Jockey’s shift in strategy leads to victory at Sonoma County Fair

Jockey Amir Cedillo didn’t follow Neil Drysdale’s instructions in the $53,565 Wine Country Stakes on Saturday at the Sonoma County Fair, but the Hall of Fame trainer won’t hold it against the rider.

Drysdale, who is based at Del Mar Racetrack in Southern California, hired Cedillo to handle Amnesia in the grassy mile and one-sixteenth feature race and the two talked strategy beforehand.

“He told me to rate behind horses and get her to the outside on the final turn so she’d be in the clear to make a late run,” Cedillo said.

Cedillo did what he was told until he and Amnesia made the turn into the stretch.

“There were horses outside of me and I couldn’t get out,” the jockey said.

So, he improvised.

“The horse on the lead left the rail open, so I took a chance and tried to get through,” Cedillo said.

Amnesia accelerated and the pair opened a two-length lead in a matter of seconds.

At the finish line, they held off 16-1 Time and Tides by a half-length.

“Things went opposite of what the plan was,” Cedillo added. “I’m just happy it turned out good for us.”

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