Young Italian jockey Cristian Demuro scored his first victory in the United States Jan. 13 with favored Holdin Bullets in the second race at Gulfstream Park.
Holdin Bullets took command in the final furlong to register a two-length victory in the one-mile main track test for $20,000 claiming horses.
The 20-year-old Demuro rode 264 winners in Italy the past year. He is scheduled to ride at Gulfstream for a six weeks before shifting tack to Japan for three months.
Holdin Bullets, the 8-5 choice trained by Wesley Ward, broke alertly under Demuro to set the pace, challenged on his inside by Niam's Strike. The eventual winner took the eight-horse field into the stretch, finally shaking off a stubborn Niam's Strike and posting a clear victory.
"I'm happy. This is my first win in USA. Gulfstream Park is a good track, and I'm happy for this. Wesley Ward is a good trainer and gave me a good chance to win," Demuro said. "I'm happy.
"The horse is fantastic, very fast," Demuro added. "I was in first position and after the first corner, I go."
Demuro, who'll be represented by agent Ron Anderson at Gulfstream, is the younger brother of five-time Italian champion Mirco Demuro, who ride Victoire Pisa to victory in the $10 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) in 2011.
The younger Demuro began riding in Italy at age 16 after attending Pisa Racing School and has fashioned a riding style similar to international star Frankie Dettori.
"It's Italian, American and English," Demuro said. "It's many styles."