03/28/2016 11:47AM

Apprentice Perez gets first win


OLDSMAR, Fla. - Jorge M. Perez, a 20-year-old apprentice jockey from Bayamon, Puerto Rico, got the first victory of his career in Saturday’s fourth race, steering the 4-year-old gelding Gasparilla Invader ($6) to a front-running neck win over Tai Kai in a maiden $8,000 claiming race. Perez won with his 38th mount, including 28 races at Camarero in Puerto Rico. He had finished second twice and third two more times since coming to Tampa two weeks ago.

Gasparilla Invader, a 4-year-old Montbrook gelding owned and trained by Christos Gatis, won in his 19th start.

Outside the jockeys’ room, Perez’s fellow jocks doused him with a water hose, a bucket of soapy water, a bucket of ice water, and shaving cream.

“It was a good feeling,” Perez told track publicity through an interpreter. “I was so excited.”

◗ Gerald Bennett stands an excellent chance of winning the Tampa training title outright for the first time, with 46 wins from 173 starters (27 percent) entering Wednesday’s card. Jamie Ness, who has won or shared the past nine training titles here, ranks second with 34 wins, while O’Connell is third with 31. Bennett, a 72-year-old native of Springhill, Nova Scotia, tied Ness atop the standings at the 2010-11 meet with 61 wins.

Antonio Gallardo is well on his way to a third straight riding title, with 109 wins from 441 mounts (25 percent). Daniel Centeno ranks second with 70 wins, and Ronnie Dale Allen Jr. is third with 60.

◗ The highlight of Wednesday’s 10-race card is race 3, a third-level optional $62,500 claimer for older fillies and mares going one mile on turf. The race drew a field of only six, with Greywalls pegged as the 5-2 morning-line favorite for trainer John Terranova and jockey Gallardo after winning a second-level optional $32,000 claimer on Feb. 27 in her first start on the local turf course.

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 1 Innovative Idea. Trainer Eoin Harty is 92-6-6-11 with a $0.50 ROI over the past five years in turf routes following a layoff of 45 days or more. Click for more details. Mike Hogan

:: Learn more about Formulator | Buy Formulator PPs
:: Follow the @DRFFormulator Twitter feed and get free Formulator facts

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 4 No Fault of Mine. Trainer Chris Block is 35-11-6-3 with a $3.90 ROI over the past two years going sprint to route on turf. Click for more details. Mike Hogan

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: No. 6 Greywalls. Trainer John Terranova is 32-1-4-5 with a $0.22 ROI over the past four years in turf routes with last-out winners. Click for more details. Mike Hogan