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Gonzales Back Where He Belongs in Gulfstream Winner’s Circle

May 23, 2021
Prominent Jockey Makes It Back from Injury, COVID-19 Protocols

– Jonathan Gonzales, a prominent member of the South Florida jockey colony before being derailed by injury and the COVID-19 pandemic, returned to the Gulfstream Park winner’s circle Sunday after an absence of a year and a half.

“I’ve worked hard for this, but I need to keep working hard,” Gonzales said after guiding Fiery Princess ($12.80) to a Race 3 victory on the fourth mount of his comeback. “I feel very happy.”

Due to COVID-19 protocols put in place at Gulfstream, jockeys did not have access to the backstretch to gallop or breeze horses. Gonzales opted to place his career as a jockey on hold to work full time as an exercise rider while working his way back into top physical condition.

“I had an accident in 2019. I broke my elbow. When I came back business was slow and then there was the pandemic,” he said. “I was galloping until now.”

Gonzales, who captured the inaugural Summer Meet title at Gulfstream in 2013 as an apprentice, scored his 510th career victory Sunday aboard Fiery Princess, who graduated with an off-the-place victory in a six-furlong maiden claiming race for fillies and mares. He finished with a 20-percent winning percentage in two of his first five years of riding.    

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