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Gulfstream Park News & Notes

Sep 17, 2015

Jockey Nik Juarez Starts New Chapter At Gulfstream

Bourbon (G3) at Keeneland Next for Cajun Schill

Burgers, Beer & Bourbon Part of Sire Stakes Finals

 

HALLANDALE, FL – Jockey Nik Juarez, currently tied for third in wins at Monmouth Park with 44, has moved his tack to South Florida and will ride his first race at Gulfstream Park later this afternoon aboard Starship Senorita in the last race on the 10-race card.

Juarez, a native of Maryland who won his first race in December of 2013 and lost his apprentice allowance August 26, has moved to South Florida to ride through the fall and establish himself before the Championship Meet, which begins Dec. 5.

“We were going well at Monmouth, but I wasn’t sure what to do after that,” Juarez said. “My options were New York or Maryland. But when [agent] Jay [Rushing] talked about taking my book for the winter it was an opportunity I wanted to take. [Trainer] Marcus Vitali, who gave me an opportunity not only to ride my first stakes winner but first graded stakes [Valid], said he would ride me at Gulfstream.”

Vitali calls Juarez “the real deal.”

“The kid can ride,” he added.

Juarez, whose first mount at Gulfstream today will be for Joe Orseno and who will ride this weekend for Vitali and Carlo Vaccarezza, said he wants to try and establish himself before the Championship Meet.

“I wanted to come down early and try to get business going and, hopefully, make some connections, get my foot in the door, and get moving in the right direction ,” he said. “Personally, I want to further my career. To be in the same room with the best jockeys in the world, to see them riding in the morning and afternoon, it’s the best experience you can get.

Bourbon (G3) at Keeneland Next for Cajun Schill

Teresa and David Palmer’s Cajun Schill is being pointed to the $250,000 Bourbon (G3) at Keeneland Oct. 4 with an eye toward the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.

The 2-year-old son of Artie Schiller, who graduated by 5 ½ lengths in his turf debut at Gulfstream Park July 12, captured the $300,000 Calumet Farm Juvenile at Kentucky Downs Sept. 5.

“He’s a super-duper horse. He’s a real McCoy horse on turf,” trainer Bill Kaplan said. “We’ll probably be going back up to Keeneland for the ‘Win & You’re In’ grass race.’”

The winner of the Bourbon will earn a fees-paid entry into the Juvenile Turf, scheduled for Friday, Oct. 30.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t do really good,” said Kaplan, who saddled Musical Romance for a victory in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Churchill Downs.

Cajun Schill finished a late-closing third in his debut at 4 ½ furlongs on dirt at Gulfstream June 5. The Kentucky-bred colt checked in second in an off-the-turf 5-furlong race June 22, before breaking through with an eye-catching victory in his turf debut in which he earned a trip to Kentucky Downs. In his stakes debut, Cajun Schill made a sweeping move from far back to score by 1 ¾ lengths.

“He circled the field and started playing once he got the lead. He made that (class) leap so easily up there,” Kaplan said.

Artie Schiller captured the 2005 Breeders’ Cup Mile over the Belmont Park turf course.

Burgers, Beer & Bourbon Part of Sire Stakes Finals

The finals of the 2015 Florida Sire Stakes Saturday, Oct. 3 will not only feature a program featuring $1.75 million in stakes - including the $500,000 In Reality and $500,000 My Dear Girl for 2-year-olds - but the third Summer Soiree event featuring Beer, Bourbon and Burgers.

The event, to be held in Ten Palms Restaurant overlooking the track between 1-5 p.m. will give guests a chance to sample international beers, gourmet burgers and top-shelf bourbons. Tickets can be purchased at the north box office for $25 per person and include a $2 betting voucher and program. Post time for the first race is 12:45 p.m.




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