01/08/2014 12:34PM

2013 Eclipse Awards: Victor Carrasco

photo by: Hoofprintsinc.com

Victor Carrasco established himself as one of racing’s most promising young riders in 2013, when he led all North American-based apprentice jockeys in both wins and mount earnings. Carrasco won 215 races from 1,066 starts in his rookie season and amassed an imposing $4,357,715 in earnings. For the accomplishments, he is a finalist for an Eclipse Award.

Carrasco, 21, is a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico. He said his introduction to racing came from his grandfather, a trainer. Carrasco would go on to graduate from a riding school in Puerto Rico, where he won 11 races before moving his tack to Florida.

“My grandfather would lead me around the shed row on horses when I was 9 or 10, but until I graduated from high school, I could only groom horses during the summer months,” Carrasco told Daily Racing Form. “My granddad wanted me to learn horses from the ground up and also get an education before I began riding.”

Carrasco’s career took off upon his arrival in the Mid-Atlantic, where he won the fall title at Laurel Park in Maryland and finished second in the standings at meets at Delaware Park and Pimlico Race Course. Carrasco often won races in bunches, with a five-win day at Delaware and 11 multiple-win days during a span of 15 programs at Laurel. His top mounts last year included She’s All In, whom he rode to a second in the Grade 1 Delaware Handicap.

Carrasco’s win total for the year placed him 14th in the overall jockey standings in North America. He is seeking to become the 10th rider based in Maryland to win an Eclipse for outstanding apprentice, dating back to Chris McCarron in 1974.