Kentucky Derby week was a busy one throughout the country; see which jockeys made moves in the standings at their respective tracks here. And don’t forget to check out FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
Corey Lanerie jumped in front with three wins on opening Saturday and continued to build momentum during Churchill’s biggest week of the year. He won seven races over the span of five days, including the Pat Day Mile on Wild Shot. He was second in the Kentucky Derby on longshot Lookin At Lee and gave his mount a perfect, rail-skimming ride. He is expected to keep that mount going into the Preakness on May 20.
Florent Geroux grabbed seven wins at Churchill Downs last week, including a stakes three-bagger. He upset the Grade I La Troienne in frontrunning style on Big World and won the Grade III Edgewood with La Coronel on Friday before winning Saturday’s Distaff Turf Mile on Roca Rojo. Geroux was not as fortunate in the Kentucky Derby however, running 11th with Hence.
Julien Leparoux, tied for third with Brian Hernandez Jr. at six wins, won a pair of stakes as well. He piloted Bird Song to victory in the Alysheba on Friday and scored in Saturday’s Turf Classic on Divisidero.
John Velazquez and Mike Smith will probably not factor into the race for leading rider but they had a big impact on Derby week at Churchill. Velazquez went 2-for-11 at the Louisville oval, including his Kentucky Derby win on Always Dreaming. It was the second Derby win of Velazquez’s career.
Smith went 2-for-9 at Churchill while winning Friday’s feature, the Kentucky Oaks, on Abel Tasman. He also upset Saturday’s American Turf on Arklow and ran in the money on three other occasions, all in stakes. Smith ended his week with a successful trip to Lone Star, where he won Sunday’s Sexton Mile on Mor Spirit.
Irad Ortiz Jr. was poised to dominate the week at Belmont with several of the nation’s leading riders racing in Kentucky but ended up ceding ground to Manny Franco. The pair enter week three of the spring meet tied at nine wins apiece. Franco won six, but none of those victories were in stakes. Ortiz Jr. took Saturday’s Westchester (Connect) and Sheepshead Bay (Sea Calisi) before going gate-to-wire in Sunday’s Flat Out aboard Tu Brutus.
Rafael Bejarano padded his lead at the meet, but with Flavien Prat and Tyler Baze out of town for at least parts of the weekend, one could say he underachieved by only winning two races all week, none of which came on Saturday. Bejarano, now at 14 wins on the meet, won Sunday’s Adoration Stakes on Vale Dori.
Joe Talamo did good business last week, winning five races and launching himself into second place with 12 wins total. That included a clean sweep of Friday’s late Pick Three which paid over $200!
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