A two-year old horse galloped along the track at Los Alamitos Race Course, jockey Cesar De Alba (sponsored by Overnite Capital) riding the young Off Beat to a respectable fifth place. The race was aptly named Kindergarten Futurity, a competition for two-year old horses. It was Off Beat’s third race, and while it was a loss for this race, De Alba notes, “he [Off Beat] will have a brighter future in months to come.”
De Alba will be racing two year-old horses over the next few months to race to victory. “Off Beat may be the one-I know he has the potential and the ability to win one of these races,” Alba said. De Alba pointed out that a good trainer is essential to finding the right two-year old horses, and also stated that he looks to see the development of a horse over time.
For De Alba himself, he continues to improve race after race even after admitting that he gives it his best effort
“People make mistakes, but I try to move on. If I think ‘I could have done this different’-I learn from it and move on,” De Alba said. “But most of the time when I ride a horse, I feel like I’ve done the best that I could.”
In many ways, De Alba’s story and his goal to be the best jockey that he could be parallels Off Beat. “I’ve always wanted to be a jockey ever since I could walk…I just loved horse racing since I was a little kid. So winning a small purse race or a big purse race is an accomplishment,” De Alba said.
Even now for De Alba, an accomplished and experienced jockey, there are still a few moments of nervousness, particularly with the bigger purse races. At the same time however, he notes that once he gets on the horse, he’s focused on the race.
De Alba has clear goals set for the future: reaching the top of the quarter-horse standings nationally. “[I’d like to win] more top races…whether it’s here in California or in New Mexico. But…in the next five or ten years [I’d like to be] up there with the best.” At the same time, he also maintains one primary personal objective. “To be the best that I can be.”
While nowadays De Alba helps to raise winning horses, his career is a reflection about how hard work, practice and determination have helped to raise a victor.