Italian Champion Rides first U. S. Winner at Gulfstream Park

Italian Champion Rides first U. S. Winner at Gulfstream Park


Cristian Demuro, the young Italian champion jockey, scored his first victory in the U.S. Sunday at Gulfstream Park, guiding favored Holdin Bullets to a two-length victory in the second-race.

The 20-year-old, who rode 264 winners in Italy the past year, is scheduled to ride at Gulfstream for a month and a half before riding in Japan for three months.

“I’m happy. This is my first win in USA. Gulfstream Park is a good track, and I’m happy for this. Wesley Ward is a good trainer and gave me a good chance to win,” Demuo said. “I’m happy.”

Holdin Bullets, the 8-5 favorite trained by Wesley Ward, broke alertly under Demuro to set the pace, challenged on his inside by Niam’s Strike. The eventual winner took the eight-horse field of $20,000-$15,000 claimers into the stretch, finally shaking a stubborn Niam’s Strike and posting a clear victory.

“The horse is fantastic, very fast. I was in first position and after the first corner, I go,” said Demuro, who rode in Dubai and Japan last winter.

Demuro, who’ll be represented by agent Ron Anderson at Gulfstream, is the younger brother of five-time Italian champion Mirco Demuro, who ride Victoire Pisa to victory in the $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1) in 2011.

Demuro, who began riding in Italy at age 16 after attending Pisa Racing School, has fashioned a riding style similar to international star Frankie Dettori.

“It’s Italian, American and English,” Demuro said. “It’s many styles.”