Dettori Returns To Gulfstream After 19 Years

Champion jockey Frankie Dettori will make his long-awaited return to Gulfstream Park this weekend when he rides European invader Toast Of New York in Saturday’s $16 million Pegasus World Cup.
The 47-year-old riding legend is hopeful that his return visit to the Florida track will be as productive as his last visit in 1999 when he guided champion Daylami to an easy victory over Royal Anthem in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf.
While Daylami was favored in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, Toast Of New York figures to be a longshot in the Pegasus World Cup.
The world’s richest race has attracted the first five from the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic – Gun Runner, Collected, West Coast, War Story and Gunnevera – as well as the brilliant Cigar Mile victor Sharp Azteca, Eclipse Award champion Stellar Wind and four other prominent US performers.
“It’s going to be the richest race ever run on the planet. I think the big credit must go to Stronach for coming up with his idea,” Dettori said.
“Of course, I’m excited. If you can’t get excited about there’s no point in getting out of bed.”
Toast Of New York is no newcomer to US racing.
The 7YO son of Thewayyouare has shown a distinct fondness for American soil in two main-track appearances in the United States, falling just a nose short of catching Bayern while finishing second in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita three months after coming second behind Shared Belief in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar.
“We know that he handles the dirt. He was second in the Classic,” said Dettori, a native of Milan in Italy and a three-time champion in Great Britain where he has won more than 3000 races including all of the classics.
“That form is good enough. We’ll roll the dice and go for it.”
Al Shaqab Racing’s Toast Of New York was retired to stud shortly after the 2014 Classic due to a soft-tissue injury but was placed back into training last year and returned to action after a three-year absence with an allowance victory over the synthetic surface at Lingfield Park in England on December 6.
“It was an achievement in itself to come back after three years and to win was even more remarkable. All the credit goes to the trainer (Jamie Osborne). He got him back after over 1000 days off,” Dettori said.
“The horse felt very rusty to He was probably only 70 percent. He has built on that.
“I think we know his past performances are good enough for him to give a good account of himself. The thing that we don’t know: Is he still the same horse he was three years ago?”
Dettori continues to demonstrate the talent and passion for riding on racing’s biggest stages.
Last year, he enjoyed enormous success aboard Enable, a 3-year-old filly who was named 2017 Cartier Horse of the Year after winning five G1 races including the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
“I just finished my 30th year as a professional jockey. I’ve cut down on the riding. I’ve concentrated on the good stock. For that reason, it has prolonged my career,” he said.
Dettori will tune-up for the Pegasus World Cup by riding three horses for trainer Dale Romans on Friday’s program at Gulfstream.

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