Gaffalione Leads GP Jockeys; Close Races Continue Among Trainers and Owners

HorseracingFLA Staff Report

Tuesday, Sept. 1 –With 19 race days left in Gulfstream Park’s summer meet, Tyler Gaffalione continues to hold what appears to be a comfortable lead in wins in the jockey standings.

But tight races are still brewing between Antonio Sano and Ralph Nicks in the trainers’ standings and between Jacks or Better Farm and Frank Carl Calabrese in the owners’ standings.

Gulfstream will resume racing on Thursday with ten races and first post of 1:15 p.m.

Through Sunday, Gaffalione (above photo)  has ridden 48 winners at the meet. He is followed by Harry Hernandez with 36 and Eddie Castro with 34. Jonathan Gonzales has 29 wins and is fourth in the standings.

Hernandez’s win total for the meet will be 33 because he will be out for two months with a broken wrist suffered in a spill with his mount Starship Muffy during last Friday’s tenth race.

Hernandez, an 18-year-old apprentice with a five-pound allowance, will be able to return during the Gulfstream Park West meet that begins Oct. 7 at Calder Casino & Race Course.

The Gulfstream summer meet will end Oct. 3.

Gaffalione, Castro and Gonzales each rode five winners during the four days between last Thursday and Sunday.

Gaffalione, a five-pound apprentice, won the riding title for this year’s Gulfstream spring meet. He is a 20-year-old native of South Florida.

Our research indicates that Gaffalione will retain his five-pound allowance for non-stakes races through Oct. 10 – the first anniversary of his fifth career win. That will be the fourth day of the 40-day Gulfstream Park West meet.

Based on Gaffalione’s steady success and his already-established work ethic, it is likely that many of South Florida’s top year-round trainers and owners will continue to use him after he loses his five-pound bug.

Emisael Jaramillo rode four winners over the last four race days and has 11 wins in 67 mounts for the meet. He came to Gulfstream early last month after being a leading rider for several years in his native Venezuela.

Trainers and Owners

Jane and Fred Brei

Jane and Fred Brei

Sano and Nicks have 19 wins each and are tied in the trainers’ standings. Luis Duco is next with ten victories.

Nicks saddled two winners and Sano saddled one at Gulfstream last week.

Both of Nicks’ winners were ridden by Gaffalione, who is Nicks’ primary jockey. Nicks also has horses running at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and is traveling between the two tracks.

Sano will have a chance to break the Gulfstream tie late this week. He has two horses running on Thursday and two running on Friday.

At Gulfstream, Nicks has no horses entered on Thursday and one entered on Friday.

On Wednesday afternoon, Gulfstream will announce the entries for its Saturday card that will have eight stakes races including four races in the Florida Sire Stakes Series.

It is expected that Sano and Nicks will both have entries in several of those races.

In the owners’ standings, Jacks or Better has nine wins and Calabrese has eight wins.

Jacks or Better Farm is in Ocala and is owned by Fred and Jane Brei. It uses Stan Gold as its exclusive trainer for races at Gulfstream and Gulfstream Park West.

Jacks or Better and Gold do not have any horses entered at Gulfstream on Thursday or Friday.

But they likely will have at least one horse in most of Saturday’s stakes. Gold and Jacks or Better have combined for 17 wins in the Sires Stakes races – putting them both first in the all-time standings.

Calabrese, who uses Michael Petro as his primary trainer, has no Gulfstream entrants on Thursday and one on Friday.

Calabrese is known primarily for his success in claiming races. But he also will probably have several horses in stakes races on Saturday.

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