By Jim Freer
(Note: Numbers in this story are from Equibase)
As the Gulfstream Park summer meet nears its mid-point, veteran Edgard Zayas leads jockeys in wins and in purse money.
Through this past Sunday Aug.11, Zayas (photo on home page) has ridden 38 winners at the meet at the Hallandale Beach, Fla., track. Sunday was the 26th day of the 55-day summer meet that is scheduled to end on Sept. 29.
After three dark days, Gulfstream will resume racing on Thursday with eight races and first post of 1:15 p.m.
Apprentice Cristian Torres is second in the jockey wins standings with 32, and Emisael Jaramillo is third with 26. Miguel Angel Vasquez and Jairo Rendon are tied for fourth place at 23
Zayas, a native of Puerto Rico, is a multi-meet champion at Gulfstream. But rather than him running away with this summer’s riding championship, we think a tight three-way battle is more likely.
Torres, who has a five-pound weight allowance except in stakes races, is this season’s popular ” bug boy” with trainers.
He is anative of Puerto Rico and grew up in the Orando area. He began his career as a jockey this past April at Gulfstream.
Jaramillo previously was a champion jockey in his native Venezuela.
At Gulfstream, other than the championship meet, he almost always gets top rides. And he has a history of streaks of days with multi-race wins at Gulfstream and at Gulfstream Park West (Calder), where Gulfstream holds a meet each October and November.
Among their accomplishments, Zayas led jockeys in wins at this year’s Gulfstream spring meet and Jaramillo led in wins at last year’s summer meet.
Through Sunday, Zayas’s summer meet mounts have won a meet-leading $1,057,303.
Torres is second with$880,060 in purses and Jaramillo is third with $765,533.
Zayas and Jaramillo have both won on 24 percent of their summer meet rides–highest among jockeys with ten or more starts at the meet. Torres has won on 19 percent of his mounts.
Zayas has finished third or better on 93 of 161 mounts–a 58 percent clip.
Torres has been in the money on 90 of 183 mounts (49 percent). Jaramillo has been in the money on 58 of 109 mounts (53 percent).
On Thursday’s card, Torres is named to ride on six mounts, Jaramillo is scheduled for five mounts and Zayas is named on four.