Apprentice Morrison Gets Acquainted with GP Winner’s Circle

March 12, 2022

Wilfredo Vasquez Rides First U.S. Winner at Gulfstream; Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool Guaranteed at $350,000 

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – It didn’t take apprentice Ailsa Morrison long to get acquainted with the Gulfstream Park this weekend, scoring aboard Summer Shandee ($55.20) in Saturday’s first race in only her third mount since switching her tack from Aqueduct.

“I’m on Cloud-9 right now. It’s a tough meet – the Championship Meet. To get that win is very special,” the seven-pound apprentice said.

Morrison, who started riding at Woodbine outside Toronto in 2019 before taking a year off, rode three winners from 35 mounts at Aqueduct.

“I listened to my agent who said it would be a good spot in the summer,” the 23-year-old native of New Brunswick, Canada whose book is handled by Mike Sellitto. “So, this is where we set our sights on.”

Morrison saved ground aboard Summer Shandee around the first turn in the 1 1/16-mile maiden race on Tapeta while stalking the pace in fourth. Summer Shandee followed front-running Sonic Kitten into the stretch before being steered to the inside, and the son of Summer Front Kicked in to graduate by a length.

“I was patient with him. I was trying to go outside with him for the footing, but the rail opened up,” Morrison said. “The opportunity presented itself and I took a shot and he delivered.” 

Morrison, who didn’t grow up in a racing family, rode show horses before eventually gravitating to the racetrack.

“I started galloping as a supplement for my event riding to become a stronger rider, and I never looked back,” said Morrison, who rode two horses on Friday’s card before breaking through with a victory Saturday.

Wilfred Vasquez Rides First U.S. Winner at Gulfstream

Jockey Wilfred Vasquez, who earned the nickname ‘Wonder Boy’ in Venezuela due to his success as an apprentice, rode his first U.S. winner in Saturday’s Race 3 at Gulfstream Park.

The 18-year-old jockey guided Atomic Rose ($16) to victory in a mile maiden claiming race to notch his career achievement on his 15th U.S. mount.

Vasquez is the youngest rider in the history of the Simon Bolivar, Venezuela’s most prized stakes race, when he guided Apistos to victory in 2020 at the age of 17.

Rainbow 6 Jackpot Pool Guaranteed at $350,000 

The 20-cent Rainbow 6 gross jackpot pool will be guaranteed at $350,000 for Sunday’s program at Gulfstream Park, where the popular multi-race wager went unsolved on the fourth racing day following last Sunday’s mandatory payout.

Sunday’s Rainbow 6 sequence will span Races 6-11.

The Rainbow 6 jackpot is paid out when there is a single unique ticket sold with all six winners. On days when there is no unique ticket, 70 percent of that day’s pool goes back to those bettors holding tickets with the most winners, while 30 percent is carried over to the jackpot pool.

Who’s Hot: Miguel Vasquez rode three winners on Saturday’s card, scoring aboard Inevitable Me ($14) in Race 4, Riot House ($11.40) in Race 6, and Unikee ($9.80) in Race 9.

Tyler Gaffalione captured the $100,000 Hurricane Bertie (G3) aboard Obligatory ($4.40) in Race 7 before going back-to-back aboard Megayacht ($4.40) in Race 8.

Gulfstream Park Press Release
Photo: Summer Shandee with Ailsa Morrison up. (Lauren King)

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