Tyler Gaffalione

Gaffalione Secures Fourth Straight Churchill Riding Title

With one day of racing remaining at the spring meet, jockey Tyler Gaffalione secured his fourth-straight title at Churchill Downs and fifth overall. Through 37 days of racing, the 26-year-old recorded 47 wins from 215 starters. He led second-place Ricardo Santana, Jr. by 17 wins at the end of Friday's card. "We've been extremely fortunate to ride some top-class horses this meet," Gaffalione said. "It's been a wild meet overall but very successful. I'm very grateful to everyone who helped me get to this point." Following Saturday's closing day card,...

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Busy Saturday Beneath the Twin Spires

With just two weeks remaining to the running of the GI Kentucky Derby, the Saturday worktab at Churchill Downs was dotted with the names of top sophomores headed towards the first jewel of racing's Triple Crown. Godolphin's reigning Eclipse Award-winning juvenile colt and 'TDN Rising Star' Essential Quality (Tapit) took to the Churchill main track at 5:15 a.m. with big-race rider Luis Saez in from Keeneland to put the colt through his paces. The homebred went five furlongs in :59.60 after breaking off about a length behind 4-year-old stablemate Spa...

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'Rising Star' Prevalence Stays Unbeaten in Gulfstream Allowance

8th-Gulfstream, $45,000, Alw (NW1$X)/Opt. Clm ($75,000), 3-11, 3yo, 1m, 1:35.82, ft, 3 lengths. PREVALENCE (c, 3, Medaglia d'Oro--Enrichment, by Ghostzapper), arguably the flashiest debut winner of 2021 thus far, backed up his huge first-out victory with a more workmanlike allowance tally Thursday at Gulfstream in what could serve as a springboard to an April GI Kentucky Derby prep for the Godolphin homebred. Unveiled as a 34-5 proposition in a loaded-looking maiden race going seven panels here Jan. 23, the bay survived a host of pace pressers and burst away in...

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A New Heir to War Front's Throne at Claiborne

War Front is undoubtedly heralded as one of America's top turf sires, but Claiborne's Bernie Sams said he finds any stereotype that the stallion is solely a grass producer is unjustifiable. "I think War Front has been labeled to some extent as a turf sire, but unfairly so because he got his start with dirt stakes winners," he said. "Then a lot of people started breeding to him and taking a lot of them to Europe. He probably is equally as good on dirt as he is on turf, if...

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Gaffalione, Cox & M and M Racing Top Keeneland Fall Meet Standings

Keeneland's fall meet concluded Saturday with jockey Tyler Gaffalione, trainer Brad Cox and Mike Sisk's M and M racing topping the standings in their respective categories. Gaffalione was the clear leader in the rider standings with 24 victories, including a win aboard Got Stormy (Get Stormy) in the GIII Buffalo Trace Franklin County S. Cox edged out Mike Maker and Steve Asmussen on the final day of the meet, scoring 15 wins, highlighted by Essential Quality's (Tapit) victory in the GI Claiborne Breeders' Futurity S. Earning its first title, M...

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Nyquist Filly Too Tough in Keeneland Maiden

7th-Keeneland, $69,943, Msw, 10-17, 2yo, f, 7f, 1:29.66, ft, 1 1/2 lengths. THINKING (f, 2, Nyquist--Critikal Reason {SP}, by Aptitude) was rated a 4-1 chance to improve off a debut sixth to next-out GIII Matron S. victrix Royal Approval (Tiznow) at Kentucky Downs Sept. 9 and made a successful transition to the main track to graduate at second asking Saturday at Keeneland. One of the first into stride from her high draw, Thinking raced in a share of third and three wide down the backstretch before and chased outside dueling...

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Got Stormy Up In Time in Franklin County

Making just her second lifetime appearance in a true one-turn race and trying a distance as short as 5 1/2 furlongs for the first time in career start number 25, the classy Got Stormy (Get Stormy) needed every inch of the Keeneland stretch, but was shoved across the line by Tyler Gaffalione to win Friday's GIII Buffalo Trace Franklin County S. Got Stormy broke outward at the start, bothering Chalon (Dialed In) to her outside, and settled near the back of the field through the opening exchanges. Not rushed into...

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Gaffalione Agent Responds to McPeek Criticism

The finger pointing over Tyler Gaffalione's decision not to ride Swiss Skydiver (Daredevil) in the GI Preakness S. continued Thursday when Gaffalione's agent Matt Muzikar said trainer Ken McPeek's version of the events was "nowhere near the truth." On this week's edition of the TDN Writers' Room podcast, McPeek sharply criticized both Muzikar and Gaffalione, claiming that the two reneged on an agreement to ride the filly in the Preakness. "I announced that we're going to run in the Preakness and Tyler was on board," McPeek said on the podcast....

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Kenny McPeek Lets Loose On TDN Writers' Room

It takes a certain kind of personality to enter a filly against the boys in a leg of the Triple Crown, and Kenny McPeek showed all of that personality on Wednesday's TDN Writers' Room podcast presented by Keeneland. Calling in via Zoom as the Green Group Guest of the Week, McPeek talked about his successful, outside-the-box campaign of Peter Callahan's GI Preakness S. winner Swiss Skydiver (Daredevil), why he subbed in Robby Albarado to ride the chestnut, his approach to training 2-year-olds and much more. Swiss Skydiver has run nine...

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Runhappy Meet at Kentucky Downs Generates Record Handle

The Runhappy meet at Kentucky Downs, which concluded Wednesday, Sept. 16, saw record betting handle across the six days of live racing that totaled $59,828,44 for a total of 62 races (average per race $964,975), including $9,487,705 on the final day. The previous record of $41,239,699 (average $824,794) was set in 2019. Even with a modest reduction in prize money owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and a two-month absence of revenue from historical racing machines, a record total of $12,337,000 was paid out over the course of the meet, bettering...

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First Samurai Filly Glides Home at Kentucky Downs

Duly favored after an easy two-length win going 1 1/16 miles at Saratoga on debut July 23, she made the jump up to black-type company look easy at Kentucky Downs Monday. Well off the pace while saving ground against the fence, she continued to rate patiently at the half-mile mark in :48.23. Set down for the drive and shifted out to the center of the course through the long Kentucky Downs stretch, the chestnut seized command inside the final 300 yards and quickly put the race to bed, winning with...

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Jockeys Pledge Support to Injured Rider Vinnie Bednar

Jockeys Javier Castellano, Mike Smith, John Velazquez, Manuel Franco and Tyler Gaffalione have pledged a percentage of their earnings from the GI Kentucky Oaks and GI Kentucky Derby race cards to help rider 28-year-old rider Vinnie Bednar, who suffered a catastrophic fall at Los Alamitos Racetrack Aug. 22. Bednar is currently experiencing lower-limb paralysis following initial surgery at USC Medical Center in Los Angeles. He remains hospitalized while awaiting transfer to the Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado, a world-renowned, premier center for spinal and brain injury. The accident occurred in...

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