06/26/2012 4:30PM

Hollywood Park: Top Japanese rider coming


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Japanese jockey Yuichi Fukunaga will ride at Churchill Downs this weekend before launching a summertime campaign in Southern California, his agent, Brian Beach, said on Tuesday.

Fukunaga, the leading rider at Japan Racing Association tracks in 2011 and this year, is expected to begin riding at Hollywood Park on the week of July 4.

Beach said that the 35-year-old Fukunaga completed visa documents earlier this week. He is scheduled to ride in Southern California through the end of the Del Mar meeting on Sept. 5, a time when the Japanese racing season does not have any Grade 1 races.

Fukunaga is familiar with Hollywood Park. In 2005, he won the Grade 1 American Oaks aboard Cesario. A winner of more than 1,400 races, Fukunaga has ridden since 1996.