Gear Jockey Gears Up in Saturday’s GP Turf Sprint
HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Gear Jockey will gear up for his 2022 campaign in Saturday’s $100,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint (G3) where the Calumet Farm homebred produced a career breakthrough during last season’s Championship Meet.
The Rusty Arnold-trained 5-year-old registered a maiden-breaking victory in his ninth career start that would set the tone for a most productive 2021 season that culminated in a start in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Del Mar.
“He started out his 4-year-old year as a maiden and he got good. During the year we figured out what he probably wanted to do – be a sprinter instead of going long. He had a great year,” Arnold said. “He didn’t run well in the Breeders’ Cup. He didn’t finish off the year, but he’s freshened up good and he’s ready to go.”
Gear Jockey made a wide bid on the turn into the backstretch but flattened out in the stretch to finish sixth in the five-furlong Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.
“The race was fine. We broke good and got in a good spot. I’m not sure he’s a perfect five-eighths horse. His best races have been from 5 ½ [furlongs] to three-quarters [of a mile],” Arnold said. “He might not be at his best at five-eighths. Sometimes you have trouble finding [longer races than five furlongs]. We’ll stretch out a little bit when we leave here, but we just need a starting point to get going.”
The five-furlong Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint will co headline Saturday’s program with the $100,000 Ladies Turf Sprint, a five-furlong dash for older fillies and mares.
“He’s done great. He’s had five works here in Florida – the last two were very good. He’s ready to roll,” Arnold said.
Clearly, Gear Jockey was no ordinary eight-race maiden when he broke through with his first victory in a mile maiden special weight race on turf Jan. 21, 2021. He was a graded stakes-placed maiden when he finished third in the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Santa Anita.
“We’ve liked the horse all along. You could tell when we ran him in the Breeders’ Cup as a maiden. He ran third, beaten about a length or so,” Arnold said.
Gear Jockey came up a half-length short while finishing third in the Canadian Turf (G3) in his next start. He went on to win a mile allowance at Keeneland before flattening out late to finish fourth in a mile allowance at Churchill Downs. Arnold opted to try him at sprinting distances at Saratoga, where he won an allowance and finished a late-closing third in the Troy (G3), both at 5 ½ furlongs on turf.
“He just didn’t want to finish off his races last year,” Arnold said. “He had two or three that he looked like he was going to win, and he hung. We decided to back him up and sprint him, and he seemed much more comfortable.”
Gear Jockey earned a trip to the Breeders’ Cup while winning the six-furlong Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint (G3) by 2 ½ lengths.
Luis Saez is scheduled to ride Gear Jockey for the first time in the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint.
Just For Fun Stables Inc.’s Warrior’s Pride is slated to seek his third sprint stakes in only his fourth career start on turf. The 4-year-old son of Poseidon’s Warrior had won two of six starts on dirt before registering a front-running victory in the five-furlong Texas Glitter in his turf debut during the 2020-2021 Championship Meet. The Antonio Cioffi trainee went on to win the Turf Sprint for Florida-breds two starts later during the Spring/Summer Meet before heading to the sidelines following an off-the-board finish in an overnight handicap on turf Aug. 7.
Junior Alvarado, who rode Warrior’s Pride to his Texas Glitter score the only time he has ridden him, returns to the saddle Saturday.
Trainer Mohamed Jehaludi and Bibi Jehaludi’s Omaha Beach is scheduled to seek a return to form Saturday following a trio of off-the-board finishes since finishing second behind Golden Pal in the July 15 Quick Call (G3) at Saratoga.
The 4-year-old son of Temple City, who broke his maiden in the five-furlong Hollywood Beach at Gulfstream in his second lifetime start, will be ridden by Miguel Vasquez.
Peace Sign Stables’ Belgrano, a turf-sprint stakes winner who finished third in the mile Tropical Turf (G3) last time out; Golden Kernel Racing Stable’s Yes I Am Free, who most recently finished fourth in the five-furlong Janus; Crown’s Way Racing LLC’s Richy, a late-rallying winner of a starter allowance on the Tapeta last time out; and Pedro Estevez’s Breakthrough, eighth in the Janus; are also entered in the Gulfstream Park Turf Sprint.