Leading Rider Jeiron Barbosa Returning to Action Next Weekend

Leading Rider Jeiron Barbosa Returning to Action Next Weekend

3YO Filly Baby Man Takes Two-Race Win Streak into Stakes Debut

LAUREL, MD – Jeiron Barbosa, the leading rider at Laurel Park’s ongoing fall meet and a top contender for the Eclipse Award as champion apprentice, will return to action next weekend after escaping serious injury from a Nov. 8 fall at Parx.

Agent Tom Stift said Barbosa, who doesn’t turn 19 until Dec. 18, was given the OK to ride after visiting with Dr. Jason Pothast of the MTHA’s Horsemen’s Health System at Laurel following Friday’s first race.

“He’s cleared to ride,” Stift said. “He’s going to take this weekend off, start getting on horses Tuesday and start riding again next Friday.”

Barbosa was taken to the hospital earlier this week after his horse, 6-5 favorite Soupster, clipped heels in Parx’s 10th race finale and caused a chain reaction spill involving four other horses and riders. All five of the horses walked back to the barn area while Eduviel Ignacio reportedly suffered a broken collarbone.

The initial diagnosis for Barbosa was that he hurt his left wrist, an injury he had suffered previously.

“The doctor had him do several things and he said, ‘Are you sure this doesn’t hurt?’” Stift said. “He was doing everything. He looked at all the CAT scans, he looked at all the X-rays and it was an old injury that they had seen at the hospital.

“He’s got a couple scrapes and bruises, and that’s about it. No concussion, nothing,” he added. “He was very lucky.”

Barbosa began riding professionally Jan. 1 in his native Puerto Rico before coming to the U.S. in March, winning with his first two domestic mounts. He won riding titles at Laurel’s spring meet and historic Pimlico Race Course’s boutique fall stand and entered Friday with 29 wins this fall, seven more than Horacio Karamanos, who had one winner Friday.

On the year, Barbosa is Maryland’s top apprentice and the second-leading rider with 92 wins, trailing Jevian Toledo (124) and one ahead of Karamanos. He is 154-for-833 overall with $4.7 million in purse earnings.

Barbosa had mounts in eight of nine races Friday, eight of 10 Saturday including Gormley’s Gabriela in the $100,000 Smart Halo for 2-year-old fillies, and one race Sunday. He was also named in races Nov. 14 and 15 at Parx.

Laurel will race this weekend through Monday, Nov. 14. Barbosa is expected to return Nov. 18 at Laurel.

“He’s very happy,” Stift said.

3YO Filly Baby Man Takes Two-Race Win Streak into Stakes Debut

Michael Dubb and Michael J. Caruso’s Baby Man, riding a two-race win streak, ships in and steps up into stakes company for the first time in Saturday’s $100,000 Thirty Eight Go Go at Laurel Park.

The 1 1/16-mile Thirty Eight Go Go for fillies and mares 3 and up is the last of three stakes on a 10-race program following the $100,000 Smart Halo for 2-year-old fillies and $100,000 James F. Lewis III for 2-year-olds, both sprinting six furlongs.

First race post time is 11:45 a.m.

Based in New York with trainer Rudy Rodriguez, Baby Man is a 3-year-old daughter of multiple graded-stakes winner Bird Song and granddaughter of 2004 Belmont (G1) and Travers (G1) winner Birdstone. She went unraced at 2 before debuting with a 1 ¾-length triumph March 22 at Aqueduct.

“She’s coming along good,” Rodriguez said. “We won with her the first time and she’s been a steady competitor since. She deserves the chance to run in a stakes. The race is tough but she’s got a lot of speed and I think she can control the race. Hopefully she keeps progressing the way she is. She seems like she’s training very good, so hopefully she keeps moving forward.”

Baby Man went winless in her next three starts including a runner-up finish to A Mo Reay, trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, after setting the pace in a one-mile optional claiming allowance June 10 at Laurel.

She has gone up against older horses in each of her last three races, going gate to wire to win a one-mile, 70-yard optional claimer by 1 ¾ lengths Aug. 12 at Monmouth Park and hold on for a half-length triumph going 1 1/8 miles Sept. 22 at Aqueduct.

“She ran there [at Laurel] before and she hooked up with one of Pletcher’s horses that is very good. That was a good race for her,” Rodriguez said. “She came back and won and then she come back and had another solid win here at Aqueduct. She’s had some nice time off, so I think she’s ready to go.”

Baby Man has raced at a mile or more in four straight races and will have the services of jockey Jose Gomez from Post 7 in a field of eight. They are co-fourth choice on the morning line with Grade 2-placed Beguine at 5-1, following Malibu Beauty (5-2), Hybrid Eclipse (3-1) and Berate (9-2).

“I think the distance should be fine,” Rodriguez said. “I thought the mile and an eighth the other day at Aqueduct was a little too far for her, but she hung around pretty good. I think she’ll be all right.”

Notes: Jockey Angel Cruz swept Friday’s early double with Great Days Ahead ($13.20) in Race 1 and Lookin for Justice ($9) in Race 2 … The 20-cent Rainbow 6 went unsolved for the 17th consecutive racing day, producing a jackpot carryover of $25,676.39 for Saturday’s 10-race card that begins at 11:45 a.m. Multiple tickets with all six winners Friday each returned $214.22.