Whether you’re already a fan of South American racing, or looking for more circuits to follow, Brazil’s Gavea will resume live racing on May 3. You can watch and wager on TwinSpires.com.

The Rio de Janeiro track had been among those on COVID-19 hiatus, but the authorities have cleared it for action on Sunday and Monday afternoons.

The racetrack

Gavea is under the auspices of the Jockey Club Brasileiro (JCB). The other major Brazilian racecourse, Cidade Jardim, is located in Sao Paolo and accordingly its governing authority is the Jockey Club of that city. Both are left-handed circuits, with the turf course surrounding the inner dirt track.

Top jockeys and trainers

According to the current season’s statistics, the leading riders at Gavea are B. Queiroz (138 wins), L. Henrique (127 wins), and V. Borges (119 wins), who has the highest winning percentage at 20.16%. They’re also the top three in that order by earnings at Gavea this term.

The track’s top trainers by wins are L.J. Reis (84), D. Guignoni (73), and J.C. Sampaio (69). But the fourth in those standings, L. Esteves (65 wins), leads by purse earnings, and the fifth Ad. Menegolo (44 wins), sports a higher winning percentage with 23.52%.

Leading owners and breeders

Haras Figueira do Lago has a clear lead on the owner’s table with 33 wins (racked up by 18 winners) and nearly R$600,000 in earnings. Next comes Haras Santa Maria de Araras, recording 22 wins and bankrolling more than R$445,000. The same establishments fill the top two spots as breeders, but Santa Maria de Araras is running away in that category with twice as many wins (104) as Figueira do Lago and more than R$1.9 million in earnings.

Sires to follow

Gavea’s leading sire across the board is Agnes Gold, a Japanese import by Sunday Silence who is responsible for the most winners (52), wins (85), and progeny earnings (more than R$1.5 million) so far this term. Agnes Gold’s 3-year-old daughter Mais Que Bonita has scored two Group 1s by a head, most recently the March 8 Grande Premio Diana (Brazilian Oaks) (G1). Rounding out the top five on the sires’ list are American imports Put It Back, Wild Event, Midshipman, and Public Purse.

Watch for Royal Ship in the U.S.

Midshipman’s latest headliner, Royal Ship, is now acclimating in California. Privately purchased after his victory in the Grande Premio Estado do Rio de Janeiro (G1), a metric mile classic on Feb. 9, he will be campaigned stateside by Fox Hill Farms and Siena Farm.

That partnership was also involved in Bal a Bali, who captured the same Group 1 – the initial leg of a Brazilian Triple Crown sweep in 2014 – before emerging on the U.S. turf scene. Last year Fox Hill sourced another superstar from Gavea, Jolie Olimpica, winner of the Jan. 11 Las Cienegas (G3) at Santa Anita in a course-record U.S. debut. Just nailed in the Feb. 22 Buena Vista (G2), Jolie Olimpica continues to post works for Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella.