Weekly jockey review, 9/20/17; Churchill regulars on top early

The transitional September season in thoroughbred racing continues as Churchill Downs opens for a quick 11-day meet. Los Alamitos is set to wrap up this week, while Belmont remains in full swing. See which riders are excelling at their respective meets at the moment here. And don’t forget to play FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game this weekend!


Javier Castellano won five races during Belmont’s three-day week, including an allowance prep aboard Grade I winner Annals of Time. He now leads Irad Ortiz Jr. in the standings, 11-8. However, Ortiz Jr. maintains the lead in earnings thanks to a win in the Grade II Sands Point atop Uni. Ortiz Jr. won six times from Friday to Sunday before heading to Presque Isle Downs on Monday. There he ran second in the Masters Stakes on Bar of Gold.

Luis Saez won four times last week to boost his meet total to seven. He’s currently in third, one ahead of Joel Rosario. Rosario won twice on Friday, his only day at Belmont, before picking up some stakes mounts at Woodbine. He made his trip count as he took down Sunday’s Grade I Natalma atop Capla Temptress.

Nik Juarez, fresh off winning the Monmouth riding title, is now riding full-time at Belmont. He’s got three wins from just 16 starts so far.

Churchill Downs

Unsurprisingly, Corey Lanerie and Brian Hernandez Jr. are on top through three days of the brief 11-day meeting at Churchill. Lanerie won five times on Sunday, six overall, to start the meet. He leads Hernandez Jr. by one, though Hernandez Jr. took the Locust Grove Stakes and Pocahontas Stakes on Saturday.

Jose Valdivia Jr., who has simply dominated at Arlington Park this year, came in for three weekend mounts and hit the board with all of them. His crowning achievement was a win in the Iroquois Stakes aboard The Tabulator.

Los Alamitos

Evin Roman leads in both wins and earnings with one week to go at the Los Al September meet. He is clear of second-place Brayan Pena, 11-7, after a four-win week. Stewart Elliott sits in third (six wins), while Tyler Baze and Martin Pedroza share fourth (five wins).

Kent Desormeaux is now an incredible 4-for-4 at Los Al. He took the Barretts Debutante atop Ismelucky on Saturday. Despite riding just four times at the meet, Desormeaux is tied for sixth in the standings with Edwin Maldonado.

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