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Gaffalione Rides Four Winners to Open Second Full Week; Tapitation Extends Win Streak to Three in Wednesday Feature; Rainbow 6, Super Hi-5 Carryovers Thursday

Dec 16, 2015

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – A year after being the leading apprentice rider at the Championship Meet, jockey Tyler Gaffalione is looking to parlay that success as a journeyman this winter.

Born and raised in nearby Davie, Fla., the 21-year-old Gaffalione rode four winners on Wednesday’s 10-race card to kick off the second full week of the Championship Meet. He was first with Ausable ($15.40) in the third race before reeling off three straight victories with Doublebolt ($25.80) in the fifth, Rose Graciela ($6) in the sixth and Not Welcome ($5.40) in the seventh.

Represented by agent Walter Blum Jr., Gaffalione’s wins have all come since he was dumped at the starting gate prior to the fifth race Dec. 9. He took the next day off with a bruised knee and returned with four victories over the weekend, including Cali Star's triumph in the Rampart (G3).

“Everything’s been clicking. The trainers sent everything over here ready to run today and I couldn’t do it without the horse,” said Gaffalione, who won riding titles at Gulfstream's spring and summer meetings. “My agent has been working really hard for this meet. We’ve been really trying to get a head start on some of the guys coming in and I think it’s helped us a little bit. Hopefully we can keep things going the way they are and we’ll see how it goes.”

Gaffalione was ninth overall with 32 wins and ranked 13th with $813,670 in purse earnings during the 2014-15 Championship Meet. He has 212 wins on the year, 182 of them before losing his apprentice weight allowance in October, making him a top candidate for the Eclipse Award, which will be handed out Jan. 16 at Gulfstream.

“It’s nice, of course. Anything like that is such an honor to be even mentioned in that conversation. As far as the Eclipse Awards, if it happens, it happens. If not, I’ve had a great year. I’m very proud of what we accomplished,” Gaffalione said. “So far I feel pretty good. I feel like I’ve been holding my own here and proved that I can compete with these guys given the opportunity. We’ll see where this takes us.”

Tapitation Extends Win Streak to Three in Wednesday Feature

After breaking last and weaving his way through the field, Whisper Hill Farm’s Tapitation outfought Arghad down the stretch to win Wednesday’s ninth race, a $41,000 allowance going 1 1/16 miles on the turf course.

It was the third straight win for the 4-year-old son of Tapit since being gelded and returning from a 14-month layoff in September. Favored at 6-5 in a field of 12, Tapitation ($4.40) completed the distance in 1:46.32 to win by a nose.

Who’s Hot: Four-time defending Championship Meet leading rider Javier Castellano picked up two victories Wednesday, with Mom’z Laugh ($5) in the fourth race and Tapitation ($4.40) in the ninth. Tapitation is trained by Ralph Nicks, who also won with Doublebolt ($25.80) in the fifth.

Rainbow 6 Carryover: $51,621.08

Super Hi-5 Carryover: $2,905.29

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