Zayas, Joseph Earn Gulfstream Titles


Saffie Joseph, Jr. | Lauren King

Edgard Zayas was the leading jockey and Saffie Joseph, Jr. was the top trainer at the Gulfstream Park spring meeting which concluded Sunday. Zayas, who battled back from a serious leg injury suffered during the track’s championship meeting over the winter, completed the 54-day stand with 70 victories.

“It feels awesome, especially since coming back off the injury. It’s been the most special one so far,” Zayas said. “To be able to come back and come back strong and win the meet is amazing. I was trying to grind for it and we did it. We made it. It’s something to celebrate.”

Joseph earned the spring meet training title with 20 wins, five more than runners-up Ralph Nicks and Antonio Sano. The 30-year-old, a third-generation horseman from Barbados, ranked third with more than $600,000 in purse earnings, trailing Kathleen O’Connell and Nicks.

“We’re just blessed and thankful for all the owners who give us their support. We’ve got a hard-working team,” Joseph said. “Basically, to win titles, you have to have numbers. We have the numbers and we have good horses and good owners. You need good horses and you need good owners supporting you.”

Mike Napoli, a World Series champion with the 2013 Boston Red Sox, finished as the spring meet’s leading owner with 16 wins, while Arindel topped all owners with more than $438,000 in purse earnings.

Gulfstream’s 55-day summer meet begins Monday and runs through Sept. 29.

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