Jockey Junior Alvarado had a very good week. With two stakes wins and a total of nine victories including five on a single day, Alvarado was voted Jockey of the Week for March 15 through March 21. The award, which is voted on by a panel of racing experts, is for jockeys who are members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 active riders in the United States as well as retired and permanently disabled jockeys.
Alvarado’s winning week at Gulfstream Park began Thursday with a win for trainer Jose D’Angelo. On Friday’s card, Alvarado collected two wins for trainers Francisco D’Angelo and Michael De Paulo.
On Saturday, Alvarado took races 3, 6 and 9 for trainers Jose D’Angelo, Mark Casse and Bill Mott. In race 10, trainer John Kimmel gave a leg up to Alvarado on Pacific Gale in the Gr. III Hurricane Bertie Stakes, a 6-1/2 furlong sprint for older fillies and mares. With a ground-saving ride by Alvarado, Pacific Gale won by 3-1/2 lengths. “I rode her a couple of 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 a different level right now.”
One race later, Alvarado had the mount on Warrior’s Pride in the Texas Glitter Stakes for trainer Antonio Cioffi, a fellow Venezuelan. Warrior’s Pride broke running and never looked back completing the five-furlong dash in 55.37 over a firm turf course. Speaking of trainer Cioffi, one of his biggest backers since returning to Gulfstream for the first time in 12 years, Alvarado said, “He’s been a great help to me since I got here from Venezuela. This win actually meant a lot to me.”
Alvarado concluded his winning week with a victory on Sunday for trainer Mark Casse.
Of his decision to ride at Gulfstream for the winter where he rode his first winner in 2007, Alvarado commented, “The support I’ve been receiving from the owners and trainers has been beyond what I was expecting. It’s been a really amazing experience and I can’t wait to come back again next winter.”
Alvarado’s weekly stats were 34-9-7-3 for a winning percentage of 26.4% and total purses of $304,630.
Alvarado out-polled Florent Geroux with two stakes wins at the Fair Grounds including the Gr. II Fair Grounds Oaks, Flavien Prat who won the Gr. III Sensational Star at Santa Anita and also collected 9 wins, Joel Rosario who won the Gr. II Louisiana Derby and Tim Thornton who also won nine races.