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Monday, April 02, 2012


Gulfstream: News & Notes - 4.1.12


Jockeys Javier Castellano, John Velazquez, Julien Leparoux and Rajiv Maragh are the top four riders on the leader board for the 2011-12 Gulfstream Park meet that runs through April 8. But Saturday’s Florida Derby Day card was the final day of action here for the leaders.

All four jockeys took off to New Orleans for mounts in the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) or other stakes on Sunday at Fair Grounds, a number of them on horses based with trainers stabled in South Florida this winter. The top four will move on this week to ride either the opening weekend at Keeneland or Aqueduct.


Velazquez rode four winners on the Saturday card while Castellano and Leparoux had three each, although the big prize in the $1 million Florida Derby (G1) went to Calvin Borel flying in for the mild upset victory aboard Take Charge Indy for trainer Pat Byrne.

Castellano marked several milestones during the meet, including the 3,000th career victory plateau and then equaled and passed the all-time record for wins by a jockey at a Gulfstream meet at 97, previously shared by Jerry Bailey, Wigberto Ramos and Julio Pezua. Castellano leaves establishing the new record at 112 victories.


Wait a While Stakes closes Out Gulfstream Stakes Schedule

The Gulfstream Park meet closes next Sunday with the card highlighted by the first running of the $70,000 Wait a While Stakes for fillies and mares to be run at 1 1/16 miles on turf with Frank Jones, Jr.’s 5-year-old Tapitsfly and Robert Smithen’s 5-year-old Bay to Bay prominent among the 37 nominees.

Tapitsfly is a Kentucky homebred roan/gray mare by Tapit trained by Dale Romans and posted a three-quarters length victory last out over Bay to Bay in the $150,000 Honey Fox Stakes (G2) going a mile over the course on Mar. 18. Tapitsfly won the 2009 Breeders’ Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita and her earnings now stand at nearly $900,000.

Bay to Bay is trained by Brian Lynch and ran a big race in the Honey Fox while making her first start since a close-up fifth-place finish in the First Lady Stakes (G1) at Keeneland in October, beaten only 2 ½ lengths for it all by the winner. The daughter of Sligo Bay won the Nassau Stakes (G2) at Woodbine in June last year and the Natalma Stakes (G3) over that course as a 2-year-old in 2009.


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