Born: Santurce, Puerto Rico
Racing background: Bocachica, 31, rode in Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania after immigrating to the U.S. in 2000 before becoming a leading rider at Suffolk Downs, winning a meet title in 2009. He was brought to South Florida by trainer Marcus Vitali in 2010 and had an immediate impact at Gulfstream, taking the first race of the 2011 Champions meet as well as a pair of triple digit winners in Joes Blazing Aaron ($148.60) and Knockinelder ($120). Joes Blazing Aaron gave Bocachica his first graded stakes win in the 2011 Palm Beach (G3), and on Feb. 8 he earned his first Grade 1 triumph with Lochte in the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap. Won his 1,000th career race on Oct. 20, 2013 at Calder.
Crossed Sabres Farm
Residence: New Hampshire
Racing/professional background: A native of Fairfield, CT, Vogel has been around horses “all my life,” and got into Thoroughbred racing approximately nine years ago. She currently has approximately 75 horses, whether in training or as weanlings, yearlings or mares. Vogel keeps yearlings on her property in New Hampshire, and currently has horses with trainers John Hertler, Dale Romans, Jeff Runco and Marcus Vitali. Owned the Romans-trained Pick of the Litter, who finished sixth in the 2013 Florida Derby and third in the Lexington (G3). Among her current stable is Lochte, who captured the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1) on Feb. 8 in his stakes debut for Vitali and was second in the Kilroe Mile (G1) at Santa Anita on March 8.
Marcus J. Vitali
Born: Pawtucket, RI
Residence: Hallandale, FL
Racing background: A mainstay in New England, Vitali, 52, saddled his first horse at Rockingham Park and won his first race at Marshfield Fair. He first came to Gulfstream in 1982 but left without saddling a horse when the horse he brought got sick. He returned to Suffolk Downs where he has established himself as one of the track’s leading trainers, winning multiple meet titles. Vitali was encouraged by some of his longtime owners to give South Florida another try, and he has been a winter resident since 2010. Lochte gave the trainer his first graded stakes victory when he won the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (G1) on Feb. 8; the horse subsequently ran second in the Kilroe Mile (G1) at Santa Anita on March 8. Vitali’s mother, Jean, still owns a 200-unit moble home park that abuts the former Narragansett Park property in Rhode Island, where his father had horses with trainer Eddie Vashey. He had a brief turn as a jockey in his teens before giving it up due to weight issues.
Cindy Falter, Jenny Moyer & Sarah Wrather