Ramon Rechy pulling double duty in jock’s room
By Nancy Holthus, paddock analyst
Within the horse racing industry, it isn’t uncommon for one person to have several jobs within the industry simultaneously. But one special individual takes that concept to a whole new level.
Jockey Ramon Rechy’s alarm goes off without fail at 4:30 a.m. One of his first duties is taking his seven-month-old daughter, Alejandra, to daycare. After that, it’s off to Indiana Grand where his car seems to automatically guide itself on a daily basis. His work day begins bright and early under the glow of the lights while galloping for Thoroughbred trainers Mike Nance and Wayne Mogge. He then gets on the boss’ horses, his wife of three years, Chaz, who is a trainer at Indiana Grand.
It’s not unusual for Rechy to gallop 12 to 15 horses each morning between the three barns. Once training is complete, riders typically make their way to the Jockeys Room. But Rechy isn’t like most jockeys.
A native of Lagos de Morano, Jalisco, Mexico, 40-year-old Rechy officially began his riding career in 2001 after leaving his homeland where two daughters, Marisofy and Michal, still reside. A third generation jockey (he is the first to compete in the United States) and seventh generation Ramon, he is currently in his seventh year riding in Indiana. The multiple stakes winning rider has won 336 races and has earnings just shy of $2.5 million, according to Equibase.
In addition to riding races, he is also working his first meet as a valet. Steve Cahill, Clerk of Scales at Indiana Grand, approached Rechy in 2016 about the opportunity to work as a full-time valet. He declined and chose to stay in the saddle. Due to unforeseen circumstances, an opening became available in the middle of the race meet. Once again, Cahill approached Rechy, but with a twist. With approval of the Stewards, he is able to continue riding as a jockey and work as a valet simultaneously.
Although he isn’t responsible for taking care of any other rider’s tack or equipment, he stays just as busy as the rest of the valets. In addition to saddling mounts prior to the races and unsaddling each victor in the winner’s circle, he also more than picks up the slack when another valet is out sick or off work. By the end of the race day, Rechy still isn’t ready to call it quits.
Even though he galloped that morning, worked in the jocks room and rode one or two on the card, Ramon is off to take care of horses at a farm down the road in New Palestine, Ind. One thing that never changes, other than Rechy’s demanding schedule, is his infectious smile and inspiring work ethic.