud for everything that has been happening the last few years. I know it's been hard for a lot of riders during the pandemic. People are losing their jobs but that didn't affect my career. We keep working hard non stop. I feel more than happy, as I've been a top rider for a few years at a couple different tracks. That was one of my biggest dreams. I never thought I would be breaking a record at Emerald Downs for most consecutive days winning a race but it happened, thanks to my agent. He is part of this too because he's the man that makes everything run well, or more than well, in my career."
"My plan was to break the
top record in the nation..." — Alex Cruz
On Sunday I asked Alex his thoughts of the streak ending. He said: "We made it 46 straight days. My plan was to break the top record in the nation, which was 64 consecutive days in 1989. We tried but it didn't happen. The best thing is we are having a great year, staying healthy, and enjoying each day. Next year I will be breaking my own record."
One thing that was surprising to me is how these stats and streaks are hard to find. We should know who is next in line with a streak but without research on your own you can't find it. Maybe this is another thing that horse racing needs to get involved with to grow the sport. I personally love watching Emerald Downs, but haven't been able to on a consistent basis. After I found out about the streak, I was watching a lot more and checking results every Emerald Downs race day rooting for Alex to extend the streak.
"...help bring more fans into
follow horse racing" — Alex Cruz
Alex agreed: "We need more people like you to keep making articles like this one that will help bring more fans in to follow horse racing. This is not just racing. We can say this is like a hobby, it's family fun. We can enjoy the game just like any other sport."
After Sunday, Alex leads the jockey standings at Emerald with 39 wins, two ahead of Julien Couton who sits second.
Alex started his career in 2013 and has been riding all over since then. In his career as of Wednesday July, 2021, Alex Cruz has won 531 out of 4,470 races. He has career earnings of $5,175,512.
Congrats to Alex Cruz and his agent David "Marbles" Singer, for such an impressive streak and a great meet so far. Alex has definitely found a home at Emerald Downs and will be a name you will see more of in the future.
Alex has had one heck of a year already, and to top it off he became a new father earlier this year. His son Zyan turns six months old on July 26th, 2021. Congratulations to Alex and his girlfriend Nicolle Disdier! Nicole is also a jockey and has won 32 times out of 569 starts. With both parents being jockeys, we can't wait until Zyan is out winning races as well!
Photo credit: Emerald Downs