Here’s a review of last week’s coast-to-coast thoroughbred action from a jockey standpoint. See which riders are hot and which are not as October rolls along. And as always, feel free to check out FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
Irad Ortiz Jr. has usurped command of the Belmont jockey battle, winning nine races over the last six racing days. Among his highlights this week was winning two Grade Is on Saturday; the Champagne and the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Ortiz Jr. now leads Javier Castellano 30-27. Castellano had a four-win day on Thursday before visiting Keeneland for opening weekend, where he was shut out (nine mounts).
Joel Rosario won six times last week to earn a share of third with Luis Saez (20 wins each). Rosario won three times on Columbus Day, including the Grade II Knickerbocker on Blacktype. Saez won just three times at Belmont but raced there only four days. He spent Friday and Sunday at Keeneland and won three times from 17 starts.
John Velazquez struck four times last week to keep fifth from Jose Ortiz, who won five races while splitting time between Belmont and Keeneland. Velazquez leads Ortiz 14-13 but has taken 30 more mounts.
Manny Franco is finally starting to see results at this uber-competitive meet; he won four times, including the Grade III Hill Prince atop Yoshida, to nearly double his win total to nine. He also won the Grade II Phoenix at Keeneland aboard Whitmore on Friday.
Opening weekend at Keeneland belonged to Julien Leparoux, who won seven times from 22 starts. Among those was a convincing score in the Grade I Alcibiades on Heavenly Love.
Robby Albarado is second early on, as he won four times from 18 starts. Chief among those victories was the Grade I Breeders’ Futurity (Free Drop Billy).
The aforementioned Luis Saez is third with three wins, while Brian Hernandez Jr, Florent Geroux and James Graham are all tied for fourth at two wins apiece.
Surprisingly, Corey Lanerie, fresh off another Churchill riding title, won just once from 22 starts. His luck is bound to change as the meet continues.
Kent Desormeaux has increased his workload this meet and it’s paid off dividends. He finds himself tied for the lead with Evin Roman at eight wins apiece. Desormeaux won seven races in total and all but two of the stakes offered at Santa Anita last week, including the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (Roy H). Roman won four times on Thursday and seven times in all to keep pace with Desormeaux.
Drayden Van Dyke and Corey Nakatani are tied for third at seven wins each, though Van Dyke has taken more than double the mounts Nakatani has. Tyler Baze is fifth at five wins while Flavien Prat is just sixth with four wins, tied with Gary Stevens and Joe Talamo.
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