Carl Defreitas is easily one of the most well-known, well-liked riders on the Woodbine backstretch. Not only has DeFreitas prepared and ridden horses for a family stable (Oriella) and is currently managing horses owned by his daughter Jessica, but he has been a longtime exercise rider, and a jockey at Woodbine, Fort Erie and Ajax Downs.

On Thursday June 25 at Woodbine Racetrack, Defreitas, 54,  rode the winners of races 1 and 2, a ‘DeFreitas Double’, a super accomplishment for a fellow who does not ride many at the big track.

ECHO LOCATION, a 4-year-old filly by Mr. Scotty owned by Jessica DeFreitas and Greenoaks Farm and trained by Angus Buntain, battled all the way on the inside in a pace duel and kept her head in front to win race 1. With DeFreitas mostly hand-riding and pushing his filly to the wire, Echo Location won the maiden race with a $23,500 purse. She was claimed by the team for $7,000 last August.

One race later Defreitas came right back on SUPER CHOCOLATE, owned and trained by Dominic Polsinelli, to win the $15,000 claiming dash on the pace, the second win in as many starts for the Souper Speedy filly.

That is 3 wins this year for DeFreitas, his highest total since 2015 when he won 3 races that season. Equibase stats only go back to 1999 and shows DeFreitas’s part-time job as jockey has netted him 25 wins on Thoroughbreds and 25 wins on Quarter Horses since that year. He incurred a serious injury in 2012 at Ajax Downs, fracturing two vertabrae in his neck.

DeFreitas can keep the roll going as he is scheduled to ride GIMBALA on Saturday or Sunday and RED MERCURY on Sunday in a maiden allowance.


More Thursday –

First time starter TWICK, owned and bred by Goldmart Farm, won race 3, a $7,500 maiden claiming dash for fillies and mares despite starting slowly and trailing the field by several lengths early. Robert Tiller trains this North Light (Ire) filly from Miss Dragonfly who was ridden by Kazushi Kimura.

Race 4 went to the speedy SEA LILY who dropped from an optional claiming $40,000 race to $15,000 claiming and won handily for James Redekop and Stefan Ferrario. Terry Jordan trained the filly who was claimed by Karina Shaak. The winner is by Dominus and her time of 1:10.61 was quite quick for the evening. Patrick Husbands rode.

On the inner turf for race 5 and this lush course lends itself to fun racing and quick times. This race for $25,000 claiming was at just five furlongs and it marked the first win of the season for trainer Sylvain Pion as True Dat wore down the speedsters and won in the last jump. Malta Manors Stables own this Ontario-bred by Yes It’s True. He was claimed for $23,500 last summer. Sahin Civaci did some nifty riding for his 3rd score of the season.

Race 6 was on the main turf at 6 furlongs and the heavy favourite was 8-year-old Reconfigure, owned and trained by Robert Tiller. This Lemon Drop Kid gelding, claimed for $25,000 last summer and which almost won the Grade 2 Nearctic, set a course record in 2019. He came up just a bit shy of winning on Thursday, however, as Gary Barber’s speedy REAL MONEY battled on the pace and then would not let anyone by for his 3rd career win. The Kentucky-bred 4-year-old by Real Solution was bought for a whopping $675,000 as a 2-year-old in training. The time of the race was a sharp 1:08.

And fleet BUTTERMILK PIKE doubled up in race 8, coming back from a win for $7,500 to win for $25,000 claiming at 5 1/2 furlongs for James Perron Racing Stable. The Giant Gizmo 6-year-old is trained by Darwin Banach and was ridden by Justin Stein. This guy posted a 90 Beyer Figure in his comeback win and won Thursday in 1:04.87 which will likely be a lower Beyer than that previous race.