Ibarra Looking Forward to 2013

Young rider hopes to climb the jockey standings at Los Alamitos.

January 14, 2013

Los Alamitos

Salvador Ibarra started making waves at Los Alamitos during the final months of the 2012 season. With four wins from 33 mounts, Ibarra’s first year of riding at Los Alamitos had its share of good times. A 12-percent win ratio for a young newcomer is a positive beginning and Ibarra is looking to use it as a good building block to a brighter season at the Orange County track in 2013.

A native of Michoacan, Mexico, the 24-year-old pilot began his work at the tracks in the United States by galloping horses at the famous Harris Farms in Coalinga. There, Ibarra gained a lot of experience sitting on Thoroughbreds – experience that would help him branch out to the Northern California fair circuit. Ibarra galloped horses at the Sacramento State Fair, Santa Rosa and Ferndale before riding for dough at Stockton and then Fresno. Following the end of the fair season, Ibarra made the move to Los Alamitos Race Course.

Trainers Francisco Vallejo and Jose Moreno have given him an opportunity to ride here last season. In 2013, Ibarra has already picked up three victories this season, including one with Special Jazzoom for trainer Jose Flores in the sixth race on Sunday evening.

“I can ride both Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds, but I like Quarter Horses the most because of my experience with them while growing up in Mexico,” Ibarra said.

The young pilot knows that reaching the top 10 in the local Quarter Horse standings will be challenging, but he believes that he’s up for the task.

“I just want to ride and ride some more,” he said. “Winning races is what everyone here is striving to do so I know that I will have to work extremely hard. My goal is to ride the best possible horses that I can ride, but all that takes hard work and that’s fine. I am ready to give it my all. It was a great thrill to win my first race at Los Alamitos. It was a wonderful step towards what I am hoping to accomplish here. Now I just have to keep moving forward. I love riding horses and working hard is what’s going to help me go forward.”