Morales Returns A Winner

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL - Away from riding for five years, Chris Morales made a triumphant return to action Saturday at Gulfstream Park, guiding his first mount of a comeback into the winner’s circle after the sixth race.

The 46-year-old journeyman stalked the pace aboard the Bill Kaplan-trained 3-year-old Josh's Butta Butta before moving to the lead at the top of the stretch and going on to victory by 1 1/4 lengths.

“I thank my good friend Bill Kaplan to trust me to do well with the horse,” Morales said.

Morales has been getting on horses for Kaplan in the mornings to prepare for his return.

“He’s been getting on some for me. We go back a long way. Back in the days of Mr. Livingston,” said Kaplan of his multiple-stakes winner, which Morales rode regularly.

After stepping away from riding, Morales spent all of his energy and time on building his Auto Depot Body Shop in Miramar.

“The business is doing good, so now I have the opportunity to come back to the track,” Morales said. “I still have a fire inside of me. I’m still young, so why not? I still feel like a kid.”

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Jockeys Edgard Zayas and Orlando Bocachica had riding doubles Saturday. Zayas won the first race with Sunset Silhouette ($13.80) and the third race with Dreaming of Lucy ($3.20). Bocachica won the second aboard Undeniable Temper ($13) and the fifth with Starship Windsor ($8.40).

Rainbow 6 Paid: $4,686.32
Super Hi 5 Carryover: $2,211.89