BALTIMORE (WJZ) — “I’ve wanted to be a jockey since I was born, its something I’ve always wanted to do,” said Charlie Marquez.
Born and raised in Columbia, Maryland, some of Marquez’s first memories are of the Pimlico Race Course. He would come to work with his mother, a vet technician at the track, and watch the jockeys race.READ MORE: Baltimore City Receives $2M In Funding For Minority Owned Business Development
Now, at 18-year-old, he’s one of the youngest jockeys in America.
“It’s just crazy that now I’m doing it, you know what I mean?” he said. “I’m riding and people are watching me like I used to watch them.”
It’s been a long journey for him and his family.
Last year, during a race in New York, he was thrown off a horse and broke his wrist.READ MORE: Woman Found Dead In East Baltimore Fire Was Shot Beforehand, Police Say
Unable to race, Marquez decided to come back home.
“Maryland, you know, my home…there’s nothing like it,” he said.
Now, fully recovered, he’s back on the track.
But this is Marquez’s first time as a professional jockey at Pimlico. He said he’s not only excited but grateful to have his biggest cheerleader by his side, his mother.MORE NEWS: Maryland State Police To Assist U.S. Capitol Police With Security Ahead of Justice For J6 Protest
“I’m riding and I yell, ‘Mom, I love you,’ and she said that she’s in my heart at all times,” he said.