Morelos Rides First U. S. Winner
Sunday, April 4, 2021
    HALLANDALE BEACH -  A rising star in Panama, jockey Jose Morelos rode his first U. S. winner today at Gulfstream Park. 

    The 20-year-old jockey, who had ridden 503 winners in Panama after launching his career at the age of 16, guided Wild Cat West ($12.40) to victory in Race 5, a mile maiden race for $12,500 claimers.

    “I’m very grateful to the trainer for giving me the opportunity,” Morelos said through an interpreter. “I’m looking forward to a lot of better things to come in the future.”

    Morelos saved ground aboard the Luis Ramirez trainee while rating behind a contested pace into the homestretch turn. Wildcat Cat West, who lacked room entering the stretch, was taken four wide for the stretch drive, and the son of Mineshaft kicked in through the stretch to graduate by a neck

    Morelos’ victory came on his 10th mount since his U.S. debut April 1. Jay Rushing is his agent.


    Chantal Sutherland reacquainted herself with the Gulfstream Park winner’s circle after riding Mona Stella to a comfortable victory in theRace 6 feature, a 1 1/16-mile optional claiming allowance on turf for 3-year-old Florida-bred fillies. Sutherland connected for her first victory on her fifth mount since relocating to Gulfstream for the Spring/Summer Meet.

    “I’ve gotten a lot of positive energy from people and I’m grateful to the people who are supporting me,” said Sutherland, who rode at Gulfstream in 2006 before going onto achieve considerable success in Southern California. “There’s no more beautiful place to ride than here.”

    Mona Stella ($6.60) is owned by Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Andie Biancone and trainer Patrick Biancone.

    Sutherland , who saved ground aboard Mona Stella while racing directly behind pacesetter Big Band Luzzian into the stretch, eased the daughter of Will Take Charge off the rail for the stretch drive. Mona Stella, who had graduated in her second career start on Sept. 29 before going to the sidelines to have a chip removed, kicked in through the stretch to score by 2 ¾ lengths.

    “I think this is a nice filly,” Sutherland said. “She only won a maiden race [before Sunday] but this was really impressive.”

    Sutherland has won 1,084 races, including multiple Gr. 1 victories aboard Game On Dude in 2001.

    The 20-cent Rainbow 6 jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $500,000 for Thursday’s program.
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