Owner: Pick Six Racing
Trainer: Rudy Rodriguez
- * Won his first four career starts, all at Aqueduct, including the Grade 2 Jerome and Grade 3 Gotham
- * Attempting to become only the third gelding to win the Belmont, after Crème Fraiche in 1985 and Ruler On Ice in 2011
- * Third in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial, hasn’t raced since finishing 18th in the Kentucky Derby
- * Gets his name from the parents of owner David Wilkenfield, Vivienne and Jack
PICK SIX RACING
An entrepreneur who owns several e-commerce companies, David Wilkenfield is a longtime horseplayer who named his stable for his favorite wager, one that ultimately helped him own horses himself. Growing up on Long Island, Wilkenfield, 55, was a frequent visitor to the tracks in New York and began concentrating his bets on the Pick Six. He admits to hitting several worth six figures, including a $500,000 score at Del Mar, and two giant payouts: $3.3 million at Santa Anita in 2008, and $1.2 million at Churchill Downs in 2003. Vyjack is the first horse Wilkenfield ever purchased, paying $100,000 at a 2-year-old in training sale in Maryland last May. Wilkenfield turned one of his family’s ventures, PromGirl.com, into the largest on-line seller of formal dresses, with sales of $80 million in 2012.
Relatively new in the training game, having opened his own stable in 2010, the 41-year-old native of Mexico won 221 races as a jockey from 1992-2010, highlighted by a victory aboard Frost Giant in the Grade 1 Suburban in 2008. Rodriguez worked as an exercise rider and assistant to late trainer Rick Dutrow, Sr. and his son, Rick, Jr., as well as late Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel both prior to and during his riding career. Aegean Breeze gave Rodriguez his first win as a trainer on March 31, 2010 at Aqueduct, and the trainer earned his first graded stakes triumph that fall with Endless Circle in the Grade 3 Fall Highweight. Rodriguez finished in the top eight at all six NYRA meets in 2012, and his 102 wins ranked fourth overall in New York.
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