Rising Star jockey Tyler Gaffalione will return to his roots at Gulfstream Park Sept. 28 to ride Chance It in the $400,000 In Reality, the final leg of the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes Series for 2-year-old colts and geldings.
“The owner wanted to make a change and Tyler is going to ride him in the In Reality,” said trainer Saffie Joseph Jr, who trains the son of Currency Swap for Shooting Star Thoroughbreds LLC.
Chance It won the first leg of the FSS series for juveniles sired by nominated Florida stallions, scoring by 3 ¼ lengths over Liam's Lucky Charm in the $100,000 Dr. Fager at six furlongs. The son of Currency Swap lost to Liam's Lucky Charm by a head after a stirring stretch duel in the $200,000 Affirmed, the second leg that was contested over seven furlongs. Summer Meet leading rider Edgard Zayas was aboard for both races, as well as a 9 ½-length maiden romp in his previous race.
The In Reality will be contested around two turns at 1 1/16 miles.
“I've got a ton of respect for Liam's Lucky Charm; both these colts are head and shoulders above the rest of the crop. It's kind of a pity that they're the same age,” Joseph said. “I'm excited to run him back in 13 days, and I feel confident he'll be able to handle the distance.”
Chance It breezed five furlongs in 59.31 seconds Sunday morning at Gulfstream. Jalon Samuel was aboard for the breeze, which was the fastest of 11 recorded at the distance.
“I'm really happy where we're at. He came out of the race good and I feel even better about things after watching him work today,” Joseph said.
Gaffalione, a native of nearby Davie, FL, rode his first winner (Holdin Bullets) at Gulfstream on his third career mount Sept. 7, 2014 and won the Eclipse Award as North America's top apprentice jockey in 2015. Gaffalione finished fourth in the 2018-2019 Championship Meet at Gulfstream with 70 wins before venturing to the Kentucky and New York circuits. He experienced a career highlight when he guided War of Will to victory in this year's Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course.
Zayas was aboard the Joseph-trained Math Wizard for a five-furlong breeze Sunday morning in preparation for a possible start in the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) at Parx next Saturday or the Oklahoma Derby (G3) at Remington Park Sept. 28.
Math Wizard, who finished fourth in the Wood Memorial (G2), second in the Ohio Derby (G3) and third in the Indiana Derby (G3), has been idle since finishing sixth in the Aug. 3 West Virginia Derby (G3)..
“He breezed good. It was a very strong work. We're looking at the Pennsylvania Derby or Oklahoma Derby,” Joseph said. “He's had a hard campaign and the time was right to freshen him up. This was his best work yet since coming back.”
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