This week, there is a riding crop professional who will once again take his gear to participate in a race after a few years. This is Venezuelan rider Manuel José Meleán, a native of Maracaibo, Zulia State.
Meleán, who has not appeared in public trials for more than four years, will this time do so at the Gulfstream Park racetrack in Hallandale Beach, Florida, with a horse trained by Ernesto Ochoa. This is Fort Attitude, a competitor in the third race on Wednesday, January 31, on a 1,200-meter course, for specimens redeemable for $6,250.
As of 2020, Manuel José, also known as “Cheché” in Venezuelan horse racing, is no longer riding. That will also be on February 14 at Gulfstream Park. Previously, in 2019, he participated 24 times and won only one race, according to the figures shown on the Equibase portal.
Manuel José and his brother Manuel Ángel created a sensation in Venezuelan horse racing more than 20 years ago. Graduates of the “Gustavo Ávila” Promotion in Santa Rita, they won their apprentice days against experienced jockeys in the field at that time such as Emisael Jaramillo, Ángel Alciro Castillo, Santiago González, Rigoalberto Sarmiento, and many others. However, they wanted to try their luck in the United States, and both have been living there for a long time.
Currently, Manuel José is looking for more opportunities, and this is the new beginning he has on American soil, having just turned 38 on January 13. On the local turf, he is remembered for his victories in the double crown My Running Mate at La Rinconada racetrack, among other famous riders on the track.