Edwin Gonzalez, newly arrived from Penn National, rode three winners on Sunday at Guflstream Park
The Spring/Summer Meet at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., will kick off Thursday with an eight-race program. First-race post time is set for 1 p.m. ET during the meet that will run through Sept. 30.
The Spring/Summer Meet stakes schedule will be worth $3.5 million with $500,000 in incentives offered by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association for Florida-bred and Florida-sired horses.
The $350,000 Princess Rooney Invitational (G2) and the $200,000 Smile Sprint Invitational (G3) will be contested on the July 3 Summit of Speed card, highlighting a program of 34 stakes.
The seven-furlong Princess Rooney is a designated Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ race with the winner earning a spot in the Nov. 6 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) at Del Mar.
The tradition-rich FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes series will offer a total of $1.3 million in purses for 2-year-olds sired by accredited Florida stallions. The popular series will kick off with the $100,000 Dr. Fager and the $100,000 Desert Vixen July 31, followed by the $200,000 Affirmed and $200,000 Susan’s Girl Aug. 28 and the $350,000 In Reality and $350,000 My Dear Girl Sept. 25.
On Thursday’s opening day program, Stonehedge LLC’s Seazan, who finished third in both the Affirmed and In Reality last year, is the 8-5 morning-line favorite in the Race 2 feature, a $47,000 optional claiming allowance for Florida-bred 3-year-olds at a mile. The Ralph Nicks trainee, who finished off the board while trying turf for the first time last time out, was beaten by just a half length while finishing second in an open optional claiming allowance at a mile in his previous start.
Jockey Edgard Zayas, the defending Spring/Summer Meet titlist, has seven mounts Thursday while coming off a career-best Championship Meet.
Gonzalez Gets Acquainted with Gulfstream Winner’s Circle
Journeyman Edwin Gonzalez rode three winners on Sunday’s program at Gulfstream Park while preparing to ride during the Spring/Summer Meet for the first time.
The Puerto Rico-born jockey, who had been winning at over a 30-percent clip the past few years while dominating at Penn National, scored aboard Ian Wilkes-trained Keitany ($5.40) in Race 1 with a ground-saving journey in the 1 1/16-mile maiden claiming race on turf. He came back to score aboard Keep Quiet ($) for trainer Saffie Joseph in Race 7, a $16,000 claiming race at one mile on turf, and Race 10 aboard Phat Man ($11.20).
“I’m looking forward to riding here during the summer. I’ll keep working hard to win some races,” Gonzalez said. “I love Florida.”
On Saturday, his first day of riding at Gulfstream, Gonzalez came within a half-length of winning Saturday’s Sir Shackleton aboard Frosted Grace, who held gamely to finish second behind multiple Grade 1 winner Basin.
Gonzalez, who rode 443 winners in Puerto Rico, scored his 1000th win in the U.S. March 10 at Penn National.
Agent Kevin Meyocks will book mounts for Gonzalez, who has been named on four horses Thursday.
Other new faces in the jockey colony for the Spring/Summer meet include Chantal Sutherland and Jose Morelos, who will both see action Thursday.
Sutherland, a multiple graded stakes-winning jockey with more than 1000 career wins, has returned to Gulfstream Park after a long absence. Agent John Salamone has booked two mounts for Sutherland on the opening day card.
Jose Morelos, a 20-year-old jockey from Panama, is scheduled to ride for the first time in the U.S. at Gulfstream Thursday. The 2016 graduate of the Laffit Pincay Jr. riding school has been booked on three mounts by agent Jay Rushing.
Championship Meet Titlists Honored Sunday
The leading trainer, jockey and owner for the 2020-2021 Championship Meet were honored on Sunday’s closing-day program at Gulfstream Park.
Todd Pletcher, who won his record 17th title with 58 wins, was honored in the winner’s circle following Race 8. Irad Ortiz, who won his third straight title with a record 140 wins, was honored following Race 9. Paradise Farms and David Staudacher, who had 13 winners, were recognized following the Race 7.
Thursday’s Rainbow 6 Guaranteed Jackpot $250,000
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $250,000 for Thursday’s Spring/Summer Meet opening-day card at Gulfstream Park.
The popular multi-race wager went unsolved Sunday following Saturday’s mandatory payout. Multiple tickets with six winners were each worth $24,008.72 Sunday.
The jackpot pool 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.
Thursday’s Rainbow 6 will Span Races 3-8.
WHO’S HOT: Tyler Gaffalione, who finished third in the Championship Meet jockey standings, ended the meet with four wins. He won Race 3 aboard Don’t Call Me Mary ($4), Race 8 on Girolamo’s Attack ($6.80), Race 9 on My Sea Cottage ($7) and Race 12 aboard Young Flint ($9).
Saffie Joseph Jr., who finished second behind Todd Pletcher in the Championship Meet’s standings, saddled back-to-back winners in Race 7 and Race 8, scoring with Keep Quiet ($16.20) and Girolamo’s Attack ($6.80), respectively.
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