Gulfstream Press Release
Heriberto Figueroa, a 10-pound apprentice rider from Puerto Rico, earned his first victory in the United States aboard Establo Heluce’s Mr. G T in Thursday’s fourth race.
A 3-year-old Florida-bred colt trained by Alexis Cordero-Lopez, Mr. G T ($20.60) held off K K’s Revolver down the stretch of the one-mile claiming event to win by a half-length in 1:41.75 over a fast main track.
It was the fifth mount for Figueroa, 18, since arriving in the U.S., all at Gulfstream. He graduated Jan. 1 from the Escuela Vocacional Hipica, Puerto Rico’s famed state-run jockey academy and won three of 10 starts before coming to South Florida last month.
“I am very happy, and I am grateful to the trainer for giving me the opportunity to ride his horse,” Figueroa said through an interpreter. “I’m very thankful for all the people that have helped me to be here riding horses, and with God’s blessing I’m going to continue to do my best.”
Retired Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero Jr. had been working with Figueroa, whose brother, Luis, rode last spring and summer at Gulfstream and the fall at Gulfstream Park West. Figueroa said he plans to remain through the Championship Meet, which ends April 1.
“After that, if everything is good, I hope to go to New York,” he said.