Figueroa Brothers Enjoy Family Reunion at Gulfstream
Rainbow 6 Hit for $118,521
Octane Returns to Action in Saturday’s Carry Back
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Brothers Nicky and Cesar Figueroa enjoyed a happy family reunion in the Gulfstream Park winner’s circle Friday afternoon following The Great Kath’s Race 4 victory.
Nicky Figueroa, who rode at Gulfstream Park during a productive apprentice year in 2017 before returning to his native Puerto Rico to ride in early 2018, accepted his brother’s invitation to ride for him at Gulfstream this weekend, and he made the most of the opportunity Friday. The 24-year-old jockey had to work hard in the 5 ½-furlong optional claiming allowance on Tapeta but managed to narrowly prevail aboard The Great Kath ($7.20), who is trained by his 22-year-old younger brother.
“This is a dream come true,” Cesar Figueroa said. “To come here from Puerto Rico and to bring my brother here to win today, I love it.”
“I’m happy that I did good for my brother, and I thank God,” said Nicky Figueroa, who is named to ride for Sweet Pearl (Race 2) and Starship Wizard (Race 8) for his brother on Saturday’s card before returning to Puerto Rico’s Camarero.
Cesar Figueroa was also able to celebrate the first victory of his training career with his brother at Camarero on March 12, 2020, when Nicky Figueroa scored aboard his brother’s very first starter, Super Witch. While Nicky Figueroa continued to establish himself at Camarero, his younger brother ventured to Tampa Bay Downs with one horse in 2021 before moving east to Gulfstream Park and Palm Meadows Training Center, where he is currently training a stable of six horses with strong results.
Cesar Figueroa has saddled seven winners from 25 starters and is looking for more horses for his older brother to ride.
“I’m trying to get him to move here,” he said.
Nicky Figueroa said he doesn’t have plans just yet to move back to South Florida.
“But when my brother calls, I’ll be here to ride for him when I can make it,” he said.
Rainbow 6 Hit for $118,521
There was one winning ticket in Friday’s 20-cent Rainbow 6 resulting in a jackpot payoff of $118,521.64.
The popular multi-race wager had gone unsolved for the four racing days following a June 30 mandatory payout. There was only one winning favorite in Friday’s sequence, that coming in the opening leg with The Great Kath.
Saturday’s Rainbow 6, which will have a $50,000 gross jackpot guarantee, will span Races 6-11, featuring the $75,000 Carry Back, a seven-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds, in Race 10. Carlos David-trained Octane, the 5-2 favorite, will make a long-awaited return to action off a nine-month layoff. The son of Brethren concluded a stellar juvenile campaign last fall with victories in the last two legs of the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes series, the $200,000 Affirmed and the $400,000 In Reality.
Eddie Plesa Jr.-trained King Cab, a stakes winner at seven furlongs who most recently finished second behind next-out graded-stakes winner Willy Boi; and Matthew Williams-trained Strike Hard, the son of Flashback who ran seventh in the Curlin Florida Derby (G1) before capturing an optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream and finishing fifth in the Texas Derby at Lone Start Park; are well-regarded contenders.
The Rainbow 6 jackpot is paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.
Friday’s first-race post time is set for 12:30 p.m.
Jockey Emisael Jaramillo, who was unseated from his mount in Race 6 Friday, was taken to Aventura Hospital as a precautionary measure.