Edited Gulfstream Release – Jockey Tyler Gaffalione continued his recent hot hand riding four winners on Friday’s 10-race card at Gulfstream Park.
Gaffalione, the Eclipse Award-winning apprentice of 2015 born and raised in nearby Davie, Fla., won four of the first six races aboard Monte Ne ($3) in the first, Makisupa ($3.60) in the third, Battalion ($9.40) in the fifth and Uncaptured Soldier ($7.20) in the sixth.
“I had a lot of confidence coming into today. My agent always does a great job. He’s lined up some great mounts for me, especially this week,” Gaffalione said. “Hopefully we can keep it going.”
Represented by agent Matt Muzikar, Gaffalione ranked fourth during last winter’s Championship Meet with 67 wins. He missed the first four days of this year’s meet and was off to a 3-for-32 start before winning twice in seven mounts Thursday.
“There’s an adjustment period coming from Churchill and Keeneland. It’s a much different configuration of the track,” Gaffalione said. “It’s just a matter of getting comfortable again.”
Gaffalione came into the 2020-2021 Championship Meet having swept all five major meets in Kentucky, most recently Churchill Downs’ fall stand that ended Nov. 29. He ranks second to two-time reigning Eclipse Award winner Irad Ortiz Jr. among all North American jockeys in wins this year and will soon pass his personal single-season record for purse earnings of nearly $15.2 million set in 2019.
“It’s amazing. It’s truly a blessing,” Gaffalione said. “My agent, he does such a great job. I owe him all the credit. He makes my job so much easier. We’ve had a great year and it’s been a lot of fun.”
Quarky Spoils Pay Any Price’s Swan Song in Friday Finale
Ballybrit Stable’s Quarky ($9.80) saved ground early and found room along the rail once straightened for home to sneak past pacesetting favorite Pay Any Price, making the final start of his distinguished career, and capture Friday’s 10th race finale.
Ridden by Luis Saez for trainer Michael Dini, Quarky ran five furlongs in 56.03 seconds over a firm turf course. Pay Any Price held on by a neck for second over late-running Kaufy Bean.
Trained by Georgina Baxter, Pay Any Price was sent off as the 6-5 favorite in a field of 12 turf sprinters. Due to age restrictions, the 10-year-old gelding will be ineligible to race at Gulfstream Park next year.
Pay Any Price has won 19 of 34 starts and more than $718,000 in purse earnings, including nine stakes. The son of Wildcat Heir set a North American and Gulfstream record for five furlongs on turf while winning the 2017 Silks Run in 53.61 seconds.
Friday’s race was the first for Pay Any Price since he won the Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint for the third consecutive year July 5 at Gulfstream. Other stakes wins came in the 2019 Crystal River and Silks Run, 2018 Tamiami and Crystal River, 2017 Turf Dash and Claiming Crown Canterbury.
Saturday’s Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool Guaranteed at $650,000
The 20-cent Rainbow 6 jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $650,000 Saturday at Gulfstream Park, where an 11-race program with five stakes, four graded, will get under way at 12:05 p.m.
The popular multi-race wager went unsolved for the eighth day of the Championship Meet Friday, when multiple tickets with all six winners were each worth $3,359.54.
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.
Saturday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 6-11, including the $200,000 Fort Lauderdale (G2), a key prep for the $1 million Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Jan. 23, and three other stakes.
The Fort Lauderdale, a 1 1/8-mile turf stakes for 3-year-olds and up carded as Race 10, drew a field of 10, including Brad Cox-trained Factor This, who had won four graded-stakes this year before finishing eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at Keeneland last time out. Todd Pletcher-trained Halladay captured the Fourstardave (G1) at Saratoga before finishing sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
The $100,000 Harlan’s Holiday (G3), a 1 1/16-mile stakes for 3-year-olds and up, is carded as Race 9. Pletcher-trained Tatweej, a late-developing $2.5 million colt who has three straight dominating victories at Gulfstream, is scheduled to make his stakes debut in the Harlan’s Holiday, which also attracted claimer-turned-Grade 1 winner Math Wizard and 2019 runner-up Phat Man.
The Rainbow 6 sequence will be kicked off by the $100,000 Sugar Swirl (G3) in Race 5. Jose Carroll-trained Golden Ami, who has turned in a pair of impressive victories in his two career starts, is rated as the 5-2 morning-line favorite for the six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares. Cinnabunny is scheduled to make her stakes debut and first start for Cox in the Sugar Swirl.
The Sugar Swirl will be followed by a well-stocked maiden special weight race for 2-year-olds, including sons of Constitution, Medaglia d’Oro, Candy Ride, Uncle Mo, Malibu Moon and Street Sense. In Race 8, Roger Attfield-trained Art of Almost, runner-up in the Maple Leaf (G3) at Woodbine last time out will head a well-balanced field of eight fillies and mares in the $75,000 My Charmer at 1 1/16 miles on turf. The Rainbow 6 sequence will conclude with a 1 1/16-mile turf race for 2-year-old $50,000 maiden claimers.
Who’s Hot: In addition to Tyler Gaffalione’s four-win afternoon, jockey Paco Lopez doubled Friday aboard Reservenotattained ($4) in Race 2 and Wicked Mercury ($8.80) in Race 7 … SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Stonestreet Stables, Golconda Stables, Siena Farm and Robert Masterson’s Tarantino ($11.80), a $610,000 yearling making his third career start and first on the East Coast, collared pacesetting longshot Halcyon Digest at the top of the stretch and went to win Race 9, a one-mile optional claiming allowance for 2-year-olds. The winning time was 1:35.62 over a firm turf course.
Rainbow 6 Pool Guarantee: $650,000
Super Hi-5 Carryover: $3,996.59