Mar 5, 2024


Jockey Gerardo Mora began his career as an apprentice 13 years ago in Texas and returned for the 2024 Sam Houston Race Park Thoroughbred racing season on January 5, just three wins shy of his 1,000th milestone. As fate would have it, he came close in Houston, but the win finally came on opening day at Will Rogers Downs!  


Mora had the call aboard Bryan Hawk’s homebred C W Prize for trainer Joe Offolter in a $23,000 allowance. The 4-year-old son of Code West was sent off as the favorite and did not disappoint, under a driving finish under Mora, covering six furlongs in 1:11.15 by a winning margin of 3 ¾ lengths.


“He’s a big horse and it takes him longer to get going,” Mora said of C W Prize. “But he was moving well and at the 3/8thpole, I knew I had it!”


It meant a great deal to the 30-year-old who admitted he was just looking to regain his business this year after recovering from a broken back in 2021.


“This means a lot to me,” said Mora. “After my injury I knew it would take me a while to get my business going. I have many people to thank, beginning with my first agent, Toby Cathey, Travis Church, who had my book at Remington Park, Ronald Ardoin in Louisiana and Bradley White who has my book this year. Of course, my thanks to each of the owners and trainers who have supported me!”


He has a solid association with the winning connections of his 1,000th win as his leading money earning mount was multiple Oklahoma-bred Rajan’s Jet, bred and owned by Bryan Hawk and trained by Offolter. 


“It was a big deal for Gerry, and he was really excited,” said Offolter. “Bryan and I were happy to be there with him as we were one of the first barns to support him.”


Mora has also won several Texas Champions Day Stakes in Houston, including a victory in the 2013 Bara Lass aboard Platinum Song for Danny Pish and the 2023 Darby’s Daughter with Stelliot’s Legacy, trained by Carlos Padilla.


Born in Mexico, Mora grew up in Palestine, Texas. He had family ties to racing as his uncle, Adrian Ramos, has ridden in Texas, Louisiana and New Mexico since 2001. Mora began working horses in Louisiana in and rode as an apprentice at Retama Park near San Antonio in 2011.  Many jockeys get a good share of mounts when they have "the bug", but only a select few maintain a solid win percentage when they are required to carry full weight. 


According to Equibase, Mora has ridden 8,241 mounts, with 1,000 wins, 1,104 seconds, 1,045 third and earnings in excess of $16.8 million.


Mora, who was honored as Sam Houston Race Park leading rider in 2013 and 2014, rides again tomorrow at Will Rogers Downs before returning to Sam Houston Race Park Friday, March 8, with seven mounts over the weekend.


“I am looking forward to riding this weekend at Sam Houston,” added Mora. “People don’t know how tough this business is. It’s been a tough start to the year, but after today, I want everyone to know that I’m back!”



About Sam Houston Race Park

Operated by Penn Entertainment Inc., Sam Houston Race Park is Houston’s premier racing and entertainment facility, located just 15 miles northwest of downtown Houston. The racetrack, which opened in 1994, offers a variety of attractions for businesses, group outings and families during racing and the off-season. The track is best known for its award-winning dining and features multiple areas for fans looking for casual to upscale dining options including its Winner’s Circle Restaurant, Jockey Club, Luxury Suites and Pavilion Centre. For more information or tickets to upcoming live racing, shows and events, please visit or follow on: FacebookInstagramTwitterTikTok or YouTube.




Photo credit:  Coady Photography


From left to right, Maria Rosales, assistant to trainer Joe Offolter, Mora, and Hawk