Champion Woodbine jockey RAFAEL HERNANDEZ will ride in New York for the remainder of the winter after being in action at Turfway Park in Kentucky. Hernandez’s father recently passed away and he is spending time with family in New York.

Jockey agent Rudy Rodriguez, Jr. is now representing the 38-year-old native of Puerto Rico, who will have four mounts on Saturday’s card at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Hernandez, who is based at Woodbine Racetrack from April through December, won the 2020 Sovereign Award as Canada’s Outstanding Jockey and was the regular pilot of Grade 2-winner Moira, who captured the 2022 Queen’s Plate en route to Horse of the Year honors north of the border.

Hernandez boasts more than 3,000 career wins and has finished in the top three of the Woodbine jockey standings each year since 2017, including last year when he finished third while banking more than $6 million in purse earnings through a record of 804-135-102-103. He arrived in New York on Sunday night and was on the Belmont Park backstretch Monday morning.

“He’ll be here for a few months until April when he goes back to Woodbine,” Rodriguez, Jr. said. “Hopefully, he can meet some trainers here and build up some clients.”

Hernandez, who boasts Grade 1 wins at Woodbine with Etoile [2020 E.P. Taylor] and Last Call [2022 Natalma], rode in Saratoga in 2015 and at Aqueduct in the winter months of 2018-19. He captured a pair of stakes wins here in 2018 with Hit It Once More [Haynesfield] and Aunt Babe [Franklin Square].

“He’s an all-around great rider. He’s good out of the gate on speed horses and he can come from off the pace,” Rodriguez, Jr. said. “He’s rode on dirt, turf and synthetic, he’s done it all. He has a ton of experience and I’m super excited to work with him. I hope I can do my job and find him some live ones to get the ball rolling.”

Hernandez will look for a quick start Saturday when he pilots Ghostly Girl [Race 4] for trainer John Toscano, Jr., Blue Plate Special [Race 5] for conditioner Randi Persaud, Easy Play [Race 8] for trainer Ralph D’Alessandro and the Paul Barrow-trained Connect the Brocks [Race 10].