Pacific Gale’s Hurricane Bertie One Of Five Winners On Day For Alvarado

Holly Hill Stable’s Pacific Gale rolled to her second straight graded-stakes victory at Gulfstream Park Saturday, scoring a dominating victory in the $100,000 Hurricane Bertie (G3) and providing jockey Junior Alvarado with his fourth of five victories and first of two stakes successes on a 12-race card.

The 22nd running of the Hurricane Bertie, a 6 ½-furlong sprint for older fillies and mares, was supported on Saturday’s 12-race card by the $75,000 Texas Glitter, a five-furlong turf dash for older horses, and the $75,000 Melody of Colors, a five-furlong turf sprint for older fillies and mares.

Alvarado, who came back to ride Warrior’s Pride to victory in the Texas Glitter two races later on the card, has ridden 48 winners while riding full time during the Championship Meet for the first time in 12 years. The 36-year-old native of Venezuela had been highly successful while riding at Aqueduct during the winter months in past years.

“The support I’ve been receiving from the owners and trainers has been beyond what I was expecting,” said Alvarado, who rode his first winner in the U.S. at Gulfstream in 2007. “It’s been a really amazing experience and I can’t wait to come back again next winter.”

The John Kimmel-trained Pacific Gale ($3.80), who had gone winless in 17 straight starts before impressively capturing the Jan. 23 Inside Information at Gulfstream under John Velazquez, came right back to score a 3 ½-length triumph in the Hurricane Bertie under a ground-saving ride by Alvarado.

“I rode her a couple times at Saratoga and Belmont. We always thought she was great but for some reason we never got the best of her,” Alvarado said. “She’s stepping up right now. She’s at another level right now.”

The 6-year-old daughter of Flat Out advanced along the rail to race behind pacesetter Cory Gal and to the inside of stalkers Sonar and Sound Machine. Sound Machine made a three-wide sweep on the turn to get the jump on the favorite and take the lead at the top of the stretch. Alvarado was able to ease Pacific Gale off the trail entering the stretch and the Kentucky-bred mare kicked in to rush past Sound Machine and draw off to win comfortably.

“I just had to make sure I stayed off the heels of everybody and make sure to give her a clear run from there,” Alvarado said. “She was there for me all the way around.”

Pacific Gale ran 6 ½ furlongs in 1:15.93. Sound Machine held second, 1 ½ lengths ahead of Saguaro Row.

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