Author: Wynn Elliott

Tyler Gaffalione Wins Sixth Riding Title at Gulfstream

By BloodHorse Staff Tyler Gaffalione clinched his sixth riding title at Gulfstream Park on the June 30 Summit of Speed program, the final card of the spring meet. The 23-year-old rising star, who made several trips for out-of-town stakes engagements, edged Emisael Jaramillo 63-61 in wins to defend his spring meet title. “I’m very excited. It’s such a blessing,” said the Davie, Fla., resident, who is represented by agent Matt Muzikar. “I’d like to thank my agent (and) all the owners and trainers for giving me the opportunity to ride such good horses. I’m just happy to be here.” Gaffalione has won three consecutive summer-meet titles. July 1 was the opening-day card of the 56-day summer meet. His chances of adding a fourth consecutive title will depend on how much he rides at Saratoga Race Course over the summer. “I’m not 100% sure. I’ve been talking to my agent. We’re definitely going to be up there quite a bit, but I’m not entirely sure if we’ll be there the whole meet or go back and forth. We’re playing it by ear right now. It depends on the horses,” Gaffalione said. Click Here to Read More Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterGoogleLinkedInTumblrPinterestRedditLike this:Like...

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Hernandez Bittersweet After Clinching First Local Riding Title

Churchill Downs Communications, Kevin Kerstein Nine days ago the race was on between close friends Brian Hernandez Jr. and Corey Lanerie with only one win separating the duo for the leading jockey title at the 2018 Churchill Downs Spring Meet. But tragedy struck Friday, June 22 with the sudden loss of Lanerie’s wife, Shantel, which allowed Hernandez to clinch his first leading rider title at Churchill Downs. “It’s a nice accomplishment, but it’s a bittersweet accomplishment to have it happen this meet with what happened with Corey and Shantel,” Hernandez said. “It would mean a whole lot more if Corey was here to battle it out.” The 32-year-old rider clinched the title midway through Friday’s program at Churchill Downs and enters closing day with a 42-38-win lead over Florent Geroux, who is riding at Woodbine on Saturday. Hernandez began the first week of the 38-day Spring Meet on top of the rider standings with six victories, most notably a 4 ¾-length score in the $300,000 Pat Day Mile (Grade III) presented by LG&E and KU with Funny Duck. “Funny Duck’s win in the Pat Day Mile is probably what I’m proudest of this meet,” Hernandez said. “The whole Derby Day was special winning three races. We’ve been fortunate enough to work hard at it and been on some exciting 2-year-olds that we can go on the rest of the...

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Court Out Seven Weeks After ‘Steel Horse’ Accident; Mena On The Mend

by Jennie Rees (Paulick Report) Jon Court, a six-time Ellis Park leading rider and fan favorite, said Saturday that he’ll be sidelined an estimated seven weeks after sustaining what the surgeon called a “peculiar” fracture of his collar bone in a mishap while riding his motorcycle. The 57-year-old said he had surgery Friday in La Grange, Ky., that involved inserting a plate and seven screws. “I dropped my Harley,” Court, the winner of 4,121 races in his career, said by phone. “I was only doing about 20 miles an hour in the grass. I was cutting a corner, hit a divot and dropped my bike. I picked it up. What happened is that I hit it wrong and probably cracked it, and when I snatched up the big old bike onto its wheels, it snapped it in the middle. They said it was a strange break, a piece of bone was stuck between a nerve and a blood vessel. (The surgeon) said, ‘It could heal like that. But with what you do for a living, you’d be at risk. If it goes one way, it hits that nerve. If it goes another, it cuts that vessel. So we’re going to go in there and plate that piece of bone down.’ It was freaky.” Court missed the start of the Ellis meet two years ago after cracking ribs while water tubing,...

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Sutherland in for Inge

Woodbine Press Release Inge, claimed for $40,000 here last December 2, will be looking to become the second horse acquired in that fashion in recent years and go on to win the Queen’s Plate. Midnight Aria, haltered for $35,000 at Gulfstream Park in January of 2013, won that year’s Queen’s Plate in front-running fashion. Trainer Norm McKnight gives Bruno Schickedanz most of the credit for zeroing in on Inge, who had won a $25,000 maiden claiming race and notched his second career win on the day he changed hands. “Bruno had me look at him—I thought he was a big, good-looking colt,” said McKnight “He kind of thought he’d go two turns, and he actually had the Plate in his mind when he claimed him.” The first steps on the prospective road to the Queen’s Plate came at Oaklawn Park, where McKnight raced a string for Schickedanz for the first time. “I thought if we were going to go to the Plate, maybe we should consider keeping him going,” said McKnight. “You give them the winter off, things happen. You try to get them back ready for the following year, sometimes you hit bad weather, you hit bad tracks, you miss days, you’re not ready.” Inge had mixed results at Oaklawn, recording a second and a third from four starts with the former in his last appearance there over...

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Eighth Welfare and Safety Summit Highlights Integrity, Injury Rates, and Disaster Preparedness

Jockey Club Press Release The eighth Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit, held Wednesday, June 27, at the Keeneland Sales Pavilion in Lexington, Ky., featured insightful discussions on topics ranging from disaster preparedness, jockey injuries, and equine injuries to racing integrity, Thoroughbreds as sport horses, and racing surfaces. The summit, which was organized and underwritten by Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and The Jockey Club, drew approximately 200 observers as well as an international audience who watched a live video stream. A video replay of the summit is available at grayson-jockeyclub.org/WelfareSafety/includes/2018Wss_agenda.asp. Dr. Roberta Dwyer, an extension veterinarian at the University of Kentucky, discussed the importance of having a plan for yourself and your horses in case of a natural disaster. She recommended that all horses be microchipped to help with identification in instances when they are separated from their owners. Participants of the panel titled, “Impacts of Weather – Equine Health and Business Decisions,” agreed with Dr. Dwyer’s point and that it also applied to racetracks, which must have plans in place when extreme weather occurs. It was also noted by Sal Sinatra, president and general manager of the Maryland Jockey Club, that large fluctuations in weather from day to day can be extremely disruptive to race days. In the session focused on safety initiatives for jockeys, Dr. Peta Hitchens, research fellow in the Equine Orthopaedic Research Group, University...

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