04/22/2008 11:00PM

Torres resumes career at Evangeline


Jockey Francisco Torres has been issued a license by the Louisiana Racing Commission and has resumed his riding career at Evangeline Downs following a nine-month suspension.

Torres, 38, is a winner of almost 2,000 races and $35 million in purses. The native of Mexico had not ridden since July 2007 after the Illinois Racing Board suspended his license for violation of their substance abuse policy. He was ranked second in the rider standings at Arlington Park at the time of his suspension.

"I'm very excited about resuming my career," said Torres. "I'm in good shape both physically and mentally and am ready to go."

Torres has won riding titles at both Turfway Park in Kentucky and Balmoral Park in Illinois. He has been exercising horses in the morning for the last few weeks in preparation for his return. He rates riding in the 1997 and 1998 Kentucky Derbies and winning the 2000 Grade 2 Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park on Globalize as career highlights. Torres portrayed legendary Panamanian jockey Braulio Baeza in the ESPN movie "Ruffian" in 2007.