Jockeys Of The Week: Career Milestones Lead To Tie Between Tyler Gaffalione, Junior Alvarado - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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Jockeys Of The Week: Career Milestones Lead To Tie Between Tyler Gaffalione, Junior Alvarado

Junior Alvarado, following his 2,000th career win aboard Broadway Force at Gulfstream Park

With both Tyler Gaffalione and Junior Alvarado achieving career milestones at Gulfstream Park, the panel of racing experts could not separate their achievements leading to a tie for Jockey of the Week for Jan. 16 through Jan. 22. The award honors jockeys for riding accomplishments and who are members of the Jockeys' Guild, the organization which represents more than 1050 active, retired and permanently disabled jockeys in the United States.

Going into Friday's card, Gaffalione sat at 1,998 career wins. He closed within one aboard Temerity for trainer Fernando Abreu in Race 3 and reached the 2,000-win milestone in Race 6 for trainer Mike Maker aboard Megacity.

Gaffalione, 28, a native of Davie, Fla., won his first race in only his third mount on Sept. 5, 2014 at Gulfstream Park. He earned the Eclipse Award as Outstanding Apprentice in 2015.

Gaffalione, whose father and grandfather were jockeys, is coming off a career-best 2022 during which he won seven Grade 1 races. He has dominated the jockey standings in Kentucky for the past several years earning leading rider titles at Churchill Downs, Keeneland and Kentucky Downs.

“I feel so blessed. I just want to thank the people who have gotten me to this point, all the people who put in numerous hours in the mornings to make my job easier,” said Gaffalione. “I love what I do. I love being here. It couldn't have happened at a better place, my home track.”

Gaffalione has a mount in every race on Saturday and will be in the irons on White Abarrio in the G1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational for trainer Saffie Joseph.

Junior Alvarado, 36, achieved career win 2,000 on Saturday aboard Broadway Force for trainer James Jerkins in Race 5 after going winless in his last 10 mounts.

“It hasn't been easy for me – I've had a lot of injuries – but that's what makes every win worth it,” said Alvarado following a celebration in the winner's circle. “A Grade 1 or a claiming race, I'm grateful for each win. I don't take anything for granted.”

Alvarado has won 17 Grade 1 races and more than $119 million in purses. He had a very successful 2022 winning 13 graded stakes including four on Olympiad for trainer Bill Mott, one of his most loyal supporters. Alvarado won his first Breeders' Cup race in 2022 on Cody's Wish in the G1 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile for Bill Mott. Alvarado will ride Art Collector on Saturday for Mott in the G1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational, one of 11 scheduled mounts.

Other nominees for Jockey of the Week include James Graham with two stakes wins at Fair Grounds, Luis Saez who won the G3 Lecomte at Fair Grounds, and Jevian Toledo who won two stakes at Laurel.

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