Weekly jockey review, 4/12/17; Castellano kicks off Keeneland meet in style

It’s time for another look at the jockey standings after an exciting week in horse racing! Many of the nation’s major circuits have either just started a new meet or are on the verge of finishing one. The Kentucky Derby is right around the corner as well, so jockeys are riding with more urgency than ever. Be sure to take note of this week’s movers and shakers before participating in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!

Aqueduct

Irad Ortiz Jr. is crushing the competition at “The Big A.” The inner dirt meet champ notched another eight victories during the recently-concluded five-day racing week. Ortiz Jr. now has a commanding nine-win lead over Cornelio Velasquez with 10 days left before racing moves to Belmont.

Rajiv Maragh had a productive week as he won four races. That included Saturday’s marquee event, the Grade II Wood Memorial, with Irish War Cry. Maragh placed in two other stakes on Saturday.

Keeneland

Despite riding just two of the three days during Keeneland’s opening weekend, Javier Castellano enjoys a one-win lead going into Wednesday’s card. Castellano scored five times in only eight starts and took both the Transylvania (Big Score) and Beaumont Stakes (Sweet Loretta). Julien Leparoux, tied for second with four wins from 20 starts, is tops in purse money earned ($800k+) on the strength of his score in the $1 million Blue Grass Stakes on Irap.

Joel Rosario (4), Jose Ortiz (4) and Corey Lanerie (3) all won races in bunches, meaning some notable names got left in the cold. Florent Geroux, Brian Hernandez Jr., Jose Lezcano and Robby Albarado combined to go 3-for-58 on opening weekend. Their luck is bound to change, perhaps as soon as this week.

Santa Anita

Flavien Prat clinched the riding title at Santa Anita’s winter meet early on Sunday over Tyler Baze. The winning margin was 62-52, bolstered by Prat’s four-win performance on closing day. Prat’s biggest victory of the week was his romp in Saturday’s Grade I Santa Anita Oaks on Paradise Woods.

Baze had a highly respectable meet and he closed it out with a four-win week, including a victory in Saturday’s Echo Eddie Stakes on Mr. Hinx.

Santa Anita’s next meet is scheduled to begin on Friday and runs through early July.

Oaklawn

Closing week has arrived at the Arkansas oval, and the rider title is still up for grabs.

Ricardo Santana Jr. made a big move last week, winning seven of his 28 starts and getting clear of Ramon Vazquez by three (47-44). Vazquez, who won three himself last week, is just one win ahead of Geovanni Franco, who in turn is just two ahead of Alex Canchari. Franco and Canchari each won three last week.

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