Archive for April 2011

Coa Returns To Gulfstream Winner’s Circle For Trophy Presentation

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Eibar Coa returned to the Gulfstream Park winner’s circle on closing day Sunday to present fellow jockey Paco Lopez with a trophy to commemorate his second straight riding title.

It was an emotional and exciting return for Coa, who broke his C-4 vertebra in a racing spill on Feb. 18. Diagnosed by doctors as a quadriplegic after being admitted to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Coa made a recovery that was deemed “miraculous” by neurosurgeon Dr. Scott Berta. The 40-year-old veteran rider, who was released from the hospital on April 14, was able to walk into the winner’s circle Sunday for the trophy presentation as well as receive a check of $25,000 from a benefit golf tournament..

“It feels great. I feel like I have a second opportunity to just be alive. I went down doing what I love to do, so just coming back to the track made my day,” said Coa, who is continuing out-patient rehabilitation. “I’m glad I had the opportunity to come back before Gulfstream ends, because it’s one of the tracks I love the most. With all the support from my wife Rebeca, my family and friends, this is all I need.”

The sixth-race, the $750,000 Capital Request Florida Thoroughbred Charities Stakes, was designated as the trophy race to honor Lopez, and the defending riding champion fittingly rode the winner, Romacaca ($4.80). Lopez, who was involved in the spill on Feb. 18 and missed nearly a month of riding with various injuries, rode 83 winners, 18 more than former Gulfstream champion John Velazquez. Javier Castellano was third with 59 winners.

Coa and Paco Gulfstream Park

“It’s unbelievable with all the good riders here, to win the title,” Lopez said. “It was great to have Eibar here today.”

Todd Pletcher took down his eighth straight training title with 48 winners, 13 more than last winter when he saddled 35 winners. Highlights of Pletcher’s 2011 season include saddling E. Paul Robsham Stable’s R Heat Lightning for impressive victories in the Gulfstream Park Oaks (G2) and Davona Dale (G3), as well as victories by Awesome Maria in the Rampart (G3) and Sabin (G3).

Pletcher finished 17 wins ahead of Nick Canani, his nearest rival who was followed by David Fawkes with 19.

Frank Calabrese topped the owners’ standings with 33 trip to the winner’s circle.

Recovering Coa Makes Gulfstream Appearance

Injured jockey Eibar Coa returned to the Gulfstream Park winner’s circle on closing day April 24 and presented Paco Lopez with a trophy to commemorate his second straight riding title.

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It was an emotional and exciting return for Coa, who broke his C-4 vertebra in a racing spill on Feb. 18. Diagnosed by doctors as a quadriplegic after being admitted to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Coa made a recovery that was deemed “miraculous” by neurosurgeon Dr. Scott Berta. The 40-year-old veteran rider, who was released from the hospital on April 14, was able to walk into the winner’s circle for the trophy presentation as well as receive a check of $25,000 from a benefit golf tournament.

“It feels great. I feel like I have a second opportunity to just be alive. I went down doing what I love to do, so just coming back to the track made my day,” said Coa, who is undergoing rehabilitation on an out-patient basis. “I’m glad I had the opportunity to come back before Gulfstream ends, because it’s one of the tracks I love the most. With all the support from my wife Rebeca, my family and friends, this is all I need.”

The sixth-race, the $75,000 Capital Request Florida Thoroughbred Charities Stakes, was designated as the trophy race to honor Lopez, and the defending riding champion rode rode the winner, Romacaca ($4.80). Lopez was alsoinvolved in the Feb. 18 spill and missed nearly a month of riding with various injuries. He won the title with 83 winners, 18 more than John Velazquez. Javier Castellano was third with 59 winners.

“It’s unbelievable with all the good riders here, to win the title,” Lopez said. “It was great to have Eibar here today.”

Todd Pletcher took his eighth straight training title with 48 winners, 13 more than last winter when he saddled 35 winners. Pletcher finished 17 wins ahead of Nick Canani, his nearest rival who was followed by David Fawkes with 19.

Frank Calabrese topped the owners’ standings with 33 trips to the winner’s circle.

Coa presents trophy to Gulfstream’s leading rider Lopez

Eibar Coa returned to the Gulfstream Park winner’s circle on closing day Sunday to present fellow jockey Paco Lopez with a trophy to commemorate his second straight riding title.

Click Here to read full story.

It was an emotional and exciting return for Coa, who broke his C-4 vertebra in a racing spill on February 18. Diagnosed by doctors as a quadriplegic after being admitted to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Coa made a recovery that was deemed “miraculous” by neurosurgeon Dr. Scott Berta.

The 40-year-old veteran rider, who was released from the hospital on April 14, was able to walk into the winner’s circle Sunday for the trophy presentation as well as receive a check of $25,000 from a benefit golf tournament.

“It feels great,” Coa said, who is continuing out-patient rehabilitation. “I feel like I have a second opportunity to just be alive. I went down doing what I love to do, so just coming back to the track made my day.

“I’m glad I had the opportunity to come back before Gulfstream ends, because it’s one of the tracks I love the most. With all the support from my wife Rebeca, my family and friends, this is all I need.”

Romacaca’s victory closes out season on high note for jockey Paco Lopez

Romacaca won the season’s final stakes race at Gulfstream, capping a strong year for jockey Paco Lopez and trainer Nick Canani.

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BY JIM FREER | MIAMI HERALD WRITER

Romacaca beat Trip for A.J. by 1¼ lengths in the $75,000 Capital Request Stakes on Sunday, the closing day of the racing season at Gulfstream Park.
Romacaca was forced to steady between rivals several times in the 11/16 mile turf race for fillies and mares.

In a photo provided by Gulfstream Park, Romacaca, right with jockey Paco Lopez, wins the eighth horse race of the day, Sunday, April 24, 2011, at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla. Trip For A. J, left,. was second with Cornelio Velasquez aboard. (AP Photo/Gulfstream Park)

She was fifth coming around the final turn but then weaved her way through traffic to gain her second win in two starts at the Gulfstream meet. She was timed in 1:44.50 under Paco Lopez.
Romacaca’s win ended a strong season for Lopez, her trainer Nick Canani and owner Frank Calabrese.
Lopez led Gulfstream jockeys in victories for the second season in a row. He rode 83 winners, followed by John Velazquez with 65.

Canani trained 31 winners, placing him second to Todd Pletcher who had 48. Pletcher now has led Gulfstream trainers in victories for eight consecutive seasons. Calabrese led owners with 33 wins.
Following the Capital Request, jockey Eibar Coa presented the championship trophy to Lopez.
Coa broke his C-4 vertebrae in a spill during a Gulfstream race on Feb. 18.

Doctors at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood originally diagnosed Coa as a quadriplegic. But following treatment, he was able to walk out of the hospital when he was released on April 14.
“I feel like I have had a second opportunity to just be alive,” said Coa, who is receiving out-patient rehabilitation. “I went down doing what I love to do. So just having the opportunity to come back to the track made my day.”

Gulfstream had three other $75,000 stakes on Sunday.

Stay Red won the Island Whirl, at 11/16 miles on turf for 3-year-olds and up.
Close it Out won the Shake You Down, at seven furlongs on dirt for 3-year-olds. Devilish Lady won the Cherokee Frolic, at seven furlongs on dirt for 3-year-old fillies.

Pletcher, Lopez set to repeat as Gulfstream meet champions

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – With four programs to go before the close of the 2011 Gulfstream Park racing season on Sunday, jockey Paco Lopez and trainer Todd Pletcher appear set to collect leading honors for the session, Lopez for the second consecutive season and Pletcher his eighth straight title here.

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Lopez leads the jockey standings with 75 victories, nine more than former Gulfstream champion John R. Velazquez second with 64 wins, although the latter moved on to Kentucky and New York after the Florida Derby (G1) on Sun., Apr. 3 except for one day. Javier Castellano ranks third with 59 tallies, Jose Lezcano fourth with 44 and Joe Bravo fifth at 43.

Pletcher holds a commanding lead on the trainers’ leader board with 48 victories, 20 more than closest rival Nick Canani second with 28 and three others tied for third with 18 apiece – Chad Brown, David Fawkes and Eddie Plesa, Jr.

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