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Jose Garoffalo, 50, started out small in Venezuela, assisting in his family's breeding operation. He first developed his passion for the business while working at his father's farm, Haras Bucaral in Belen, but he simultaneously attended both the Venezuelan Academy of Thoroughbred trainers and law school. Upon completing both of his degrees in conditioning racehorses and law, Garoffalo decided to take out his trainer's license instead of further pursuing a career in the legal field, a decision he has never regretted. In 1999, some of Garoffalo's clients urged him to try racing in the United States. He viewed it as the perfect opportunity to kick his career up a notch. Garoffalo took on the challenge and saddled his first horse on North American soil at Hialeah Park in April 1999.
Castanon, who was born in Mexico City, came to the U.S. in 1989 to begin his riding career. During that same year he found immediate success winning two stakes in Southern California. Castanon scored his first graded stakes victory when he rode Bonus Pack to win the Dominion Day (G3) at Woodbine in 2002. He has ridden over 2,000 career winners and finished fourth aboard Shackleford in Kentucky Derby 137.
Peras International is the stable name for Anderson Castro of Venezuela . Mr. Castro recently started investing in American racing and is off to a good start with graded stakes winning Kentucky Oaks contender Yara.
Yara, by dual stakes winner Put It Back out of the Gilded Time mare Ashlee’s Lady, was a 64-1 upsetter of the Davona Dale Stakes at Gulfstream Park to earn a shot at Kentucky Oaks glory.
The filly’s sire only raced two seasons, but at stud has been responsible for such Grade 1 winners as In Summation and Jessica is Back.
Put It Back offspring have won from four furlongs to 1 3/16 miles, good for an average winning distance of 6.2 furlongs.
Yara gets an abundance of talent from her female line, even though her dam was unable to factor in her two lifetime starts. Ashlee’s Lady is, however, a half-sister to Grade 1 diva Healthy Addiction.
That duo’s unraced dam, Lady Laika, is herself a half-sibling to the dams of Grade 3 winners Maren’s Meadow and First Blush.
Yara counts as her fourth dam the Northern Dancer mare Cool Mood, who is best known as the granddam of 1997 Belmont Stakes king and top sire Touch Gold as well as fellow successful sire and Canadian Horse of the Year With Approval.
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