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Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. at the 2022 Alibi Breakfast.

Saffie Joseph Jr. reaches 1,000 wins

Date: 2/25/2024

Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. notched win number 1,000 with Palace Zip in the tenth (and last) race at Gulfstream Park on Sunday, a $16,000 maiden claimer for three-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles on Tapeta for a $24,000 purse. Jockey Edgard Zayas rode the first time starter who was sent off as the 5-2 favorite in a field of 8. It was Joseph's only horse in the card. The 37-year-old native of Barbados has won 8 straight training titles at Gulfstream since finishing second in the 2020-21 Championship Meet. He is a third generation horseman, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, and was the youngest trainer (age 22) to win the Barbados Triple Crown in 2009 with Areutalkintome.

Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. (right) gives Math Wizard a hug after winning the 2019 Pennsylvania Derby (G1).

In the Gulfstream winner's circle after win number 1000, he said, ďItís amazing. I remember the first one and here we are at 1,000. The first probably 200 took five or six years and it was a struggle, and the last 800 have come pretty quickly. Weíve gotten the opportunities from the owners and thatís what you need. Without the owners, you canít do it. Thereís no trainer without horses, and the owners produce the horses.Ē

Saffie Joseph Jr. in the winner's circle with Drain the Clock after the 2021 Woody Stephens Stakes (G1).
Joseph moved to Florida 2 years after his Barbados Triple Crown triumph, and got his first North American win on June 19, 2011 with Artefacto at Calder Race Course, and his first stakes win with Saraguaro in the 2015 Foolish Pleasure Stakes at Gulfstream Park. He added, ďWeíre only as good as what the owners give us. Thatís what makes trainers. We have to take care of them with the staff, and thatís what makes me. Iím one person that is head of 80 people that make me and make us as a unit. Itís not just me, itís a credit to the whole staff. Itís a whole crew that makes this success possible and Iím very thankful to be in this position.Ē

Trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. behind White Abarrio after winning the 2022 Florida Derby (G1).

In the Triple Crown he has just one in-the-money placing, with third place finisher Skippylongstocking in the 2022 Belmont Stakes. He has two third place finishers in the Breeders' Cup, both in 2023 - Three Witches in the Filly and Mare Sprint and Skippylongstocking in the Dirt Mile. It is worth noting he was the original trainer of Classic winner White Abarrio, whose owners transferred him to Richard Dutrow Jr. when Joseph was serving a suspension due to two of his horses breaking down during Derby week at Churchill Downs.

Saffie Joseph Jr. in the winner's circle after winning his 1000th race at Gulfstream Park with Palace Zip.

At time of writing (February 25, 2024) Joseph has a record of 1,000 wins, 764 seconds, and 627 thirds in 4,581 starts, with purse earnings of over $44 million. In stakes competition he has 88 wins, 86 seconds, and 89 thirds in 63 starts, earning just over $16.6 million. He has multiple graded stakes winners with Charles Town Classic (G2) winner Skippylongstocking his best horse with $1.59 million in earnings. Close behind are Pennsylvania Derby (G1) winner Math Wizard ($1.15 million) and White Abarrio who won the Florida Derby and earned $1.13 million while in his barn.

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