01/06/2016 11:47AM

2015 Eclipse Awards: Eric Cancel

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Eric Cancel made a statement in his first year of race riding. The 19-year-old led all North American apprentice jockeys in mount earnings in 2015 with $5,382,802. He achieved the feat by winning 101 races from 902 starts and participating in a steady stream of graded stakes while based in New York.

For the significant season, Cancel is a finalist for the Eclipse Award for outstanding apprentice jockey of 2015.

Cancel registered the first four wins of his career in his native Puerto Rico, where he graduated from the riding academy Escuela Vocacional Hipica. His first stateside win came at Gulfstream Park, on March 8, and about a month later he made his way to New York, where he thrived under the tutelage of his agent, Hall of Fame rider Angel Cordero Jr.

“He’s been really valuable to me,” Cancel told Daily Racing Form. “He gives me a lot of instruction on how to ride a horse. Every bug boy wants to have a good agent. Mine was an extraordinary jockey.”

Cordero was impressed early on with Cancel.

“If he stays sound – like a horse – there is no doubt about it, he can make it,” Cordero said last April in Daily Racing Form. “I know he’s still a kid, but he’s got the talent.”

Cancel is the son of jockeys Efran Cancel and Gezzela Algarin. During the 2015 season, he placed in a handful of graded stakes, among his efforts a runner-up finish in the Grade 3 Hill Prince aboard Vision Perfect. Cancel also finished third in a trio of Grade 2 races, the Gazelle, with Money’soncharlotte; the Honorable Miss, with Enchantress; and the New York, with Kitten’s Queen.