The Belmont Stakes dominated the horse racing headlines this week, so we’ll spend plenty of time discussing the action there. We’ll also pay a visit to Churchill and Santa Anita to see how their jockey standings are shaping up. As always, be sure to put this information to use when playing FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
The ageless Mike Smith stole the show on Belmont Stakes day, winning a whopping five stakes races! He got his day started in Race 2, the Easy Goer, aboard Bob Baffert’s West Coast. Smith and Baffert would team up for three more victories (Abel Tasman in the Acorn, American Anthem in the Woody Stephens, and Mor Spirit in the Met Mile), making Baffert 4-for-4 on the day. Smith also won the Grade I Ogden Phipps for Jerry Hollendorfer with Songbird.
Jose Ortiz took the lead in the Belmont jockey standings last week over his brother, Irad. Jose won eight times to boost his season total to 36. Chief among his victories last week was, of course, the Belmont Stakes with Tapwrit. He also won the preceding race, the Grade I Manhattan Handicap, with longshot Ascend.
Irad Ortiz Jr. won just three last week, but one of them was a record-setting score in the Grade III Jaipur aboard Disco Partner. The six furlongs was covered in 1:05.67, obliterating the prior track record and establishing a world record for the distance. Irad now sits at 34 wins on the meet, well within striking distance in second place.
Javier Castellano, third with 27 victories, won six races at Belmont last week. He got New Money Honey home first in Thursday’s Wonder Again before upsetting Saturday’s Just A Game with Antonoe.
With two weeks left at the meet, Corey Lanerie has a firm grip on first place with 45 wins. He won four races last week to hold safe over Brian Hernandez Jr. by 15. Hernandez had a highly-respectable week himself, taking down seven races.
The Santa Anita spring meet continues to be contentious. Flavien Prat clings to a short lead with 31 victories, two ahead of both Rafael Bejarano and Joe Talamo. Prat won four during the short racing week and notched the lone stakes score of the trio with Kenda in Sunday’s Special Goddess. Bejarano and Talamo each tallied three wins last week.
Meanwhile, apprentice rider Evin Roman is hot on their heels, as he’s riding in and winning more often than ever. He won three races as well last week to boost his meet total to 24.
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