Gulfstream Park in Florida presses on with its Spring Meet with another ten races on Friday night and our man Johnathan Priddey previews it all.
The highlight of the evening is an allowance event at 21:41 where six of the nine-strong field are last-time-out winners, including four with perfect ‘one from one’ records.
Tyler Gaffalione and Luis Saez look set to fight out Top Jockey honours through the Spring Meet. The former has a 13-7 lead in winners against Saez so far, but it’s still early days.
Saez is an established winning machine stateside and has hit the 200 winner landmark every year since 2015 including a mighty tally of 274 in 2019.
Saez has a chance to hit a personal best in 2020 as is maintaining a strike rate of 20% with 90 winners from 453 rides. Meanwhile rising star Gaffalione is also booting in the winners at a rapid rate despite only graduating from the apprentice ranks in 2015. The Florida native has notched more than 1000 wins since the start of 2016.
Tyler Gaffalione booked rides: Power (18.00), Beasaichi (19.05), Carolyn’s Smile (19.36), Gorgeous In Grey (20.08), Starship Apollo (20.39), Sweet Mia (21.41), Muskoka Storm (22.42)
Luis Saez booked rides: Strong Ending (18.00), Silver Maker (18.34), Donder ‘N’ Blitzen (19.05), Bird Map (19.36), Feature Creature (20.08), Take Charge Dude (20.39), Gioielli (21.10), Four Grands (21.41), Crypto Gold (22.12), Caribbean Gold (22.42)
As with the jockeys’ standings, we’re still in the early stages of the Spring Meet with Saffie Joseph Jr the only handler to have sent out 4 winners so far.
The Barbadian is an emerging force and broke through at the elite level in 2019 when his stable star Math Wizard landed the $1m Pennsylvania Derby.
Joseph saddles only two runners at Gulfstream on Friday including multiple Gulfstream Park winner Take Charge Dude in an optional claiming event at 20.39.
Saffie Joseph Jr. trained runners: So Charming (20.08), Take Charge Dude (20.39)
Horse To Watch
The Luis Saez-ridden Four Grands looks the one to beat in a high-quality allowance event at 21.41.
It was just hands and heels from Saez aboard the Dale Romans inmate when she stretched clear to win by clear daylight over six furlongs on debut a month ago.
She steps up to the full mile here but certainly wasn’t stopping on debut and has the pedigree to cope with the extra distance. Expect the ever-reliable Saez to map out the perfect trip from stall 4.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication