Stakes Are Well Done For Florida-Based Jockey Edgard Zayas

By any measure, Edgard Zayas has enjoyed a highly successful 2017 campaign while riding primarily at Gulfstream Park and Gulfstream Park West. The 24-year-old jockey has ridden the winners of more than 200 races and $6.3 million in purses, but his most impressive statistic is his 26 percent strike rate in stakes races.

Zayas, who has amassed 1,072 victories in five years of riding, trails only Woodbine-based Eurico Rosa Da Silva (36 percent) and Hall of Famer Mike Smith (28 percent) for jockeys with at least 50 stakes mounts. During the 2016-2017 Championship Meet at Gulfstream, he made the most of his stakes opportunities, scoring aboard eight of 35 mounts for a 23-percent strike rate, giving him optimism for achieving even more success during the 2017-2018 Championship Meet that gets under way Saturday, Dec. 2,

“It’s very exciting to compete against the best in the world – trainers, owners and jockeys. It’s special to have the opportunity to compete against them,” Zayas said. “I’m looking forward to all the big stakes. There’s a lot of pressure. You’ve got to get lucky at the beginning of the meet and take off from there.”

The Puerto Rico native, who rode Sharp Azteca for a win in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2) last season, is particularly looking ahead to the $600,000 Clasico Internacional del Caribe, which will offer five stakes for Caribbean and Latin American horses Dec. 9. The annual event, which will be hosted outside the Caribbean and Latin America for the first time, will be headlined by the $300,000 Clasico del Caribe for 3-year-olds, including Puerto Rico Triple Crown champion Justiciero.

“It’s right up there with the Kentucky Derby. It’s very special for us. It’s super special. I’ve been watching those races since I was a little kid.  The race is on my bucket list to win. It’s very special for Hispanic people in the Caribbean,” Zayas said. “I’m looking forward to riding. Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to ride for Puerto Rico, but just being there will be exciting.”

The post Stakes Are Well Done For Florida-Based Jockey Edgard Zayas appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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