Gulfstream Plans for Big Sire Stakes/College Days Program Saturday
Ritvo Moving Tack North
Friday's Rainbow 6 Guaranteed Pool at $150,000, Super Hi 5 Carryover $4,775
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Gulfstream Park will have a special 12:50p.m. post time Saturday to accommodate a full, 12-race card and a spectacular day of racing and race-day activities.
With an average of 12.25 starters per race, Gulfstream Park boasts the largest fields in North American thoroughbred racing. Headlining Saturday’s card will be the $250,000 Affirmed and $250,000 Susan’s Girl stakes, the second legs of the Florida Sire Stakes series, being held at Gulfstream for the first time this year. The top two finishers from each of the opening legs of the series, the $100,000 Dr. Fager and $100,000 Desert Vixen stakes, will return for the Affirmed and Susan’s Girl, including Jacks or Better Farm’s Sing Praises, emphatic winner of the Dr. Fager who is already a two-time stakes winner after just three career starts.
In addition to the Florida Sire Stakes, Saturday will also feature College Day, an afternoon in which Gulfstream will play host to the area’s brightest college students from local universities such as the University of Miami, Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University, and Barry University. Those in attendance will have access to live music, an all-you-can-eat barbeque buffet, drawings for gift cards to college bookstores valued at $250.00, food and beverage discounts, and a chance to tour the track grounds and experience what it’s like to be in the winner’s circle after winning a race. A mixer will also take place under Gulfstream’s tiki hut, and racetrack ambassadors will be on hand to educate and familiarize attendees with the sport of horse racing. Tickets to the event cost $20.00 at the door.
Saturday is sure to be an action-packed day full of sensational racing. Florida’s most talented 2-year-olds will be showcased, and a new era of millennial-generation fans will be introduced to the world-class facilities at Gulfstream. Of course, there will also be an opportunity to wager on Gulfstream’s popular 20-cent Rainbow Six bet, currently with a $150,000 guaranteed jackpot with the potential to grow should carryovers occur.
Apprentice Ritvo to Move Tack North
After beginning his racing career at Gulfstream and riding his first 30 winners in Hallandale, apprentice jockey Michael Ritvo will move his tack north this week to contest the fall and winter racing circuits in the northeast.
Ritvo, who is currently Gulfstream’s sixth-leading rider at its summer meeting, plans to contest the meets at Delaware Park, Laurel Park, and Philadelphia Park, among others. He will ride his first card Wednesday at Delaware, where he is entered aboard two mounts for trainers Gary Katz and Randy Nunley.
“There’s going to be a lot of opportunity here (at Gulfstream), but there’s going to be even more up there,” Ritvo said. “I’ll be able to ride seven days a week, six days a week, day and night. I want to win a lot of races and show everybody what I’ve got and do a lot of what I’ve done here.”
Ritvo earned his first career win at Gulfstream on March 23 of this year, a front-running victory aboard Little Dreams Racing’s Little Daniella. In the five months since, the 20-year-old has posted 29 additional victories. His most successful day came on August 2, when he won four races on Gulfstream’s Sunday card. He is currently finishing in the top three in 41% of his races, fourth best among Gulfstream jockeys with at least 100 starts.
“I’ve learned so much down here,” Ritvo said. “If I could take one thing away, it would be to just stay safe. Just ride your race, look out for those around you, and look out for yourself. That’s the name of the game, really.”
Ritvo will be represented by agent Mark Mace in the northeast, an area that Ritvo knows well despite not having raced there. He first learned to gallop horses in the Philadelphia area last year and spent much of the winter honing his skills there. He is also aware of the many successful jockeys whose careers took off after riding at Laurel Park. Chris McCarron and Kent Desormeaux are just two Hall of Fame riders who rode regularly at the Maryland track.
“I’ve always wanted to go up north,” Ritvo said. “They love the bug at Laurel. They use the bug constantly. I can name so many riders that came up from there, like Ramon Dominguez, [Edgar] Prado, everybody.”
Ritvo fittingly got a winner on his last day in Hallandale; he rode Quiz Whiz ($4.60) to a dominant eight–length victory in the sixth race on Gulfstream’s Labor Day card.
Who's Hot: Leading jockey Edgard Zayas won two more races Monday, making it nine consecutive days he has won multiple races. Zayas won the first race with Who Is This Lady ($7.80) and the last with Laws of the City ($4.20).
Rainbow Six Carryover: $150,000
Super Hi 5 Carryover: $4,775.43