Monday Morning Quarter Pole @WoodbineTB: Jockey Sofia Vives

Monday Morning Quarter Pole @WoodbineTB: Jockey Sofia Vives

TORONTO, March 11, 2024 – In this week’s edition of MMQP, Eclipse and Sovereign Award finalist apprentice Sofia Vives looks back on her first full season of riding and looks ahead to the 2024 Woodbine season.

Starting Gate

  • Ranked second in wins among North American-based apprentices last year, with 122 from 764 starts
  • Recorded $3,569,901 in purse earnings in 2023 to rank fourth in the apprentice category
  • Her father, Lazaro Vives, and her uncle, Juan Carlos Vives, were jockeys
  • Born in Walterboro, South Carolina, Vives was raised in Ocala, Florida
  • On October 29, 2022, at Woodbine, she contested her first race and finished second with Kevin Attard trainee Basalt Street
  • First win came on November 3, 2022, when Bodacious Miss romped to victory in the seventh race

Opening Quarter

“I knew I there was something to learn with each race. My agent [Jordan Miller] and I spoke every day to look at things I could work on. I feel very blessed to have had the year that I did, especially the start. I was given a lot of opportunities, which I was very grateful to have, and I wanted to make the most of them.”

Half Mile

“I learned a lot about myself as a person and as a rider. Patience is one thing that comes to mind. There is so much to learn about this sport, and I don’t think you can ever know it all. You can learn something new with each race – every horse is different – which helps you as you go along. You have to be very open-minded as well.”

“After a race, it’s either five minutes of fame or five minutes of failure – that’s what you give yourself and then you get over it and move on to the next race.”

Stretch Drive

“My goal was to ride each race to the best of my abilities. As the year went on – every time I think about it, I get goosebumps – it just seemed to be surreal.”

“I find it hard to put into words just how happy and grateful I am for the year we had. Every time I would win, my mom and dad would message me. That is such a warm feeling to have that support.”

“When I rode at Parx, my grandmother and my uncle were a big part of my riding journey when I was there. They took me in with open arms and I stayed with them three days a week. Going between Woodbine and Parx, I would get tired, but knowing that my family would be there – it always motivated me and made me happy.”

“I have been getting on horses at Ocala this winter. [Hall of Fame trainer] Mark Casse and his wife Tina introduced me to a strength coach here and I have been working out three days a week and getting on horses every day.” ​

Finish Line

“I’m very excited to see what this year holds. As always, I set my goals to do well on each horse that I ride. I don’t like to set numbers because if you don’t achieve them, it doesn’t mean that you failed – it’s more of an approach where I want to win as much as I can, but to also do well by the horses, and learn something from each race. I also want to build strong relationships with the trainers and my fellow riders.”

“I think about horses all day, every day. I can watch race replays and tell my parents everything that happened with each ride. I live and breathe horses. That is all that I know and all that I think about it. If there is no music on in the car, I am thinking about horses. The best conversation starter for me is horses.”

Winner’s Circle

Links to stories with Sofia Vives:

SOFIA VIVES: “RACING, IT RUNS THROUGH MY MIND ALL DAY”

5 FURLONGS: SOFIA VIVES

2023 ECLIPSE AWARDS: SOFIA VIVES

APPRENTICE JOCKEY VIVES LOOKS TO BUILD ON STRONG START

WOODBINE: FREE REIN

Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications / @WoodbineComms

Grace Martin
Grace Martin Communications Specialist, Woodbine Entertainment
Horse Racing - TB
About Woodbine Entertainment

Woodbine Racetrack is Canada’s home the biggest and most exciting thoroughbred races. Located in Toronto, Woodbine Racetrack typically operates thoroughbred racing from April through December. Premier races include the longest continuously ran horse race in North America, The Queen’s Plate, Breeders Cup win and you’re in races the Woodbine Mile, Summer and Natalma Stakes, along with the fan-favourite Canadian International Stakes. 

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555 Rexdale Blvd. Toronto, Ontario.