Gulfstream Today 9-2-13
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Apprentice jockey Christina Rodriguez got off to a triumphant start at Gulfstream Park Monday, scoring a gate-to-wire victory aboard Ridge Kitten ($15) in the fifth race.
Aboard her very first local mount, the 20-year-old California native hand rode the Dennis Ward-trained mare to a half-length victory.
“The horse did everything,” said Rodriguez, who has been galloping horses at Gulfstream in the mornings in preparation for her first local appearance. “She ran an excellent race. It was great.”
The victory was the third of her young career. The California native, who rode show horses when she was younger, scored her first career victory at Laurel last year and added another trip to the winner’s circle at Penn National earlier this year.
While Rodriguez was making her local debut, 61-year-old W.G. De’Oliveira, who has been riding sparingly in recent years, was returning to action in the fifth race after more than a year away.
When asked recently if he felt strong enough to ride, De'Oliveira immediately dropped to the ground in Gulfstream Park's jockey's room and proceeded to do 10 pushups...using only his index fingers while crossing his ankles.
Fit? Very fit.
De'Oliveira, who spends his mornings exercise riding, finished seventh in the field of eight aboard Believeinthemoment, a 62-1 outsider.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1952, De'Oliveira has ridden more than 2,000 horses in a career that started in 1991. De'Oliveira's best year riding was 1992 when he won 75 races and his mounts earned $829,061. De'Oliveira was a bit of a fan favorite in South Florida during the summer months because of his style of riding - sitting very low in the saddle, usually coming from behind, and smiling at the photo finish camera.
WHO’S HOT: Apprentice jockey Edgar Zayas rode a pair of winners on Monday's card, capturing the fourth race with She's Spooky ($6.20) and the seventh aboard Three Part Harmony ($15.20). His second victory gave him a one-win lead in the jockey standings over Jilver Chamafi and Jonathan Gonzales. After Chamafi's triumph on Heiko in the $100,000 The Vid Monday, he and Chamafi ended the day tied for the lead with 20 wins each.
Rainbow 6 Carryover: $4,002.56
Super Hi-5 Carryover: $1,483.80