Watch out for travel, injuries and scratches

There are plenty of opportunities this weekend to find jockeys that will give you great value because of situations with some of the top jockeys in the nation. Whether they are hurt, suspended for traveling to ride in stakes at tracks that will not give them points in the game, if you pay attention you can do very well by taking advantage of these situations.

The top jockey riding this week in terms of cost is Javier Castellano. His cost is $11,000. While normally a top jockey to be used on a weekly basis, Castellano probably should be avoided this week because of his race schedule. He is named to ride in five races at Belmont Park on Friday, but then he is scheduled to go to Thistledown to ride morning line favorite Mo Tom in the Ohio Derby on Saturday. Then he is not scheduled to ride on Sunday. To spend that much money for five races on Friday would not be worth it.

John Velazquez is also scheduled to ride the Ohio Derby, on Decorated Soldier for Todd Pletcher. Now he is named to ride in six races at Belmont Park on Friday and Sunday. The cost for this week is $10,000 and he might be worth it because he does have some good opportunities to win on both days at Belmont.

At Churchill Downs, Jon Court ($7,000) is one jockey to avoid for foreseeable future. During an off day from racing early in the week, Court had an incident and broke two ribs. He is scheduled to miss the remainder of the Churchill Downs meet. This will give jockeys like Joe Rocco Jr. ($6,500), and Channing Hill ($7,500) an opportunity to pick up extra mounts and in turn gain extra points for players in their game. Corey Lanerie ($9,000), who was the regular rider of Mo Tom, will now stay at Churchill all weekend and get plenty of opportunities to increase his lead in the jockey standings over Julien Leparoux ($9,000). Florent Geroux, who is third in the standings, will be riding at Churchill all weekend as well. His price is $10,500, second highest for a jockey this week.

At Santa Anita, there are two graded stakes races to be run on Saturday, The Grade 1 Triple Bend and the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita. The morning line favorite in the Gold Cup is Hoppertunity, with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith scheduled to ride. The Bob Baffert trainee would be making his first start since finishing third to California Chrome in the Group 1 Dubai World Cup. But Baffert has said if he is not satisfied with how Hoppertunity is coming into the race, he would scratch. This would make the race wide open and basically give any jockey in the race a chance to pick up major points in the game. Smith is not on the list of jockeys to be used this week, but players can pick up quality jocks like Mario Gutierrez ($9,000), Santiago Gonzalez ($8,000), Martin Garcia ($8,000), Joe Talamo ($8,000) and Rafael Bejarano ($10,000) Gary Stevens and Flavien Prat are also not available this week.