Jockey Nik Juarez and agent Jay Rushing are making plans to be based at Gulfstream Park during the spring and summer meets for the first time.
The 24-year-old Maryland native, who has ridden 29 winners during the Championship Meet, has been based at Monmouth Park during the past few years during the spring and summer months. Last year, he won the riding title with 75 winners at the New Jersey racetrack, where he finished second in 2016 with 69 winners.
“I think there is more opportunity to ride here with more racing days in the week, as opposed to Monmouth, where in May and June there will only be two days a week. July they go to three. August they go to four, but they're done by Sept. 9,” Juarez said. “It took a lot for me and my agent Jay Rushing to consider, but being down here with more racing days a week and the more money they're going to have here, I think it will be a more stable location with year-round racing.”
Juarez, who has a house in South Florida, said he put on 37,000 miles on his car last year from driving to other Mid-Atlantic and New York tracks on Monmouth's dark days.
“It was a big decision to make because we won the title last year at Monmouth,” Juarez said. “But, like I said, it's a more stable situation here for me and my agent.”
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