Three-time Kentucky Derby-winning rider Calvin Borel will make Gulfstream Park his home base for the 2011-2012 meet, according to his agent Jerry Hissam.
After spending the weekend of Dec. 17-18 at Fair Grounds, the 45-year-old journeyman will likely begin riding at Gulfstream on Dec. 22.
Hissam says that Borel will ride primarily for trainers Ian Wilkes, Buff Bradley, and Pat Byrne, plus “whatever else I can drum up.”
“We’ve already ridden some horses for those trainers that we think can develop into nice ones,” Hissam said. “We’re coming to Gulfstream because we don’t want to lose them.”
The Wilkes-trained Motor City is expected to be stabled in South Florida this winter. In his most recent start, the 2-year-old colt by Street Sense captured the Iroquois (gr. III) at Churchill Downs with Borel as the pilot. Timely Tally is another talented juvenile for Wilkes that Borel will ride.
Gardenia (gr. III) winner Groupie Doll has already joined Bradley’s stable at Gulfstream and is expected to have Borel aboard for her next start. The 3-year-old filly by Bowman's Band was also second in this year’s $400,000 Charles Town Oaks and Keeneland's Raven Run (gr. II).
Another horse Hissam hopes Borel will be able to pick up the mount on is graded-stakes-placed Take Charge Indy, most recently fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) for trainer Byrne.
“Ian Wilkes will be our main client this winter,” Hissam said. “I believe he has about 50 to 70 horses stabled down here. But we’ll have plenty of other opportunities as well. We’re both excited about getting down there.”