Biography: Richard Vega immigrated from Cuba in 1980 and learned about horses from the ground up, beginning as a hotwalker in Florida. He then became an assistant to Calder-based trainer Al Hinson and moved to Philadelphia in 1984. Vega has been a staple in the trainer’s standings at Philadelphia Park/Parx Racing since taking out his trainer’s license in 1992. Vega earned Philadelphia Park’s Leading Trainer title with 90 victories in 1998, and captured 107 races nationally while earning over $1.3 million.
One of his best trainees was Stud El Aguila’s Dulce Realidad, who was crowned Philadelphia Park’s Horse of the Year and Champion Three-Year-Old Filly in 2008. The Sweetsouthernsaint filly won four of five starts that year, including the $75,000 Trevose Stakes and $200,000 Jostle Stakes.
In 1999, Vega trained Open Ice Hit to the Claiming Horse of the Year title at Philadelphia Park. His leading money-earner, who he also co-owned, was a $7,500 claim named At First Speight, who earned over $360,000 during a 44-race career. Vega also trained multiple stakes winner Princess Cecilia.
2015 – Lyman Handicap – A Fleet Attitude
2011 – West Virginia Division of Tourism Breeders’ Classic Stakes – Princess Cecilia
2010 – Eleanor Casey Memorial Stakes – Princess Cecilia
2010 – West Virginia Triple Crown Nutrition Breeders’ Classic Stakes – Princess Cecilia
2008 – Jostle Stakes – Dulce Realidad
2008 – Trevose Stakes – Dulce Realidad
2003 – Bergen County Stakes – College Honor
2001 – Claiming Crown Iron Horse Stakes – Gotthard
1997 – James River Stakes – Love That Magic