Friday, June 24, 2022
Zayas has been out for 6 months . . .

    HALLANDALE BEACH - Edgard Zayas had spent quality time with his family during his six months on the sidelines, and wife Ashley and daughters Lilah (18 months) and Lillian (5) were the first to greet the 28-year-old jockey following his first race back at Gulfstream Park this afternoon.

     Following surgery on his left shoulder and a lengthy rehabilitation period, Zayas had three mounts on the program, including Flag Woman, who set the pace before fading to fifth in Race 3.

    “It feels good, getting back after six months,” Zayas said.  “The shoulder felt great, no problem at all. I was hoping for better results but I’m happy to be back.”

    Zayas also rode Don’t Get Khozy, who finished fifth in Race 7, and Saffie Joseph Jr.-trained Li Li Bear, who checked in eighth in Race 8.

    Zayas has ridden 1930 winners since venturing to South Florida to launch his career in late 2012, benefitting from early mentoring from Hall of Famers Angel Cordero and Edgar Prado. He was an Eclipse Award finalist for outstanding apprentice jockey in 2013 after riding more than 200 winners and notching a Grade 1 victory aboard Starship Truffles in the Princess Rooney at Calder. Zayas, who has gone on to ride more than 200 winners in six of nine complete years of his career, while winning numerous riding titles at Gulfstream and Gulfstream Park West.

Perez Rides Five Winners 

    Edgar Perez continued a very solid Royal Palm Meet today, riding five winners on the 10-race program. Perez rode three straight winners – Alternate Rock ($9) in Race 3, Great Uncle ($5.40) in Race 4 and Laniakea Storm ($6.40) in Race 5 – before scoring back-to-back aboard Dignified ($41.60) in Race 8 and Sequin Lady ($6) in Race 9.

    “It’s been a great day, unbelievable,” Perez said.

    The Venezuela native, who had been a fixture on the Chicago circuit for years after riding his first U.S. race in South Florida in 2009, switched his tack to Gulfstream this spring and summer due to the closure of Arlington Park.

     “I’m thankful for the opportunities. My agent [Rene Douglas] told me I will do good here,” Perez said. “I like it here. I like the Tapeta, everything.” Three of Perez’s victories were on the all-weather surface.

    In Race 7, a seven-furlong starter allowance for fillies, jockey Franklin Gonzalez Jr. notched his first U.S. victory aboard Awesome Annmarie ($19.20). The Venezuela native had been winless in 32 races since making his U.S. debut April 28 at Gulfstream.

Saturday’s Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool Guaranteed       

    The Rainbow 6 gross jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $200,000 Saturday. The multi-race wager has gone unsolved for five racing days following a June 11 mandatory payout.

    The Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 7-12, including the $75,000 Powder Break, a mile-and-70-yard stakes for fillies and mares on Tapeta, in Race 10.  David Fawkes-trained Grand Ave Girl, who captured the Monroe Stakes on turf last time out, is rated at 7-5 in morning line.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Surgery kept him out for more than 6 months . . .
    HALLANDALE BEACH - Edgard Zayas was riding a wave of momentum into the 2021-2022 Championship Meet at Gulfstream Park last December when he had to make a tough decision.

     The 28-year-old South Florida-based jockey, who had enjoyed a breakout 2020-2021 Championship Meet that was followed by Spring/Summer and Fall Meet titles, opted to undergo shoulder surgery that would sideline him for the remainder of Gulfstream’s winter session.

    “It was really, really frustrating, because I was expecting to have a really good Championship Meet, and it started out amazing,” said Zayas, Gulfstream’s most dominant rider for the past several years. “It was really frustrating watching horses that I was riding regularly win. It was like, ‘That could have been me.’”

    Six months after undergoing shoulder surgery on his left shoulder, the Rio Grande, Puerto Rico native will return to action Friday, and is scheduled to ride in three races on the 10-race Happy Hour program that will get under way at 2:55 p.m.

    “I’m extremely hungry, to be honest,” Zayas said. “For this meet, it’s a little late, but I’m just going try to pick up some nice babies and build up my business again and get prepared for the winter.”

    Zayas, who has been galloping and breezing horses for the past few weeks, could have put off the inevitable surgery and continued riding last winter, but he is confident he made the right decision and is happy that his shoulder issues are behind him.

    “It was an injury that happened in the middle of last year. It was dislocated. Towards the end of the year, it dislocated again. I went and got it checked out and I decided to get surgery on it,” Zayas said.

    “It took a lot longer than I thought it would. The doctor didn’t think it was that bad until he went in and saw it was a little worse than we thought,” he added.

    During recovery and rehabilitation, Zayas got to spend some quality family time with his wife, Ashley, and daughters, Lillian (5) and Lilah (18 months).

    “To be honest I really enjoyed it, but it got to the point where I was ready to get back to work. At the beginning it was a little nice, but after a couple of weeks, it was frustrating,” he said.

    Zayas has ridden 1930 winners since venturing to South Florida to launch his career in late 2012, benefitting from early mentoring from Hall of Famers Angel Cordero and Edgar Prado. He was an Eclipse Award finalist for outstanding apprentice jockey in 2013 after riding more than 200 winners and notching a Gr. 1 victory aboard Starship Truffles in the Princess Rooney at Calder.

    Zayas, who has gone on to ride more than 200 winners in six of nine complete years of his career, is named to ride Ralph Nicks-trained first-time starter Flag Woman in Race 3, Antonio Sano-trained Don’t Get Khozy in Race 7, and Saffie Joseph Jr-trained Li Li Bear in Race 8.
Saturday, June 18, 2022
3-year-old filly has won two stakes on the grass . . .
    HALLANDALE BEACH - Monarch Stables Inc.’s Last Leaf returned to the main track and the 3-year-old filly division today to capture the $75,000 Game Face Stakes at Gulfstream Park.

    The Ron Spatz-trained daughter of Not This Time ($10.80), who finished fifth against the boys in the Roar Stakes on turf last time out, pressed the pace, shook off a stretch challenge from favored stablemate Freedom Speaks and drew away to a 3 ½-length victory under Miguel Vasquez.

    Last Leaf, a two-time stakes-winner on turf who defeated males in last year’s Hollywood Beach, captured her first stakes on dirt in the Game Face. Reitman Stables' Freedom Speaks, the 6-5 favorite who captured her recent debut very impressively on Tapeta, got away from the starting gate a bit slowly before advancing into contention at the top of the stretch. The daughter of American Freedom settled for second under Emisael Jaramillo, a half-length ahead of Rapturous, the early trailer who closed mildly in the stretch under Luca Panici.

    “Going in, I thought Last Leaf got a perfect [outside] post position for her. She likes to be out there and not get a lot of dirt in her face. The other filly didn’t get a very good trip. She got off a little slow, got shut off and bumped. Everything happened and she still ran a good race,” Spatz said.

    Last Leaf, who finished third in the Gr. III Forward Gal on dirt during the Championship Meet, ran 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.78. “Last Leaf is a great little horse. She’s small and she’s got a big heart,” Spatz said.

    In the $60,000 Coral Gables, Kenneth Ramsey’s Ramsey Solution drove to the lead down the stretch to win under Leonel Reyes while covering a 1 1/16-mile Tapeta course in 1:43.43. Eamonn was second and the pacesetter Calibrator was third. Trained by Saffie Joseph Jr. Ramsey Solution was making his first start in 11 months since finishing second by a neck in July in the Baltimore-Washington Turf Cup at Laurel Park.

 Sunday’s Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool Guaranteed                

    The Rainbow 6 gross jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $100,000 Sunday. The multi-race wager went unsolved today for the third day following last Saturday’s mandatory payout.
Thursday, June 16, 2022
Laurel ambulance joins moving efforts . . .

    LAUREL, MD – Having its own independent ambulance service, considered a rarity among U.S. thoroughbred racetracks, enabled the Maryland Jockey Club to quickly and effectively respond to a call for help from its elderly community.

    The MJC was among several companies that answered a request sent out by the Maryland State Office of Commercial Ambulances Licensing & Regulation in the early morning hours of June 14 following an explosion and resulting fire at the Larkin Chase Center senior care facility in Bowie, Md.

    Located about 35 minutes southeast of Laurel Park, where live racing is currently being conducted during a 37-day summer meet that began June 3, the Larkin Chase Center had 112 displaced residents that needed to be moved from an emergency holding area located in a city gymnasium across the street from the facility.

    Ryan Allen, a licensed paramedic and the MJC’s Director of Health & Safety, and MJC emergency medical technician Tony Posinski staffed the ambulance that was dispatched and ultimately able to move three individuals to nearby facilities.

     “Most tracks contract with AMR [American Medical Response] to provide ambulance service for them. We don’t contract with anybody. We run our own in-house ambulances. We own it, I operate it, and we’re registered with the state. We comply with all of the exact same rules as the commercial ambulance companies,” Allen said. “This call came out, and we had an ambulance available.”

    Allen said eight commercial ambulance companies from around the state, including the MJC, responded to the call.

    “The initial response was to get the residents out of that building, because they didn’t know how bad the damage to the building was,” Allen said. “It was really easy to move the residents into that gymnasium and hold them there, but obviously they can’t stay there very long. The call came out at about 7 a. m. and we had a unit there at about 10:30, which was pretty standard with all the responding units.”

    The MJC has an ambulance on the track during each of its live race days, which run Fridays through Sundays during the ongoing summer meet. The next live program is Friday, June 17.

    In his eighth year with the MJC, Allen said that Maryland is somewhat unique in that its ambulances are not regulated by the Department of Health as in most states, but report to a distinct governing body, the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems.

    “The idea was that we had the resources, we had the availability, and it was really fortunate that we were able to help get those people out and get them re-housed within about five hours,” he said. “We were able to provide some relief to them and their loved ones. We explained we were there to take care of them, get them re-housed to a temporary situation and get them safe and comfortable. I’m very glad that we were able to help them out with that. It was really easy for the MJC to be able to do it.”

Monday, June 13, 2022
New jackpot pool begins Friday . . .
    HALLANDALE BEACH - The mandatory payout of the Rainbow 6 jackpot pool yielded multiple $62,565 payoffs Sunday at Gulfstream Park.

    The multi-race wager had gone unsolved for 24 days, producing a carryover jackpot pool of $604,101 heading into Sunday’s mandatory payout, which generated $2,903,565 in handle on the Rainbow 6.

    The Rainbow 6 sequence spanned Races 9-14 on a 14-race program. The winning numbers were 2-7-7-3-2-12.

It will will start anew with a $50,000 gross jackpot pool guarantee on Friday’s 10-race program with a first-race post time set for 2:55 p.m.