Let’s review the week that was in horse racing and see which jockeys are standing out at their respective tracks. Be sure to use this information when playing FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
Despite traveling to Oaklawn on Saturday, Irad Ortiz Jr. managed to win four at “The Big A” last week, extending his lead at the dwindling inner dirt meet. Ortiz Jr. has a commanding lead over Manny Franco (50-44) with just three cards remaining before racing moves to the main oval. Ortiz Jr. leads Franco in both wins and purse money despite riding 50 fewer times.
Franco himself had a decent week, picking up two wins, while Kendrick Carmouche (third, 42 wins) also won a pair. Rajiv Maragh (fourth, 39 wins) won two as well, including the Correction Stakes on favored Clothes Fall Off on Saturday.
Gulfstream’s top riders were large and in charge last week. Luis Saez, leading with 95 wins, won six, while second-place Paco Lopez (81) won five. Nik Juarez won four to jump into third at the meet, one ahead of Javier Castellano. Saez appears to have a firm hold on the rider title at the championship meet, which concludes on Apr. 2.
Flavien Prat and Tyler Baze matched strides last week, winning four apiece. Prat didn’t win any stakes this week, but Baze managed to take Saturday’s Irish O’Brien Stakes on Enola Gray.
Rafael Bejarano had the best week of any west coast rider as he won five races, including the Grade I Santa Margarita on Vale Dori. Despite a slow start, Bejarano (25 wins) has forged his way into fourth at the meet, five behind Kent Desormeaux.
Finally, Joe Talamo had another solid week at “The Great Race Place,” taking down four races.
The top three jockeys in Arkansas continue to be separated by a narrow margin. Ramon Vazquez, who won two last week, leads with 34 wins. Giovanni Franco and Ricardo Santana Jr., who each won one last week, are close behind (33 and 32 wins, respectively).
Luis Contreras has just 12 wins at the meet but got started much later than the rest of his colleagues. He was on fire last week, posting five wins to go with six additional ITM finishes from just 19 mounts.
Javier Castellano invaded the Hot Springs oval on Saturday, Rebel Stakes day, and won the feature event on Malagacy along with two other races.
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