First Gulfstream victory for the three-time champion driver from Maryland; D’Angelo, coach of Jesus’ team, takes his first US Stakes victory
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. — Jockey Jevian Toledo, a perennial leader from Maryland who is coming off his third overall championship in 2021, enjoyed a day trip to South Florida guiding Headline Hunter to a 2 ¼ length win in Saturday’s $100,000 Captiva Island at Gulfstream Park.
The five furlong Captiva Island eighth race for fillies and mares 4 years and older was the second of two stakes in a Hurricane Bertie (G3) $100,000 headline program for older women sprinting six furlongs on the main track, won by Juddmonte homebred Mandatory.
Toledo, 27, from Puerto Rico, won more than 1,230 races but took his first victory at Gulfstream, where he was riding for the first time since March 23, 2019, when he was fourth on In the Loop in the Hutcheson (G3). He signed autographs and posed for photos with fans outside the winner’s circle after the race.
“It feels like you’re in Hollywood,” Toledo said. “He feels good. Winning my first race at Gulfstream, and in a stake, and during the Championship Meet, it’s really special.
ProRacing Stable, Al Bianchi Racing, Corms Racing Stable and On The Rise Again Stable’s Headline Hunter ($6.20) finished in 57.51 seconds on the all-weather Tapeta after raining on the grass, giving trainer Jose D’Angelo his first victory in the United States. . He won the 2020 crown jewel with the Jesus team, seven months after Tapiture’s son finished third at 40-1 odds in the Preakness Stakes (G1) with Toledo on board.
“Jevian rode for me at the Preakness. He said, ‘Every horse that you put me on, I [will] always go,” D’Angelo said. “I called him [to ride Headline Hunter] and he said, ‘I can do it.’ I’m happy because we are a team and we got the job done.
Claimed for $35,000 in a victory over the Gulfstream Tapeta last November, Headline Hunter settled into a pressing second multi-stakes winner and Miss Auramet 8-5 favorite over a quarter-mile in 22.50 seconds under a tight grip of Toledo. Headline Hunter passed on equal terms around the far corner and began to break free once straightened to head home, covering a half mile in 45.45 seconds.
“Not everyone who came out on top today won,” Toledo said. “I had a good break and put her there in a good position. When I asked her in the stretch, she just took off. She’s a beautiful filly. She seems to be getting better and better. »
Miss Auramet took second place, a length ahead of fellow multi-stakes winner Miss J McKay, followed by La Libertee and Bernie’s Mistress. Naughty Shirley was stopped on the far corner and passed out. Tobys Heart and AG Indy were eliminated.
It was the fourth victory in five tries on Tapeta for Headline Hunter, the last three of them coming to Gulfstream, including a five-stay allowance on February 9 in the build-up to his stakes debut. Only three of its rivals had ever tried the all-weather surface, with La Libertee going 1-for-4 on it.
“She was the only winner to have won on this type of course before and she ran huge today,” Toledo said. “She carried me all the way.”
Represented by agent Marty Leonard, Toledo leads the current Laurel Park winter competition with 32 wins and is second with $1.07 million in purse. He has seven career competitive titles in Maryland, all at Laurel, the most recent being the 2021 calendar year-end fall stand.
“It’s been a great winter. My agent is doing a really good job and I have a lot of support from the owners and the trainers and they really help me,” Toledo said. are horse racing and if you have the right horse you are going to win races. Thank God we work together and I have had opportunities and we try to do our best to make it happen every time.
In addition to last year, Toledo won the Maryland Riding Championship in 2015 and 2017. He was already scheduled to be at Gulfstream for Captiva Island, picking up five more mounts, when Laurel had the live program canceled. Saturday due to a severe winter storm.
“I picked up a few mounts and it worked really well. It’s really nice to be here. We ended up having nothing [at Laurel] so it’s pretty good that I can still ride today,” said Toledo. “I came in last night. My flight was canceled tonight and they moved it to Monday so I have to see if I can catch another flight for tomorrow because I’m rolling [at Laurel] tomorrow. I hope I can find a flight to return.
Toledo is named in five races Sunday at Laurel, including multiple-stakes winner Dontletsweetfoolya in Race 8, an open allocation for older women sprinting 5 ½ furlongs that also drew stake winners Kaylasaurus and Princess Kokachin.
Meanwhile, Headline Hunter, daughter of Tapizar, continued a solid championship encounter for D’Angelo, who ranks fifth with 21 wins from 80 starters (26%). A top coach in his native Venezuela, he came to the United States in 2018 and had a successful run with Team Jesus, finishing second in the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) and World Cup Pegasus 2021 (G1) and earning over $1.3 million in purses from 17 starts.
“I feel amazing. I have no words to describe my first victory here in the United States, after all the hard road with the Jesus team. I’m happy and happy and very proud of my team”, has “This filly ran a really huge race. She came from the claim and she’s getting better and better and better every morning, every day.”
Gulfstream Park Press Release
Photo: Headline Hunter by Lauren King