07/04/2016 2:04PM

Jockey Hernandez moves tack to Woodbine from Gulfstream

Coglianese Photos
Jockey Rafael Hernandez

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Jockey Rafael Hernandez has moved his tack to Woodbine from Gulfstream Park, with Sunday’s Queen’s Plate card marking his first full day at Woodbine. Hernandez had five mounts Sunday and rode Cheburashka to a ninth-place finish in the Queen’s Plate for trainer Robert Tiller and owner-breeder Goldmart Farms.

Hernandez will be represented by Tony Esposito, who brought Luis Contreras to Woodbine in 2009. Esposito represents Alan Garcia, who joined the Woodbine colony full time last season. Hernandez said he was looking forward to meeting trainers on the backstretch this week.

Hernandez said his success at Woodbine in the past was a contributing factor to his moving here full time.

“The last couple of years I’ve been shipping here and doing great,” he said. “I met Tony, and he’s a great agent. We talked about the possibility of moving here. I talked to my wife and my family, and we decided to come here and try something new.”

Hernandez recorded seven wins from 17 starts at Woodbine in 2015 and won the Queen’s Plate aboard Shaman Ghost for trainer Brian Lynch. Hernandez said Lynch helped him with the move and added that he hopes to ride for Lynch here.

“He’s the one that helped me to get in here,” he said. “He signed the papers and all that. He’s going to help me.”

Hernandez returned to the saddle June 12 at Gulfstream after missing four months due to injury. Hernandez broke his collarbone, fractured ribs, and had a kidney removed after being involved in a spill Feb. 20.