Barbadian trainer Saffie Joseph Jr collected two wins at two different tracks in Florida, with R Harper Rose in the Forward Gal Stakes at Gulfstream Park, and with Novelliet at Tampa Bay Downs.
R Harper Rose, under stable jockey Edgard Zayas, was sent off as a 2-1 second favourite over seven furlongs on the dirt in one of the co-featured stakes races on the 12-race card at the main racing facility on the south-east coast of the state.
With her win, R Harper Rose earned 20 points towards qualifying for the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks on May 3 at Churchill Downs, but Joseph conceded the two-turn marquee race over 1 800 metres may be further than the filly may want to run.
“This is it for her, one turn,” Joseph said. “We’re not going to experiment. Last time, things didn’t go right, but we’re going to keep her to one turn. There’s a lot of races for her at one turn.”
Novelliet won by a neck in the US $18 000 claiming fifth race over seven furlongs. on the dirt.
Joseph tops the trainers’ standings across the board with 33 wins and earnings totalling close to US $1.95 million for the winter-spring season at Gulfstream Park, where he is based, while he has saddled only five wins from 13 starts for earnings of a little under US $250 000 at Tampa Bay Downs.