Edgar Perez Celebrating Return to Gulfstream Park
Former Chicago-Based Jockey Enjoying Career Year
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Forced to make a career decision last spring due to the closure of Arlington International, Edgar Perez opted to return to South Florida, where he had first ridden without much success shortly after venturing from Venezuela in 2009.
The 42-year-old journeyman, who eventually found a welcoming and comfortable home on the Chicago circuit until this year, has reason to celebrate his move to Gulfstream Park, where he is enjoying the most successful season of his career.
“I’m very very happy. The first time at Gulfstream I didn’t do much. Then, I went to Delaware and Chicago,” Perez said. “I came back to Gulfstream and I am thankful for the opportunities. I’m very happy here. I like the weather; I like Miami; I like the track; I like the Tapeta.”
During his first full-time meeting at Gulfstream Park in years, Perez finished third in the jockey’s standings behind South Florida mainstays Miguel Vasquez and Leonel Reyes in both wins and purses-won while riding the winners of 75 races and more than $2.4 million in purses during the recently concluded Royal Palm Meet.
“It was a good meeting for me with 75 wins,” said Perez, who enjoyed a five-win day on June 24. “Everything is good for me. I’m happy.”
Perez had even greater reason to celebrate his return to Gulfstream Saturday on the second day of the Sunshine Meet when he rode Atomically to an upset victory over heavily favored Lynx in Saturday’s $400,000 My Dear Girl, the 1 1/16-mile final leg of the 2022 FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes series for 2-year-old fillies sired by accredited Florida stallions.
The Jose Pinchin-trained daughter of Girvin, who had previously finished third in her debut and graduated by seven lengths prior to making her first start in the lucrative FSS series Saturday, made a sweeping move to the lead on the turn into the stretch under Perez and drew away by 6 ¾ lengths over Lynx, who had dominated the first two legs of the series in the $100,000 Desert Vixen and the $200,000 Susan’s Girl.
“She’s a very nice filly. The first time, she wasn’t ready. The second time, she ran big. Saturday, she won easy going long,” said Perez, whose 2022 purses-won total soared to more than $2.8 million -- $720,000 more than his previous career high achieve in 2018 with nearly three months to go.
Agent Rene Douglas has been able to book mounts for Perez for a wide range of trainers at Gulfstream, where the resurgent jockey notched stakes victories aboard Armando De La Cerda-trained California Frolic (English Channel, Not Surprising), Elizabeth Dobles-trained Don’t Get Khozy (Surfside), Fausto Gutierrez-trained Omixochitl, and Michael Maker-trained Me and Mr. C (Mr. Steele) during the Royal Palm Meet.
Perez has been named to ride Fernando Abreu-trained Boris in Saturday’s Hollywood Beach, a five-furlong sprint for 2-year-olds on Tapeta.
Perez has ridden 902 winners since departing Venezuela, where he was the regular rider for trainer Gustavo Delgado’s superstar, Bambera, a winner of nine Group 1 stakes, including the 2009 Classico del Caribe at Puerto Rico’s Camarero.