Alexander Crispin, who started riding at Laurel Park in October, won the 2020 Eclipse Award for outstanding apprentice jockey on Thursday night.
The 22-year-old native of Caguas, Puerto Rico, has 123 career wins — including eight in two straight race days at Laurel Park to start 2021 — in 615 races with $2,671,974 in purse earnings. The resume made him a finalist for the award alongside Luis Cardenas and Yarmarie Correa.
He’s the 12th Maryland-based rider to win the champion apprentice award. Weston Hamilton was the last recipient in 2018.
“The hard work is paying off and I’m really thankful to all the trainers, owners and every person that’s given me an opportunity,” Crispin recently told The Baltimore Sun. “The business is hard. But working hard and seeing that work pays off is something else.”
A little over a year ago, Crispin won his first race at Hipódromo Camarero Racetrack in Puerto Rico, just 17 days after the start of his career.
In March, he came to the United States and raced at Turfway Park in Kentucky, Belterra Park in Ohio, Indiana Downs and Delaware Park before settling at Laurel in October.
Three of Crispin’s recent wins at Laurel have come aboard Mike Trombetta-trained horses. The longtime trainer from Perry Hall says he rarely uses apprentice riders, but Crispin has been an exception that has paid dividends.
“What I’ve noticed, for a young man that’s got limited experience, he seems to be a little ahead of things,” Trombetta said. “The horses run well for him and he looks good out their on the track. For him to be riding as well as he has, it’s a testament to him as far as putting in the work and doing the job the way it’s supposed to be done. He’s becoming very popular very quick.”