Del Mar and Saratoga will conclude their racing seasons on Labor Day, but the respective battles for leading rider are far from over. Take note of the jockeys that thrived last week and see if they can continue their winning ways. And as always, be sure to take part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
Flavien Prat has the lead in the waning stages of the Del Mar summer meet. He won three times and hit the board on nine additional occasions from just 18 starts last week. Prat now sits at 28 wins, two clear of Rafael Bejarano and Evin Roman.
Bejarano had a productive week; he took six races, including the Harry F. Brubaker Stakes on Cupid. Roman, however, won just three times from far more mounts than his chief rivals.
Kent Desormeaux, sitting fourth with 21 victories, won five times last week. He’s hit the board at an incredible 62% clip (102 starts) this summer.
Jose Ortiz leads the way with just one week of racing left at Saratoga. Despite being shut out on Travers day, Ortiz won six races last week to boost his meet total to 52. His lone stakes victory came aboard Sunset Ridge in the Fleet Indian. Ortiz is in pursuit of his second straight Angel Cordero Award for being leading rider at “The Spa.”
Irad Ortiz Jr. is the only jockey with a realistic chance to catch his younger brother; he sits second with 47 victories. Ortiz Jr. won 10 races last week, highlighted by three stakes (the John’s Call, Yaddo and Ballston Spa).
John Velazquez, third with 36 wins, sports a high winning percentage (26%) in the latter stages of the Saratoga meeting. He won seven times last week, including the West Point Stakes (Get Jets) and the Better Talk Now Stakes (Hieroglyphics).
Mike Smith made his Saturday trip to Saratoga count as he hit the board in all four races he was named in. His runner-up finish to Forever Unbridled in the Personal Ensign with Songbird was a disappointment, but he would later take both the Forego (Drefong) and the Travers (West Coast). His other ITM finish came aboard American Anthem in the H. Allen Jerkens.
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