Gaffalione Wins Churchill Downs’ Riding Title

(Tyler Gaffalione, who recently shipped up with his tack from his regular base in Florida, won his second straight rider’s title in Kentucky. He had 21 wins to capture the Churchill Downs’ November Meet title / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)

In the election process, every vote counts. As proven in the last election cycle when one State Legislator won by a single vote.

In the horse racing business, every win counts. And, that was proven during the November meet at Churchill Downs — which finished up on Sunday.

In one of the closest races of the meet, the sprint for the Jockey’s Title came down to a head bob. And, Tyler Gaffalione — the recent transplant from Florida — followed up his win at the Keeneland October Race Meet with his second title in a row.

After Sunday’s races were all said and done, Gaffalione had 21 wins. And, that gave him a 1-win edge over Spring/Summer champ Brian Hernandez, Jr., and perennial champ Corey Lanerie — who both clocked in with 20 wins each.

Two wins farther back was Ricardo Santana, Jr., who had 18 wins, and Florent Geroux finished the meet with 17 trips to the winner’s circle.

Joel Rosario — who rode sparingly here this meet, but came to ride the Breeders’ Cup, in particular — led the race for the most purse money. He had 5 winners and his horses totaled nearly $6,000,000 in purses earned.

Here is a closer look at the meet’s final Jockey Standings:

1Joel Rosario22522$5,927,12123%941%
2Lanfranco Dettori3200$3,320,00067%267%
3Irad Ortiz, Jr.14231$2,792,00014%643%
4Florent Geroux101171615$2,705,99117%4848%
5Javier Castellano15313$2,112,16920%747%
6Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.134201917$2,002,80215%5642%
7John R. Velazquez17204$1,656,34912%635%
8Ricardo Santana, Jr.106181719$1,432,47517%5451%
9Corey J. Lanerie126202120$1,201,50516%6148%
10Tyler Gaffalione11821158$1,201,02718%4437%
11Paco Lopez2100$1,100,00050%150%
12Ryan L. Moore8010$1,030,0000%113%
13Drayden Van Dyke9210$1,019,52022%333%
14Jose L. Ortiz25411$1,000,76216%624%
15William T. Buick5110$890,00020%240%
16Edgar Morales136181815$831,41213%5138%
17Julien R. Leparoux8311138$608,85213%3239%
18Chris Landeros7710617$559,51213%3343%
19Albin Jimenez52456$544,7908%1529%
20Christophe Soumillon1001$540,0000%1100%
21Gabriel Saez51795$486,10214%2141%
22Robby Albarado1048610$418,7708%2423%
23Manuel Franco8101$368,30013%225%
24Channing Hill45452$350,0519%1124%
25Shaun Bridgmohan26612$330,07923%935%
26Flavien Prat6001$300,0000%117%
27Declan Cannon67844$262,02312%1624%
28Joseph Rocco, Jr.74498$256,4065%2128%
29Wayne Lordan4001$210,0000%125%
30Adam Beschizza29146$190,0073%1138%

(Statistics Courtesy of Equibase)

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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