02/18/2011 6:18PM

Bocachica bringing in longshots at Gulfstream

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The hottest rider on the Gulfstream Park grounds this week isn’t named Velazquez, Castellano, Lopez, or Leparoux. It is Orlando Bocachica or “longshot Orlando” as he’s now being called.

Bocachica rode three winners on Thursday’s nine-race program, including Joe’s Blazing Aaron ($148.60) and Knockinelder ($120).
He then came right back on Friday to capture the third and fourth races aboard Blondie Ruth and Capitalism At Risk.

Bocachica, who turns 30 in June, began his career as a bug rider in Puerto Rico before coming to the U.S. in 2000. He has ridden up and down the East Coast for the past decade, settling the last several seasons in Boston, where he was the leading rider at Suffolk Downs in 2009. Bocachica came to south Florida in mid-October to ride for trainer Marcus Vitali, for whom he rode Capitalism At Risk on Friday, and has also had a good deal of success this winter riding for Blondie Ruth’s trainer Giuseppe Iadisernia.

“I came here with Marcus but I had met and ridden for Giuseppe a couple of years ago when he was at Suffolk,” said Bocachica. “I never expected to have the kind of success I’ve had at this meet but I’ve been very lucky and the more I keep winning the more business I seem to be picking up. Trainers that said they’d have to think about whether they’d use me earlier in the meet are now putting me on horses.”

Bocachica was aboard Joes Blazing Aaron, who had been eased in his previous start, for the first time on Thursday but had ridden Knockinelder in the past and had confidence he might outrun his odds.

“I saw in the Form that the first horse had some breeding for the turf, we went right to the front and I knew at the quarter pole they’d have to beat me. I knew he was a longshot but had no idea how big a price he actually was,” said Bocachica. “Knockinelder I rushed a little the first time I rode him but I knew he could run so I tried something different, took him back a bit this time and fortunately it worked out.”