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Barbadian trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. (CMC image)

Saffie Joseph Jr extends lead 

June 9, 2024

HALLANDALE PARK, Florida, CMC – Irrepressible Saffie Joseph Jr stretched his lead to 18 in the trainers’ championship at Gulfstream Park after unleashing a triple in Florida on Saturday.

The 37-year-old, the dominant figure at the South Florida oval over the last four years, snared race one with favourite War Beat, race three with 4-1 choice Look Like It before rounding out his success in race eight of the 11-race card with 7-1 choice Comedy Town.

Joseph, who won the corresponding title last year with 66 wins, tops the table with 37 – already 18 clear of second-placed Jose Francisco D’Angelo who also played second fiddle last year.

The Barbadian opened his account courtesy of jockey Drayden Van Dyke, the 29-year-old providing two of the three wins for the championship leader.

Going a mile and 70 yards for the three-year-olds and upward, Van Dyke raced War Beat off the pace as Into You and Sam Stormy tussled for the lead, with Immense Faith and Charge Off stalking.

Van Dyke brought the five-year-old bay horse strongly through the quarter pole and into the upper stretch, and outran their rivals in the stretch to reach the wire a length clear.

Van Dyke followed up when he combined with three-year-old dark bay filly Look Like It to crush the three-year-old and upward maiden fillies and mares by seven lengths in a 5-½ length sprint.

Four-to-one bet Sand Wedge showed early to dominate the first quarter but Look Like It caught her at the three-sixteenth before drawing off strongly.

Cipriano Gil, a 25-year-old Venezuelan, provided Joseph with his third win when he made all the running with six-year-old roan gelding Comedy Town to collar the three-year-olds and upward by two lengths in a six furlong sprint.

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