Jockey Tyler Gaffalione notched the 1000th winner of his career in Sunday's eighth race at Gulfstream Park, scoring aboard first-time starter Mission From Elle ($17) in a maiden special weight for 2-year-old fillies at one mile on turf.
“It's such a blessing, especially to have it here. I grew up here. This is home track,” the Davie, FL native said. “I just want to thank all the owners, trainers, horses and, of course my agent, for getting me here.”
The 24-year-old rising star rode his first winner Gulfstream Park on his third career mount (Holdin Bullets) Sept. 7, 2014 and has gone on to win several riding titles at the Hallandale Beach track. After winning this year's Summer Meet title, he rode full-time in Kentucky for the first time and went on to win the fall riding titles at both Keeneland and Churchill Downs.
Gaffalione scored Win No. 999 in Sunday's third race aboard Miss Marcela ($12.40) before delivering a textbook ride aboard the Brendan Walsh-trained Mission From Elle, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Noble Mission. Away alertly from the No. 10 post, Mission From Elle was positioned directly behind pacesetter Payntdembluesaway while saving ground along the backstretch and around the turn. Gaffalione found room inside the tiring pacesetter in the stretch and his mount responded willingly to his urging to draw clear to the finish line.
Gaffalione rode 217 winners in 2015 to earn the Eclipse Award as North America's outstanding apprentice jockey. He rode four winners on his first day as a journeyman at Gulfstream Park West Oct. 11, 2015 and went on to ride 208 winners in his first year as a journeyman in 2016, 295 winners in 2017, including a record-tying seven winners July 4, 2017 at Gulfstream. His 1000th career win was his 253rd score of 2018.
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