Jockey Tyler Gaffalione won three stakes on the Saturday card at Gulstream Park helping him take home the Shuffle Bean Coffee Jockey of the Week award for September 26 – October 2. The award is voted on by a panel of experts for riding accomplishments by members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 riders in North America.
Gaffalione took advantage of a favorable post while stretching out to two turns aboard Dude Fantasy in the $500,000 Florida Sire My Dear Girl Stakes. Gaffalione secured a ground-saving trip while sitting just behind the early leaders. Cajun Delta Dawn was hustled out of the gate from post 13 and went out to force the pace. Dude Fantasy was taken back to rate off the pace, then split rivals in mid-stretch and hit the wire three-quarters of a length in front of Surprise Wedding.
“The race set up beautiful for me,” Gaffalione said. “I just followed Cajun Delta Dawn the whole way. Around the turn I had a lot of horse, but I just waited and waited. When I found the spot, my filly just ran. I can’t thank Ralph [Nicks] enough and the owner, Mr. Dizney. She was very professional in her first start and the dirt never bothered her. I could just put her where I wanted her and she’d get the job done.”
The son of former jockey Steve Gaffalione also won the $150,000 Florida Sire Foolish Pleasure Stakes early in Gulfstream’s Saturday card with Awesome Banner and the $75,000 Our Dear Peggy Stakes aboard Silver Diva.
Gaffalione, who earned the Eclipse Award as the nation’s leading apprentice in 2015, captured the Gulftream Park Summer riding title with 93 wins.
For the week, Gaffalione tallied six victories, two seconds, and four third place finishes from his 26 mounts while finishing fourth in total earnings with a total of $552,245.
JockeyTalk360.com spotlights the riders across North America and around the world who may be the bravest, toughest and most accomplished of all athletes. The Shuffle Bean Coffee Jockey of the Week is selected by a vote of representatives of America’s Best Racing, The Daily Racing Form, Equibase, Horse Racing Nation, The Jockeys’ Guild, The Paulick Report, The Thoroughbred Daily News, National Thoroughbred Racing Association, National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, Thoroughbred Racing Associations, and Turf Publicists of America.