Brothers Nicky (jockey) and Cesar (trainer) Figueroa teamed up for a Gulfstream Park victory with The Great Kath on Friday
Brothers Nicky and Cesar Figueroa enjoyed a happy family reunion in the Gulfstream Park winner’s circle Friday afternoon following The Great Kath’s Race 4 victory.
Nicky Figueroa, who rode at the Hallandale Beach, Fla., track during a productive apprentice year in 2017 before returning to his native Puerto Rico to ride in early 2018, accepted his brother’s invitation to ride for him at Gulfstream this weekend, and he made the most of the opportunity Friday. The 24-year-old jockey had to work hard in the 5 ½-furlong optional claiming allowance on Tapeta but managed to narrowly prevail aboard The Great Kath ($7.20), who is trained by his 22-year-old younger brother.
“This is a dream come true,” Cesar Figueroa said. “To come here from Puerto Rico and to bring my brother here to win today, I love it.”
“I’m happy that I did good for my brother, and I thank God,” said Nicky Figueroa, who is named to ride for Sweet Pearl (Race 2) and Starship Wizard (Race 8) for his brother on Saturday’s card before returning to Puerto Rico’s Camarero.
Cesar Figueroa was also able to celebrate the first victory of his training career with his brother at Camarero on March 12, 2020, when Nicky Figueroa scored aboard his brother’s very first starter, Super Witch. While Nicky Figueroa continued to establish himself at Camarero, his younger brother ventured to Tampa Bay Downs with one horse in 2021 before moving east to Gulfstream Park and Palm Meadows Training Center, where he is currently training a stable of six horses with strong results.
Cesar Figueroa has saddled seven winners from 25 starters and is looking for more horses for his older brother to ride.
“I’m trying to get him to move here,” he said.
Nicky Figueroa said he doesn’t have plans just yet to move back to South Florida.
“But when my brother calls, I’ll be here to ride for him when I can make it,” he said.