Apprentice jockey Nicky Figueroa earns first win in United States

HorseRacingNation.com
March 09, 2017 02:31pm
Nicky Figueroa at GP in 2017
Photo: Gulfstream Park

Apprentice jockey Nicky Figueroa earned his first win in the United States Thursday at Gulfstream Park, guiding 16-1 long shot Arty’sbourbongirl to a front-running 3 ½-length victory in the $48,000 optional claiming allowance feature.
 
It was the 18th mount of the Championship Meet for the 19-year-old Figueroa, who debuted with a fourth-place finish Feb. 19. Winning time in the six-furlong sprint for females 4 and up was 1:11.28 over a fast main track.
 
“My agent, Walter Blum, talked to me and asked me to come and I said yes,” said Figueroa, who rides with a seven-pound weight allowance. “I came here on Feb. 9. I am so happy to get my first win here at Gulfstream Park.”
 
Making her fourth straight start for new connections after being claimed out of her previous three, Imaginary Stables’ Arty’sbourbongirl broke sharply from the gate and set fractions of 22.74 seconds for the quarter-mile, 45.77 for the half and 58 seconds for five furlongs, having plenty left to hold off a late run from 7-5 favorite Diamond Earring. The 5-year-old mare is trained by Elizabeth Dobles.
 
“I did what the trainer told me,” Figueroa said. “She said that when you break to go to the front. I relaxed the horse and he responded very good for the win.”
 
Figueroa attended Puerto Rico’s famed Escuela Vocacional Hipica jockey school and won eight races in his native country before coming to the U.S. He comes from the same town, Carolina, as Hall of Fame jockey and Gulfstream winter resident John Velazquez, who he said was his role model.
 
“I am going to ride here in the summer,” Figueroa said. “It feels so good. I am so happy.”

Guaranteed Multi-Race Wager Pools Scheduled for Saturday

Saturday’s 13-race program at Gulfstream Park will offer guaranteed pools for the 20-cent Rainbow 6, the 50-cent Late Pick 4 and the 50-cent Late Pick 5.

The Rainbow 6 (Races 8-13) will offer a $600,000 jackpot pool guarantee if the popular multi-race wager goes unsolved Friday. The Late Pick 4 (Races 10-13) pool will be guaranteed at $250,000, while the Late Pick 5 (Races 9-13) will offer a $200,000 pool guarantee.

The Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the 10th consecutive program Thursday at Gulfstream Park, producing a carryover jackpot of $333,587.04 for Friday’s 11-race card.

Multiple tickets with all six winners Thursday were each worth $32,044.60.

The Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot is paid out only when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.

The popular multi-race wager was last solved Feb. 23 for a $324,179.78 jackpot payoff.
 
Curlin’s Approval, Dearest Top G2 Inside Information Noms List
 
Alter Racing Stable’s Curlin’s Approval and Gelfenstein Farm’s Dearest top the list of 12 fillies and mares nominated to the $200,000 Inside Information (G2), scheduled to be run at seven furlongs March 18 at Gulfstream Park.
           
Curlin’s Approval is already a multiple graded-stakes winner during the Championship Meet, having captured the seven-furlong Hurricane Bertie (G3) and the 1 1/16-mile Royal Delta (G2). The 4-year-old daughter of Curlin is trained by Marty Wolfson.
 
The Gilberto Zerpa-trained Dearest is coming off a victory in the six-furlong Sugar Swirl (G3) at Gulfstream Park Dec. 17.
 
Trainer Todd Pletcher nominated Repole Stable’s Clipthecouponsannie, a New York-bred stakes winner who defeated second-level allowance rivals at six furlongs Dec. 16 at Gulfstream, and Eskenformoney, who won the one-mile Rampart (G3) before finishing a distant third in the Royal Delta for StarLadies Racing and Lisa Troutt.
 
Mia Torri, who captured the Sunshine Millions Distaff at Gulfstream last time out, and multiple stakes-winner Moment of Delight are also nominated.

Who’s Hot: Leading rider Luis Saez notched a triple, scoring aboard Flashy Val ($2.60) in the first and Papa Pig ($15) in the third, and Brass Compass ($30.60) in the fifth.

Source: Gulfstream Park
          

 

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