Despite missing several days with out-of-town engagements riding high-profile stakes in the East and Midwest, including his first Kentucky Derby (G1) mount, jockey Tyler Gaffalione earned his second straight meet title on Closing Day Sunday at Gulfstream Park.
Gaffalione entered the final 10 races of the summer meet with a four-win edge over Emisael Jaramillo, 75-71. Jaramillo narrowed the gap with a victory in Sunday’s opener, but Gaffalione sealed at least a tie winning the sixth, the $50,000 Alabama Jack’s, on Splash Rules ($5.20).
The title was clinched when Jaramillo finished off the board in the seventh race and was left four wins behind with three races remaining. Jaramillo went on to win the eighth and ninth races to make the final margin 76-74.
“It’s an honor. My agent and I worked hard, traveling around. It was tough to maintain the lead but he does a great job,” Gaffalione said. “My hat’s off to Emisael Jaramillo, Edgard Zayas and the other riders who rode very well this meet and made it very competitive and fun for everybody.”
Gaffalione, 23, the Eclipse Award-winning apprentice of 2015, is represented by agent Matt Muzikar. Among his summer meet victories were stakes wins on War Correspondent in the Miami Mile (G3), Soutache in the $400,000 FSS In Reality, Adorable Miss in the Martha Washington, and Galleon Mast in the Eight Miles East and Mr. Steele.
Born and raised in nearby Davie, Fla., Gaffalione tied a Gulfstream Park record with seven wins on a single card July 4 to match the mark set by Hall of Famer Jerry Bailey on March 11, 1995 – when Gaffalione was not yet six months old.
Gaffalione also topped Gulfstream’s spring stand that ran April 5 to June 30 with 98 wins and more than $2.3 million in purse earnings. He leads all jockeys nationally with 235 wins and his mounts have earned nearly $9 million in purses.
“This has been a great year,” Gaffalione said. “We’ve been able to build on such big momentum right now and hopefully we can just keep it going.”
Victor Barboza Jr. finished with a five-win cushion over Ralph Nicks and Antonio Sano, 29-24, to claim his first meet training title. A three-time champion trainer in his native Venezuela before coming to the U.S. in 2015, Barboza earned his first career graded stakes triumph with Distinta in the Inside Information (G2) during the Championship Meet.
Barboza already had the title won after Nicks failed to win Sunday’s opener, but put an exclamation point on his meet when Dreaming of Gold ($8.20) went gate-to-wire to capture the eighth, the $50,000 Bull and Whistle. Sano won the seventh with Cometin to tie Nicks for second.
“Today is very special for me to win a training title in the United States,” Barboza said. “It is a great moment for me. I have to give thanks to my great team working every day with the horses, thanks to the Stronach Group, thanks to my owners and thanks to my family who was here with me today.”
Alan Cohen’s Ocala-based Arindel ended the summer meet as leading owner with 13 wins, two more than Frank Calabrese and three better than Midwest Thoroughbreds. Arindel also led all owners with nearly $700,000 in purse earnings, winning the $75,000 Our Dear Peggy with Stanley Gold-trained Blonde Bomber Sept. 30.
Six Stakes Worth $280,000 in Purses Highlight Closing Day Program
Vicino Racing Stables, Inc.’s Extravagant Kid ($5.40) dueled with even-money favorite R Limo Joe before putting that rival away at the top of the stretch, and held off late-running Successful Native to win the $50,000 Green Parrot in 57.34 seconds under Jose Batista. It was the second straight stakes win for Extravagant Kid following the Sept. 17 Tamiami.
The Green Parrot for 3-year-olds and up was the first of six stakes worth $280,000 in purses that helped comprise the 10-race Closing Day program, highlighted by multiple graded stakes winner Curlin’s Approval, an easy winner of the $50,000 Barely Even in her final prep for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) Nov. 4.
Douglas P. Gibson’s Splash Rules ($5.20) extended his win streak to three races with his second consecutive stakes victory, taking command at the quarter pole and going on to a 1 ½-length score over Abounding Legacy in the $50,000 Alabama Jack’s. The 4-year-old gelding ran seven furlongs in 1:22.86.
Granpollo Stable’s Dreaming of Gold ($8.20), racing second off the claim for meet-leading trainer Victor Barboza Jr., went to the lead and never looked back for a front-running 1 ½-length win in the $50,000 Bull and Whistle, the final dirt race of the summer stand. Racing on a fast surface for the first time, Dreaming of Gold completed 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.85.
Robert Van Worp and Anne Rose Adametz’s D’craziness ($6.40) lost the lead after setting the pace for a quarter-mile, but cut the corner along the rail straightening for home and opened up down the stretch to take the $40,000 Captain Tony’s for 3-year-olds and up that have started for a claiming price of $16,000 or less. The winning time for 1 1/16 miles on turf was 1:44.08.
Crystal Racing Enterprises’ Gray Dude ($44.20) found an opening on the rail in deep stretch under jockey Jose Batista to complete a last-to-first rally and spring a 21-1 upset in the $40,000 Jack Flats to cap the stakes action, his second straight win and first since joining trainer Armando De La Cerda.
Mandatory Payouts in Rainbow 6, Late Pick 5, Super Hi-5 Wagers
Multiple ticketholders took advantage of a mandatory payout in the 20-cent Rainbow 6 carryover pool Sunday at Gulfstream Park, each cashing for $32,696.22.
Gray Dude’s upset victory in the 10th race finale completed the winning 6-7-1-1-2-4 combination in the popular multi-race wager. A total of $162,029 was wagered Sunday into the Rainbow 6, which began with a carryover of $33,921 from Saturday.
The Rainbow 6 carryover jackpot is only paid out 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. However, on mandatory payout days the entire pool is paid out to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners.
There were also mandatory payouts in the 50-cent Late Pick 5 and $1 Super Hi-5 pools Sunday. The Pick 5 produced a $3,063.20 payoff for five winners, while the Super Hi-5 returned $1,666.50 for tickets with three of the top five finishers (4-2-1-ALL-ALL) in Race 10.
Live racing moves to Gulfstream Park West Wednesday for the Fall Turf Festival meet that runs through Sunday, Nov. 26.
Source: Gulfstream Park