Borel to Start Riding at Gulfstream Next Week
By Brian Skirka
Three-time Kentucky Derby winning rider Calvin Borel, the regular pilot of 2-year-old Champion Street Sense and Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, will make Gulfstream Park his home base for the 2011-2012 meet, according to his agent Jerry Hissam.
After spending this weekend at the Fair Grounds, the 45-year-old journeyman will likely begin riding at Gulfstream on Thursday, December 22.
“He rides five in New Orleans on Saturday,” Hissam said. “And after that, we’re on our way to Gulfstream. He’ll ride there all meet with the exception of when we ship out to ride in stakes.”
Hissam says that Borel will ride primarily for trainers Ian Wilkes, Buff Bradley and Pat Byrne, plus “whatever else I can drum up.”
“We’ve already ridden some horses for those trainers that we think can develop into nice ones,” Hissam said. “We’re coming to Gulfstream because we don’t want to lose them.”
The Wilkes-trained Motor City is expected to be stabled in South Florida this winter. In his most recent start, the 2-year-old colt by Street Sense captured the Iroquois (G3) at Churchill Downs with Borel as the pilot.
Gardenia (G3) winner Groupie Doll has already joined Bradley’s stable at Gulfstream Park and is expected to have Borel aboard for her next start. The 3-year-old filly by Bowman’s Band was also second in this year’s $400,000 Charles Town Oaks and Raven Run (G2).
Another horse Hissam hopes Borel will be able to pick up the mount on is graded-stakes-placed Take Charge Indy, most recently fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) for trainer Byrne.
“Ian Wilkes will be our main client this winter,” Hissam said. “I believe he has about 50 to 70 horses stabled down here. But we’ll have plenty of other opportunities as well. We’re both excited about getting down there.”