Thursday, December 5, 2019
HALLANDALE BEACH - Jockey Tyler Gaffalione registered his first victory of the 2019-2020 Championship Meet aboard 1-2 favorite Durlyn in Thursday’s seventh race at Gulfstream Park. After spending the past several months riding primarily in Kentucky with a summer sojourn to Saratoga, the 25-year-old native of nearby Davie is happy to be home for the winter.
“It’s really nice to be back home," Gaffalione said upon his return. "It’s been a great summer and fall but it’s nice to come home and see my family and enjoy the nice weather. It’s been pretty cold in Kentucky so I’m definitely enjoying all this. I’m just looking forward to the meet and riding some nice horses, hopefully.”
Represented by Matt Muzikar, Gaffalione tied for second at both the Keeneland spring and fall meets, each with 14 wins; amassed 24 wins and $1.5 million in purse earnings at Churchill Downs’ fall stand; and had 12 victories – two in graded-stakes – and nearly $1.3 million in purses earned in his first full summer at Saratoga.
Of his 14 graded stakes wins this year, 10 have come since the 2018-19 Championship Meet ended topped by his first Triple Crown victory with War of Will in the Preakness Stakes on May 18. Most recently, he won the Gr. I Matriarch at Del Mar with Get Stormy on Dec. 1.
“I’m just very blessed, very fortunate," Gaffalione said. "I have a great agent and he finds me good horses to ride. I’ve been able to ride for some good connections, the owners, trainers and some really nice horses. Hopefully we can just keep building on everything and we’re looking forward to a good winter.”
Gaffalione was fourth in wins (70) and sixth in purses ($3.2 million) at last winter’s Championship Meet, after ranking third in wins in both 2017-18 (87) and 2016-17 (62), with respective earnings of $4.039 million and $2.28 million
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