Jockey Profile - Tyler Gaffalione

January 29th, 2019

Although Tyler Gaffalione had a great first year as a jockey, finishing 30% in the money aboard 331 mounts, he didn't hit his stride until his second year aboard equines. That year, 2015, saw Tyler ride 1,419 horses. Of those over 1,400 mounts, Gaffalione won 217 races, finished second 207 times, and finished third 191 times.

Tyler's mounts in 2015 finished in the money a fantastic 43% of the time. He won races at an excellent 15% . After 2015, Gaffalione excelled in both both 2016 and 2017. There's no doubt, though, that he took his game up a level in 2018.

His mounts earned an incredible $12,687,324. Gaffalione won 253 races from 1,332 mounts. His rides landed in the money at 48%. Check out 4 of Tyler's mounts from last year that made 2018 so memorable.

Gaffalione Looks to Build on 2018 Success

Next Shares, 2018 Shadwell Turf Mile

Next Shares went off at over 23/1 to win the Shadwell Turf Mile. Tyler took Next Shares right to the rail. He had to be patient for most of the race. When the rail opened, Tyler pushed through the son of Archarcharch for a major upset win. Next Shares bounced in the Breeders' Cup Mile, but did win the San Gabriel. This past Saturday, he finished a respectable 7th in the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational.

Patternrecognition, 2018 Kelso Handicap

The Chad Brown trainee had no shot in the Pegasus World Cup, but that's because 1 1/8 miles is just too far for the Adios Charlie sired horse. Last summer, Tyler took the lead with Patternrecognition and never looked back. Before the Kelso victory, the best Patternrecognition had ever done was to win an allowance race.

Chad's one of the top trainers in the world, which is the main reason the horse was ready to win a Grade 2 after an allowance win. But, we shouldn't look past Tyler's ride. Facing a deep field, including Battle of Midway, Tyler believed in his horse and showed no fear.

Shamrock Rose, 2018 Raven Run Stakes

Shamrock Rose broke with the leaders, but Gaffalione, feeling how fast they were going, took her back. He waited before grabbing 4th position right behind dueling front runners. It was all over after that. They had been going way too fast to hang on while Tyler had Shamrock Rose in the perfect position to pounce.

Tyler still had to muscle her home and hold off the late closers. Shamrock Rose used the Raven Run Stakes victory to springboard to a Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint win under Jose Ortiz.

Liam the Charmer, 2018 John Henry Turf Championship

They didn't look like they were running fast early in the John Henry Turf Championship. Oh, they were. Gaffalione could feel it. Gary Stevens aboard Ashleyluvssugar got the first quarter in 23.43. They ran the half in 47.61. That's close to blazing fractions for a 1 1/4 mile race over the turf.

Tyler, who rarely rides at the SoCal tracks, made the perfect move aboard the chalk. Instead of waiting until the last moment along the rail. He pulled Liam the Charmer one off along the backstretch, split horses, and then pulled him out around the turn. The great ride led to a major victory.

As great as Tyler Gaffalione's 2018 was, his 2019 could be much better. Tyler road War of Will in the Lecomte Stakes. Trained by Mark Casse, the War Front sired 3-year-old is bred to excel over turf. He broke his maiden over dirt and was much the best in the Lecomte.

While 2018 was awesome, Gaffalione has a real Kentucky Derby contender to ride this year.