With the racing world focusing on Belmont Park and their Belmont Stakes Racing Festival this weekend, players of the FANXT Jockey game are faced with a unique situation as some of the top jockeys that ride at Churchill Downs, Santa Anita and Gulfstream will be at Belmont on Saturday. This will allow jockeys at those tracks to get the opportunity to get mounts they normally wouldn’t ride and give them a chance to win and give value to FANXT players that pick up those jockeys for their games to get value. Because that one jockey at rides and does well outside of Belmont this weekend could be the difference maker in winning your game. We will examine some of those jockeys here.
Churchill Downs is affected a lot by the Belmont Stakes Festival. Jockeys like Florent Geroux, the third leading rider at Churchill, will be at Belmont Thursday through Saturday. He is scheduled to ride in a total of 18 races. Julien Leparoux, the second leading rider at Churchill, will ride four horses at Churchill on Thursday and then three and five horses respectively at Belmont on Friday and Saturday. Corey Lanerie, the leading rider at Churchill, will be at Belmont on Saturday to ride two horses after being scheduled to ride six and seven horses on Thursday and Friday. While this is great for those jockeys, someone has to pick up the slack in their absence. Robby Albarado, presently fourth in the standings, is taking advantage of the situation. Robby is named on 24 horses at Churchill the next three days, including 10 on Saturday. That day, Albarado will be aboard Sweet Acclaim for Brad Cox in the Grade 3 Mint Julep Handicap. She has won both starts since moving into the Cox barn and the multiple stakes placed mare returns to stakes company on Saturday. While the rest of his mounts are not stakes, he will have plenty of opportunities to pick up points and with a price of $9000, he could be great value here.
Santa Anita is not affected as much as Churchill, but will still feel some of the affects from the Belmont Stakes Festival. Flavien Prat, tied for the lead in wins at Santa Anita with Rafael Bejarano, will be at Belmont on Saturday to ride in two races after being scheduled to ride on four on Thursday and six on Friday at The Great Race Place. Tyler Baze, who is the third leading rider at the meet in wins, is one to watch out for this weekend. He is named on 22 horses the next three days, including 10 on Saturday. His price is $9500. A jockey that will ride a lot at Santa Anita that can give you value is Santiago Gonzalez. He is sixth in the standings. He is named on 20 horses the next three days, including nine on Saturday. His price is $7000. With a price $2000 less than Baze and $4000 less than Bejarano, who is named to ride in 18 races the next three days, Gonzalez could be that mid range sleeper that puts you over the top.
Gulfstream Park has been affected recently by injury to Edgard Zayas and a lung infection to Tyler Gaffalione. Cornelio Velasquez, who has a record of 5 for 29 since arriving at Gulfstream a couple weeks ago, will be at Belmont to ride in three races on Saturday after riding in three and five races on Thursday and Friday at Gulf. All of this brings more attention to the present leading rider Emisael Jaramillo. The veteran from Venezuela is named on 16 horses the next three days, including six for Peter Walder. His price is $5000, which is a bargain if you compare it to Eddie Castro, who has a price of $8000. Presently Castro is eight wins behind Jaramillo in the standings and is only named on 12 horses the next three days at Gulfstream.
There are some jockeys that would be best served if you avoided them this week because they just don’t have the business. At Belmont, Eric Cancel at a price of $7500, is named to ride on three horses on Thursday and Friday. He is presently not named to ride anything on Saturday. Martin Pedroza is named to ride three horses at Santa Anita on Thursday. He was scheduled to ride morning line favorite Private Zone in the Grade 2 True North Stakes at Belmont on Friday. But due to trainer Brian Lynch testing positive for Marijuana, Lynch is ineligible to race in New York and Private Zone will be scratched. That was Pedroza’s only mount of the day. He only has one mount on Saturday, Justin Squared in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens. His price is $5500. Victor Espinoza, rider of 2015 Belmont Stakes winner and Horse of the Year American Pharoah, in the next three days is presently only scheduled to ride La Berma in the Grade 1 Just a Game Stakes on Saturday. At a $10,000 price, is it worth taking him for that one race? Probably not in my eyes. Good luck to the players this week participating in all of the jockey games.