News & Barn notes

Jockey Jomar Torres Finding Success Through Hard Work While Riding Full-Time At Monmouth Park And Penn National

May 29, 2024

There are so many professional goals still out there that jockey Jomar Torres wants to accomplish in his career but there’s only one way the 28-year-old knows they will be realized.

Hard work.

So from Tuesday to Friday, he works horses in the mornings at Penn National, then rides the cards there Wednesday through Friday. On Saturdays and Sundays he’s at Monmouth Park, working horses in the morning and then riding in the afternoon.

Not surprisingly, he is having success at both places.

“This year I decided to ride two tracks full-time. It’s a lot of work. Monday is my only day off. But I love it,” said Torres. “I have always been a hard worker. Now I am seeing some of that hard work pay off.”

At Penn National, Torres enters the race week as the track’s third-leading rider, and he has mounts in five of the six stakes races on the big Friday card there. At Monmouth Park he has already won one stakes race (the Spruce Fir with Mia’s Crusade) and nearly took another one with a crafty front-end ride aboard There Are No Words, who wound up second in the Cliff Hanger Stakes.

“The more you win the more people notice you and want you to ride,” said Torres, whose next major goal is to win a graded stakes race.

A native of Caimito, Puerto Rico, and a graduate of the Escuela Vocacional Hipica Jockey School there, Torres’ original career plan was to be a blacksmith. But when he arrived at Camarero Race Track to learn that trade he noticed a form to fill out to be a jockey.

He was galloping horses within a year, then riding. He decided to come to the United States in 2016, trying Florida, New York and Parx before settling in at Laurel for three years.

When John Salamone became his agent in 2018 they soon made Monmouth Park his home base. Shortly after they became a bit of a sensation when Chub Wagon ripped off eight straight wins at four different tracks with Torres riding.

“He has a phenomenal work ethic,” said Salamone. “Just a great person too. He’s always willing to do whatever it takes to help his career.”

Torres, a married father of three, had immediate success in the United States, winning a career-best 130 races in 2017.

A year ago, he had 66 wins overall and finished sixth in the Monmouth Park rider standings. This year he already has 40 wins and appears to be on his way to his best year since 2017.

“He is just one of those quiet, polite, hard-working guys who will do anything you ask of him,” said Marty Salvaggio, who handles Torres book at Penn National. “Everyone says the same thing about Jomar. He has a great work ethic.”

Torres says the desire to have success is what drives him.

“When you work hard good things happen,” he said. “Right now I am having success. It’s fun when you see hard work pay off.”