As 2014 comes to a close, jockey Cesar De Alba, sponsored by Overnite Capital, is closing in on a record of his own. Riding some of the nation’s top Quarter Horses – three-year old Moonist, multiple stakes winning two-year old Apollitical Blood and the brilliant four-year old Bon Accord, Cesar is within range of becoming the leading Quarter Horse jockey at Los Alamitos.
Currently, Cesar leads the nation’s Quarter Horse jockey colony in number of stakes races won. He is fourth in the nation in total number of races won. Closer to home at Los Alamitos, Cesar is a very close second, with enough races left to turn the table and nab the top spot.
On Sunday, December 14, Cesar will be on Apollitical Blood, gunning to win the richest purse at Los Alamitos Race Course, the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity. According to Los Alamitos, this year 108 horses ran in 13 trials to qualify for the Futurity. The 10 fastest speeds from the trials’ card earned spots in the Futurity.
It’s not going to be easy an easy race to win. Out of the 10 horses entered on Sunday, Apollitical Blood and Heza Dasha Fire, the favorite, matched their winning times of 19.557 seconds, the fastest of the 10 qualifiers. If Heza Dasha Fire wins the Futurity, he will capture a $1 million bonus for winning the three major two year old stakes at Los Alamitos. That’s quite an incentive. Tactically speaking, Apollitical Blood has the class to take on Heza Dasha Fire, and may have the benefit of being a bit fresher. We’ll know how that works out on Sunday!
When Cesar is sitting on Apollitical Blood in the starting gate, waiting for the bell to ring and the gate to slam open, he’ll be on the equine equivalent of lightning. All being equal, the horse that gets out of the gate the cleanest and strongest takes the purse. Cesar is a master at getting his horses away, to a spot where they can win.
Watching the race, it will be over in less than 20 seconds, just a little bit longer than it takes to blink an eye. Yet, every second that Cesar is on Apollitical Blood, he will be riding with all the skill and strength he possesses. Good jockeys make race riding look effortless. The fact is, Cesar will be making adjustments every millisecond, his quick reactions and powerful form asking for maximum effort from Apollitical Blood.
In addition to riding races, Cesar keeps in shape by going to the track every morning, except Monday his day off. In the mornings he goes from trainer to trainer, exercise riding, gate training, lending a hand wherever needed. Away from the track, Cesar focuses on cardio workouts, running up to five miles and working out on his Equiciser that builds the strength and balance needed for riding. On non-race days, he assists his wife, equine veterinarian Becky Fitzgerald, D.V.M., on her rounds to southern California ranches and stables.
What happened to Cesar and Becky on November 2, 2014, trumps whatever happens this year in racing. The young couple welcomed their first child, Kevin De Alba!
Happy holidays to Cesar, Becky, Kevin and all of Overnite Capital’s clients, friends and family!