Gaffalione on verge of fourth jockey title at Keeneland

on 10/28/2021 12:56 PM

« Return to News

From Keeneland publicity 10/28/21

With three days remaining in Keeneland’s Fall Meet, Tyler Gaffalione is on his way to earning his fourth title as the track’s leading rider. He has 24 victories, 11 more than Florent Geroux in second.

Gaffalione, 27, relishes the experience of competing at Keeneland, where he first won a race during the 2016 Fall Meet and topped the rider standings for the 2018 Fall Meet, 2020 Summer Meet and 2020 Fall Meet.

“There’s just so much history here,” Gaffalione said. “The feeling you get when walking on the grounds is like nothing else. With all the colors and the people, it made my first win here very special. It could be a claiming race on a Wednesday, and that excitement is just always there.”

Gaffalione grew up in Ocala, Florida, and followed in the footsteps of his father, Steve Gaffalione, and grandfather, Robert Gaffalione, as a jockey. Immersed in the horse industry at a young age, he received a pony for his fourth birthday. He competed in barrel racing until he was old enough to start exercising racehorses. He began his career as a jockey in 2014 at Gulfstream Park and received the 2015 Eclipse Award as outstanding apprentice.

Through Oct. 27, Gaffalione has ridden 1,670 winners and the earners of more than $82 million. He rode War of Will to win the 2019 Preakness (G1). His other riding accomplishments include rider titles at Gulfstream and Churchill Downs.

“I’ve just been so blessed along the way,” Gaffalione said. “I have great support from trainers and owners and all of the horsemen. I don’t really even know how to describe it, it’s just really exciting.”

In the closing days of Keeneland’s Fall Meet, Gaffalione is preparing for the Nov. 5-6 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar.

“You always go in there thinking you have a good chance, but I would say this year is my strongest,” Gaffalione, who has ridden in 28 Breeders’ Cup races since 2016. “I’ve got a couple of nice young horses, and I’m really looking forward to these races.”


« Return to News