Saratoga and Del Mar both concluded their annual summer meets on Monday. See who came out on top and who finished with a flourish here. Be sure to refer to this column when playing FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
Flavien Prat pulled away in the last week of racing at Del Mar to beat out Rafael Bejarano and apprentice Evin Roman for the riding title by six victories. Prat, who ended with 35 wins, scored seven times over the last three days of the meet. Four of those occurred on Saturday, including the Grade I Del Mar Debutante (Moonshine Memories). Prat’s successful summer featured a sizeable advantage in purse money earned ($2.6 million to Bejarano’s $1.5 million).
Bejarano won three times last week to secure a tie for second place with Roman. Roman also won three times last week, but from 13 more mounts.
Kent Desormeaux won five times over the week that was, including the I’m Smokin’ Stakes aboard Bookies Luck on Friday. He finished a creditable fourth with 26 victories.
Joe Talamo rounded out the top five with 23 total wins, eight of which came last week. He took the Generous Portion Stakes on Wednesday with Spiced Perfection.
Drayden Van Dyke had a solid first full meet back since recovering from injury, taking sixth with 21 scores. Just three behind him was Tyler Baze, who will look to improve on his 9% win rate as racing moves to Los Al and (later on) Santa Anita.
Jose Ortiz won his second straight riding title at Saratoga, finishing at 58 wins. He was five clear of his brother, Irad Jr, and eclipsed him in earnings as well ($5.2 million to $4.4 million). Jose won six over the course of last week, as did Irad. However, Jose won no stakes last week. By contrast, Irad nabbed the Lucky Coin, Grade I Spinaway and Grade II Bernard Baruch. He’ll be looking to ride that momentum into the first week of racing at Belmont.
John Velazquez was third with 46 wins, well clear of Manny Franco in fourth (31). He won an astounding 10 races last week, including a four-bagger on Saturday. Stakes wins from last week included the P.G. Johnson, Grade III Glens Falls and Grade II Prioress.
Franco won nine times last week, including the Grade III With Anticipation, to fend off Javier Castellano, who checked in fifth win 29 victories. It was a disappointing meet by Castellano’s standards, and he only won twice during closing week. His biggest victory of the weekend came in the Grade III Greenwood Cup at Parx on Madefromlucky.
Luis Saez (28), Joel Rosario (21) and Jose Lezcano (21) were the only other riders to crack the 20-win plateau.
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