Jockey Tyler Gaffalione received the Eclipse Award trophy as the country’s leading apprentice rider at the racetrack where he earned his first riding title earlier this year. The 20-year-old become the leading rider at Gulfstream Park’s spring/summer meet. With four days left in the meet, Gaffalione already had a 24-win lead but sealed the deal winning four races June 27.

Gaffalione had contemplated riding somewhere less competitive than at Gulfstream’s champion winter meet, but he knew he wouldn’t gain the same experience as he would riding against some of the East Coast’s best jockeys.

“It was the best thing I ever decided to do, was to stay here this winter,” Gaffalione said back in June. “I learned so much from guys like Javier (Castellano), John Velazquez, (Edgar) Prado, for sure—he’s been a big help. They’re great riders, good guys, and when you ride with them, you learn some of their habits—what they’re going to do, when they do it, kind of like their tendencies. It really helped me out a lot.”

Gaffalione led all other apprentice riders with 217 wins and $5,805,176 in earnings. He had a 15% win rate for the year, which included four black-type stakes victories. He won the Rampart Stakes (gr. III) on Cali Star and also won the Sensitive Prince Stakes, Summer Winds Stakes, and Eight Mile East Stakes, all at Gulfstream Park.

The young rider is the son of Steve Gaffalione, a winner of more than 800 races during 20-year riding career.