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Jockey Profile: Aaron Gryder

Thoroughbred Horse Racing Jockey Profile: Aaron GryderBill Dwyer, LA Times
Jockey Aaron Gryder's life is not just a story. It's an odyssey.
When he climbs aboard Blingo on Saturday in the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap, the most prestigious race for older thoroughbreds west of the Mississippi, he will be an afterthought.
Gryder doesn't mind that. He understands.
This Big Cap, after all, has three of the best horses in the world. All three could have easily skipped this one and headed for Dubai and the March 29 Dubai World Cup, with a $10-million purse that makes it the richest in the world.
Santa Anita will offer only $750,000, but that — as well as the chance to run in great competition at the track where they will once again hold this year's Breeders' Cup — was enough to keep Mucho Macho Man, Will Take Charge and Game On Dude in the U.S.A.
Mucho Macho Man won last year's Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita. Will Take Charge lost by a head in that race and was the Eclipse Award winner as the best 3-year-old. Game On Dude, favored in last year's Classic, has won two Big Caps and could become the first in the race's 77 years to win three times.
It's easy to get lost in that limelight, even though the Blingo-Gryder length-and-a-half victory at Santa Anita in the Feb. 8 Grade II San Antonio was impressive.
"Hard to overlook those big horses," Gryder says. Blingo has morning-line odds of 8-1 for Saturday's race.
It's not hard to overlook Gryder. He hasn't been around much.


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