Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Holy Horses! Robin Team Show Leads GP West Owners

By Jim Freer

After 11 racing days at the Gulfstream Park West meet, newcomer Robin Team Show Racing Corp. leads the owners’ standings with three wins.

Through Sunday six familiar names each have two wins and are tied for second place at the meet, which Gulfstream Park is holding at Calder. They are Jacks or Better Farm, Crossed Sabres Farm, Monarch Stables, Starship Stables, Joker Racing and Eric J. Wirth.

Meanwhile, Marcus Vitali has taken  the lead in trainer wins at GP West.

Robin Team Show began operations this year and is owned by a group of Venezuelan investors, some now living in South Florida including its managing owner Marcel Garcia.

According to the Gulfstream media office, Garcia is a fan of Batman and named the racing team for the movie and TV series (1960s) superhero’s sidekick Robin.

On TV, Robin became known for phrases beginning with the word “holy,” such as “Holy smokes, Batman.”

At last year’s inaugural GP West meet, Frank Carl Calabrese and White Wabbit Wacing each had 13 wins and tied for the owners’ title.

Calabrese has run only eight horses thus far at GP West and has one win. He had 12 wins at the recent Gulfstream Park summer meet, finishing second behind Jacks or Better which had 15.

White Wabbit has not yet run any horses at GP West this season. It has been racing mostly at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J.–the summer base of Jorge Navarro who trains most of its horses. In the recently concluded Monmouth meet, Navarro finished first in wins among trainers and White Wabbit was third in wins among owners.

Greg Schwartz, an attorney in Hollywood, owns White Wabbit.

Trainers and Jockeys

Vitali and jockey Matt Rispoli combined for four wins at GP West during the five days between Oct. 14 and 18.

Trainer Marcus Vitali

Trainer Marcus Vitali

That put Vitali into the lead in the trainers’ standings, with six wins. Rispoli moved into a tie for third in the jockeys’ standings with eight wins.

We will have more about Vitali, his horses and Rispoli in a story later this week.

Antonio Sano is second in the trainers’ standings with four wins.

Six trainers are tied for third place with three wins each. They are Todd Pletcher, Juan Arias, Gustavo Delgado, Steve DiMauro, Rodolfo Garcia and Ralph Nicks.

Sano was first in wins with 22 at last year’s GP West meet, and Vitali finished second with 19.

At the Gulfstream summer meet, Nicks led trainers with 34 wins and Sano came in second with 31.

Vitali had four wins in 24 starts at the Gulfstream summer. His summer base was at Monmouth, where he finished third with 24 wins.

Tyler Gaffalione leads GP West jockeys with 14 victories, followed by Edgard Zayas with 11.

Zayas was the leading rider at GP West last year. He finished fourth in wins at this year’s Gulfstream summer meet.

Gaffalione finished ninth last year at GP West. He led riders in wins at this year’s Gulfstream spring and summer meets.

Until this Oct. 11, Gaffalione had a five-pound weight allowance in non-stakes races. But despite the loss of “bug” status, he continues to get mounts from Nicks and several other leading GP West trainers.

Eddie Castro is tied with Rispoli for third place at the GP West meet. Jonathan Gonzales has seven wins and is in fifth place.

Holy Horses! Robin Team Show Leads GP West Owners

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HorseRacing FLA staff