Weekly jockey review, 7/26/17; off and running at Saratoga, Del Mar

The nation’s top two summer venues for racing, Saratoga and Del Mar, opened for business last week to much fanfare. There’s plenty to discuss regarding jockey performances from those two tracks, so let’s get right to it. Don’t forget to apply this information when playing FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!

Del Mar

Rafael Bejarano is the leader after five days of racing at Del Mar. He amassed seven victories from 27 starts, including three on opening day.

Flavien Prat earned the most money (nearly $400k) and the most ITM finishes (18 in 27 starts) in week one. He also won three on Wednesday’s opening card as well as Saturday’s Grade II Eddie Read with Hunt.

Evin Roman was blanked through two days but closed out the week with a bang, winning six times in three days. No one has more mounts than Roman after week one (32).

Kent Desormeaux was hard at work, riding in 22 races and winning five times. He took Friday’s Osunitas Stakes aboard Madame Stripes.

Tyler Baze and Joe Talamo find themselves tied for fifth after winning three races each.

The opening week stakes were well-divided, as Tiago Pereira won Wednesday’s Oceanside aboard Bowie’s Hero for his only win of the week, while Jamie Theriot’s lone victory came in Sunday’s Grade II San Clemente with Madam Dancealot. Veterans Gary Stevens and Victor Espinoza struck in the Wickerr Stakes and Grade II San Diego Handicap, respectively.

Notable riders without a win through five days are Drayden Van Dyke (19 starts), Edwin Maldonado (14 starts), Martin Pedroza (12 starts), Stewart Elliot (nine starts), Martin Garcia (four starts) and Mike Smith (four starts).

Saratoga

A top-heavy Irad Ortiz Jr. leads the way after four days of racing at “The Spa.” He won seven times from 27 starts but hit the board on just three other occasions. He swept Saturday’s stakes, the Grade III Sanford (Firenze Fire) and Grade I Diana (Lady Eli), to help give himself an early lead in the earnings column (over $600k).

Hot on Irad Ortiz’s heels is his brother, Jose. He won six times from 34 mounts (a meet high) and earned over $500k in purses. His 18 ITM finishes after four days is tops at Saratoga early on.

Ricardo Santana Jr. brought home some longshots to grab third place with five total victories. He won three straight races on Sunday and triggered a Pick Three payout of almost $4,400 for $2!

Joel Rosario had some rough luck on opening week but still managed to bring in four winners. He took Monday’s Caress Stakes aboard Miss Ella.

Luis Saez and John Velazquez each won three, so they’ll share fifth place heading into Wednesday’s card.

Javier Castellano was off to a dreadful start, winning just once in 31 tries. However, he did take the Grade III Lake George with Proctor’s Ledge on Friday. Jockeys still looking for their first win after four days of racing include Manny Franco (26 starts), Paco Lopez (15 starts), and Florent Geroux (10 starts).

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