Jockey Tyler Gaffalione rode his 2,000th Winner Friday at Gulfstream Park, where his riding career began back in 2014.
The 28-year-old Florida native had closed to within one Victory of 2000 Wins in Friday’s third Race aboard TEMERITY ($8) before reaching the milestone aboard MEGACITY ($10) in Race 6.
“I feel so blessed. I just want to thank the people who have gotten me to this point, all the people who put in numerous hours in the mornings to make my job easier,” Gaffalione said. “I love what I do. I love being here. It couldn’t have happened at a better place, my home track.”
Gaffalione broke his riding maiden on only his third mount- HOLDIN’ BULLETS back on September 5th, 2014 at Gulfstream. He has enjoyed considerable success right from the start, being honored with an Eclipse Award for the Outstanding Apprentice Jockey in 2015.
“I was a little worried we weren’t going to get it done today and then we’re going out of town tomorrow,” said Gaffalione, who is scheduled to ride at Fair Grounds Saturday. “But it all worked out.”
Gaffalione went on to notch Win No. 2001 aboard CONCRETE GLORY ($5.20) in the 9th.
Gaffalione, whose father and grandfather were jockeys, is coming off a career-best 2022 season, during which he Won seven Grade 1 races, including the $1 million dollar Florida Derby (G1) aboard WHITE ABARRIO.
He also Won his first two Breeders’ Cup races with WONDER WHEEL in the Juvenile Fillies (G1) and CARAVEL in the Turf Sprint (G1).
The trainer of WONDER WHEEL– Mark Casse provided Gaffalione with his first success in a Triple Crown race- when he rode 2019 Preakness Stakes (G1) Winner WAR OF WILL.
Gaffalione has established himself as one of Florida’s most dominant jockeys for the past several years annually ranking among the top riders during Gulfstream’s Championship Meet.
Junior Alvarado is sitting on 1999 Wins heading into Saturday’s card, on which he has eight scheduled mounts, including HOT BLOODED in the $75,0000 Sunshine Sprint.
It’s a safe bet to say Junior gets Win number 2,000 (at least) on Saturday. So congratulations to both Tyler and Junior.