Drayden Van Dyke Back at Gulfstream
Friday, June 7, 2024
    HALLANDALE BEACH - Southern California-based jockey Drayden Van Dyke has answered trainer Saffie Joseph Jr.’s call and will switch his tack to Gulfstream Park for a 30-day stint. The 29-year-old jockey has one call Friday, four Saturday and another four Sunday, all for Gulfstream’s leading trainer.

    “Saffie and I have a relationship from about five years back when he had some horses for Slam Dunk Racing,” said Van Dyke’s agent Ryan Cosato, the son of Slam Dunk Racing’s managing partner Nick Cosato. “I worked for Slam Dunk Racing for about seven years out of college and I’ve been an agent for a year starting last August. Saffie reached out to me about two weeks ago and asked me if I still had Drayden’s book. He said he wanted to help and wanted to bring him out there.”

    Van Dyke took a self-imposed break from riding for three months last fall before returning to action in January at Santa Anita, where he has ridden two winners and 13 second-place finishers from 57 mounts.

    “I’ve never paid too close attention. I know what he’s accomplished, obviously. It just seems like he’s not doing any good out there. When it gets like that, you need a change,” Joseph said. “If I can help someone get their career going, why not help someone get going?”

    Van Dyke, the 2014 Eclipse Award-winning apprentice, ventures to Gulfstream with an extensive resume, including 67 graded-stakes victories. He rode Stormy Liberal to victory in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1). He also notched Grade 1 wins in the 2017 Malibu (G1) and 2018 Triple Bend (G1) aboard City of Light, who went on to win the 2019 Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream with Hall of Famer Javier Castellano aboard. In 2020, he rode Improbable for victories in the Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) and Awesome Again (G1).

    “We’ll bring him out there for about a month. If he does well, we’ll go from there. There’s no big announcement. We’re just giving it a try,” Cosato said.

    Van Dyke is named to ride Joseph-trained Southern Palace in Race 3 on Friday’s program. The 3-year-old daughter of Palace Malice will be making her debut in the mile-and-70-yard maiden special weight for 3-year-old fillies on Tapeta.
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