Author: Wynn Elliott

Chilean Jockey Strives To Make Name Known To Oldsmar Followers

By Mike Henry OLDSMAR, FL. – Tampa Bay Downs jockey Andres Ulloa got a taste of the big time in 2016 when he traveled to Santa Anita to watch his older brother, Gonzalo Ulloa Perez, ride Chilean-bred Kitcat in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf. Although Kitcat finished near the back of the pack, Andres soaked up the splendor and majesty of Breeders’ Cup weekend, leaving southern California with the determination to achieve success in the United States. The 22-year-old Ulloa, who won about 80 races at Club Hipico de Santiago in Chile’s capital, has yet to become a household name among Tampa Bay Downs horsemen and fans, riding only two winners. He and trainer Pedro Sobarzo, who is also from Chile, joke about Ulloa’s anonymity, even in the Oldsmar racing office. “I put in two entries and said Ulloa is going to ride both,” Sobarzo said, “and the (entry clerk) said ‘Who?’ I said ‘No, not who – ooh-YO-a.’ I had to point to his name (in the condition book) before they knew who I meant.” The Ulloa name is much better known in Santiago, where Andres grew up as the youngest of eight brothers, six of whom became jockeys. Gonzalo and Hernan ride in Chile, while Mauricio and Eduardo have retired, although the latter works as an exercise rider in New York. Brother Oscar, 28, is...

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Julien Leparoux Rides at Gulfstream for First Time as U.S. Citizen

Press Release HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Julien Leparoux rode for the first time as a U.S. citizen Thursday at Gulfstream Park. The 34-year-old two-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey became a U.S. citizen Wednesday in Louisville, Ky. in a ceremony attended by his wife, Shea, his son Mitchell and newborn son Vinn. “It was a goal since I came here (in the U.S). I’m proud of it. I’m proud to be an American,” Leparoux said. “I was proud to have my family with me. It was special for sure. The native of Senlis, France, Leparoux grew up in a racing family...

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G3 Winner Flameaway Takes to Turf in Kitten’s Joy

Press Release HALLANDALE BEACH, FL –Nine weeks after making his grass debut in the Breeders’ Cup, John Oxley’s Flameaway transferred his stakes-winning form from dirt to turf with a gutsy front-running victory in Saturday’s $100,000 Kitten’s Joy at Gulfstream Park. The sixth running of the Kitten’s Joy and the seventh renewal of the $100,000 Ginger Brew, both at 7 ½ furlongs on turf, were among five stakes for 3-year-olds worth $450,000 in purses on an 11-race program along with a pair of six-furlong sprints, the $75,000 Limehouse and $75,000 Glitter Woman. Highlighting the card was the $100,000 Mucho Macho...

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Sharp, Beschizza Going For More Success With Into Summer In Pago Hop

By Ryan Martin/Fair Grounds Barn Notes Trainer Joe Sharp and jockey Adam Beschizza have found a lot of success together at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots having won 11 races together so far during the Winter Meet, but they could take their success to the next level when Into Summer goes into the starting gate for Saturday’s $75,000 Pago Hop Stakes, a one mile event for 3-year-old fillies over the Stall-Wilson Turf Course. Sharp first met Beschizza when working as Mike Stidham’s assistant at the Fair Grounds while Beschizza was galloping horses for the trainer. Since then, the two have developed a good relationship with one another. “It’s funny, he came here about six or seven years ago when I first met him as an assistant for Stidham and I sort of took him under my wing,” Sharp said. “He even flew in for my first Breeders’ Cup with Sapphire Kitten (4th in the 2015 Juvenile Fillies Turf at Keeneland) and then he came back two years ago and I rode him in a couple of races here at the Fair Grounds.” While Beschizza would like to get a stakes victory for Sharp on Saturday, he believes that the sky is the limit. Should he win this Saturday, it also would be his first stakes victory in the United States. “I’d like to say that a win like...

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Jose Ortiz Makes Triumphant Return from Surgery Thursday

Press Release HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Jockey Jose Ortiz made a triumphant return to the irons by winning Thursday’s opener at Gulfstream Park, his first mount since having minor knee surgery Dec. 3. The nation’s leading jockey with more than $27 million in purse earnings, Ortiz guided Suzanne Stable’s 3-year-old filly Shar Ran ($6) to a front-running four-length triumph in the seven-furlong optional claiming allowance for fillies and mares 3 and up. Ortiz inherited the mount from jockey Julien Leparoux, who returned to Kentucky for the birth of his second child. Leproux is expected to return Saturday. “She bobbled a little bit but she was the fastest horse from the gate. Passing the chute she was on the lead without asking her for much,” Ortiz said. “She relaxed very well the whole backstretch and by the three-eighths pole I knew I had a lot of horse under me. When I asked her she responded really well. I’m very happy [trainer Mike] Tomlinson gave me the opportunity to ride her, and the owner, and she was ready. She was ready to win.” It was the 267th win of 2017 for the 24-year-old Ortiz, whose 351 victories were tops in the country last year. He had 43 wins and nearly $3.8 million in purse earnings from just 192 mounts during last winter’s Championship Meet, and is a leading candidate for his...

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