Reyes Bags No. 500 at Gulfstream
Monday, May 30, 2022
    HALLANDALE BEACH - Jockey Leonel Reyes rode his 500th winner in the U.S. in style Sunday, guiding Republique, a half-sister to 2021 Preakness (G1) winner Rombauer, to a thoroughly professional triumph in the Race 9 feature at Gulfstream Park.

    “Thank God and all the owners who have helped me,” Reyes said. “I’m so happy. I had records in Venezuela but 500 in the U.S. makes me proud.”

    John and Jane Fradkin’s Republique, who graduated in her debut over Gulfstream’s Tapeta surface at 5 ½ furlongs April 14, came right back to win around two turns on the all-weather surface Sunday. The homebred daughter of Strong Mandate pressed the pace before taking over on the turn into the homestretch and going on to score by a length.

    “She’s a good filly. She got good position and when I asked her, she ran strong to the end,” Reyes said.

    Trained by Saffie Joseph Jr., Republic ran a mile and 70 yards in 1:41.35.

    The 35-year-old journeyman, a two-time national champion in Venezuela, ventured to the U.S. in 2016 and has established himself as a year-round force in Gulfstream Park’s jockey colony.

    Reyes, who scored his first victory in the U.S. aboard Virgen Morena March 23, 2016, was a nine-time titlist at National Racetrack Valencia. He rode more than 1400 winners in Venezuela before relocating to South Florida.
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