HorseracingFLA Staff Report
Gulfstream Park closed out its race week on Sunday with Tyler Gaffalione (photo on home page) riding three winners including Insta Erma in the feature third race.
At Tampa Bay Downs on Sunday, jockey Scott Spieth won his 4,500th career race. It came in the sixth race on Awesome Island.
Both tracks will resume racing on Wednesday. Gulfstream will have eight races with first post of 12:55 p.m. Tampa Bay will have ten races with first post of 12:43 p.m.
Insta Erma, at 3-1, beat the even-money favorite Rontos Lily by 2 ½ lengths at 7 ½ furlongs on turf in a $75,000 allowance/optional claimer for 3-year-old fillies.
Insta Erma won in the solid time of 1:27.90 on the course listed as firm. The race had a $43,000 purse. Neither Insta Erma nor Rontos Lily was in for the tag.
The win was the second in five career starts for Insta Erma, a daughter of Pioneer of the Nile who is trained by Bill Mott and owned by Zayat stables.
Gaffalione’s other Sunday winners were in the first race on Responsive, trained by Mark Casse, and in the eighth race on Eila, trained by Ralph Nicks.
Gaffalione has five wins through the first five days of Gulfstream’s Spring Meet and is tied with Elvis Trujillo for third place in the standings. Edgard Zayas and Nik Juarez are tied for the lead with seven wins apiece.
Gaffalione led jockeys in wins last year at Gulfstream in the spring meet, from April through June, and in the summer meet, from July through September.
He had a five-pound apprentice allowance until early last October. He then finished third in wins, behind Zayas and Eddie Castro, in the two-month Gulfstream Park West meet held at Calder.
Gaffalione went on to have a strong meet amid the tough jockey competition in the Gulfstream Park championship meet. He finished eighth with 45 winners.
Spieth Reaches Milestone
Spieth rode his 4,500th winner on a horse trained by his fiancée Aldana Gonzalez.
The 4-year-old Florida-bred filly Awesome Indeed is owned by her breeder, Bruno Schickedanz. She paid $8.00 to win in her second career start.
The 49-year-old Spieth is 43rd in wins all-time in North America, according to Equibase. Through Sunday, he has ridden in 27,934 races.
He is 10th in the Tampa Bay Downs standings with 22 victories. He finished fourth last year at Delaware Park with 46 victories before arriving at Tampa Bay Downs and is confident he can get to 5,000 within three years.
“Moving to Delaware Park last year lets me be able to ride seven days a week,” he said, citing that track’s proximity to Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J., and other mid-Atlantic tracks. “It (reaching 5,000) won’t be a problem.”
Spieth added: “I love what I do; that’s No. 1. I wouldn’t want to do anything else. I was in pre-med in college and I chose to be a jockey. I’m very satisfied with what I do.”
Note—Scott Spieth is not related to golfer Jordan Spieth, who also made news on Sunday.
Jordan Spieth was seeking his second straight win in The Masters in Augusta, Ga., and was leading heading into the back nine. But he took a quadruple bogey seven on the 12th hole and wound up shooting a final-round 76.
Danny Willett won with a 72-hole score of 273, five shots under par. Spieth and Lee Westwood tied for second at 276.