Jockey Edgard Zayas, out of action since Nov. 20 when he fractured his left index finger during a racing mishap at Gulfstream Park West, announced his return Thursday by winning the first race on the 40-1 longshot La Rusia.
“It was a great way of coming back,” said the popular Zayas.
Zayas has been a perennial leading rider in South Florida and won the Gulfstream summer meet title. In his winning return Thursday, Zayas rated La Rusia off a pedestrian :25.19 and :49.83 pace before going by the pacesetter Omi Ten at the head of the stretch.
La Rusia, trained by Amador Sanchez, returned $90.20.
“This filly broke really good,” Zayas said. “That was our only concern, sometimes she breaks a little slow. She broke so good and sat right off the pace. It was a nice way to come back.”
While Zayas was returning from a layoff, Great Britain's champion apprentice Cieren Fallon made his Gulfstream debut in the second race aboard favored What's to Blame. Unfortunately for Fallon, he never got by the pacesetter and winner Scribe, who held off Fallon and What's to Blame under jockey Emisael Jaramillo.
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