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Gulfstream Today 12.7.2012
The Lead: Jockey Paco Lopez, who missed two days of riding after a fall on last Sunday's card, returned to action Friday in winning form, capturing three races, including his first two races back.
The two-time Gulfstream titlist (2009 and 2010), who sat out Wednesday's and Thursday's cards due to soreness, put his bad luck behind him in his very first race back, riding Cary Street ($5.20) to victory for trainer Lisa Lewis in the second race.
“I’m really happy to win my first race coming back from my fall on Sunday. I got hurt really bad, I thought it would be two, three weeks but the doctors said I was OK,” Lopez said. “I was really happy.”
Lopez came right back in the third race to ride 4-5 favorite Bull Dozer to an impressive win by two lengths, wearing down Abdel’s Ghost in the stretch.
Bull Dozer was claimed from owner Frank Calabrese by trainer Mike Maker for Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey for $62,500.
Luis Ramirez-trained Bull Dozer ($3.60) received a dream stalking trip under Lopez, completing six furlongs in 1:09 in the co-featured optional claiming allowance.
“I rode him last time. My position was really bad and we finished too late,” said Lopez of a third place finish in a Calder Stakes. “Today I got a good position and he finished up strong. He’s a really good horse.”
Lopez rode the winner of the last race on the nine-race card, scoring aboard Jose Pinchin-trained Forget That Gal ($8) after a ground-saving trip.
“It has been a little slow, but I’m lucky today,” said Lopez.
Who’s hot: Jockey Joel Rosario rode back-to-back winners in the seventh and eighth races to give him an early-season lead with eight winners, three more than Luis Saez. Rosario rode Twice Be Told ($4) to victory in the seventh before scoring aboard Tricky Hat ($15.60) in the eighth.
Twice Be Told gave trainer Ralph Nicks his 200th career victory.
Jockey Joe Rocco Jr. also scored back-to-back wins Friday. He won the fifth aboard Appealing Stella ($7.40) and the sixth aboard Political Courage ($14.80).
Carryovers: Rainbow 6 - $12,157
Super Hi 5 - $4,055