“I wish they were all like that. That was a lawn-chair ride there,” said Lanerie after Harling’s Darling won his second race in two starts at Gulfstream in the $15,000 claiming race. “Those come far and few between.”
“Things are going great, as well as I had hoped. But coming here, it’s so tough, you never know. I’m just thrilled. I’m loving Florida,” said Lanerie after recording his 3,374th career victory. “I’ve gotten a lot of opportunity and I’m making the best of it.”
Lanerie, who has ridden 12 winners to sit tied for seventh in the standings, has been based in Kentucky for several years while spending winters at Fair Grounds in Louisiana. The 38-year-old native of Lafayette, La., who captured the spring riding title at Churchill Downs and the fall meeting at Keeneland, opted to ride at Gulfstream this year upon the encouragement of trainer Dale Romans.
“Coming here, I took a big chance because I rode for a lot of good outfits. But before I came here, they were riding other guys. If you don’t get off to a good start and start winning soon, they’re going to go back to what was working for them,” Lanier said. “I was lucky the horses ran well and got me off to a good start.”
A strong influence in his decision to ride at Gulfstream was the better opportunity to find a Kentucky Derby horse. Courtesy of Romans, Lanerie has the mount aboard very promising Dewey Square, whom he rode in Kentucky and followed to Florida.
Who’s Hot: Jockey Jose Lezcano rode a trio of winners: Tuvia’s Force ($11.60), Blue and Silvers ($4.80) and Tiz Yankee ($5.20) to tighten up a four-man race for the jockey’s title. The three victories by Lezcano gave the 2009 Gulfstream titlist 23 wins, just three behind defending champion Javier Castellano, who rode two winners. Castellano upped his total to 26 with scores aboard Major Marvel ($3.40) in the fourth and Exclusive Love ($6.20) in the 10th. Joel Rosario sits second with 25 wins, two ahead ahead of Lezcano and Luis Saez.
Trainer Nick Zito saddled Tuvia’s Force and Tiz Yankee for their respective victories. Kirk Ziadie saddled back-to-back winners for owner Frank Calabrese, scoring with Blues and Silvers in the sixth and Rough and Royal ($7.40) in the seventh.
Workout of the Day: Shanghai Bobby breezed five furlongs in 1:00 at Palm Meadows Training Center in preparation for a scheduled start in the $400,000 Holy Bull at Gulfstream on Jan. 26.
10-Cent Rainbow-6 Carryover: $98,249.01