03/15/2017 2:30PM

Joseph, Drawing Away lighting it up

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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – He’s not even in the top 10 in the standings for the Gulfstream championship meeting, but ask local horseplayers who the hottest trainer on the grounds has been of late, and most will likely answer Saffie Joseph Jr.

Joseph, a third-generation horseman who moved to the U.S. from his native Barbados in 2011, has won with 12 of his 29 starters at the session (41 percent), including three in a row last weekend. The majority of those victories have come for his principal client, Drawing Away Stable, which is second in the owner standings here this winter behind only perennial leaders Ken and Sarah Ramsey.

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Joseph followed in the footsteps of his grandfather Attie Joseph and father, Saffie Joseph Sr., while beginning his racetrack career in Barbados at the age of 18. Joseph said the secret to his recent success is simple: making good claims and running them back in the right spots.

“We’ve had great support from Drawing Away, who’ve given us the opportunity to show what we could do here lately,” said Joseph. “We really started doing some serious claiming for them for the first time at this meet. They let me claim what I want, give the horses the time they need, and allow me to place the horses where I think they’ll be the most effective.”

Although he’s had the bulk of his success since coming to the U.S. in the claiming ranks, Joseph, 30, knows what to do when he gets his hands on a good horse, having won the Barbados Triple Crown with Areutalkintome in 2009.

“We came from Barbados trying to make a name for ourselves in the U.S.,” said Joseph. “The object is to attract the right owners, continue to grow our stable, and perhaps win the Kentucky Derby someday. I’m only 30, so that’s my dream right now.”