Weekly jockey review, 10/18/17; Jose Ortiz sweeps Saturday stakes at Belmont

It’s a very exciting time in thoroughbred racing, as fall riding titles are up for grabs across the country and the Breeders’ Cup (Nov. 3 and 4 at Del Mar) is drawing closer. See how your favorite riders are faring at their respective circuits, and don’t forget FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!

Belmont

Irad Ortiz Jr. extended his lead to six with just two weeks of racing remaining at Belmont. He won six times last week, including a high-level allowance event atop former stakes winner Economic Model on Wednesday.

Javier Castellano won just twice but spent only two days at Belmont. He split time between Woodbine and Keeneland as well as “Big Sandy” last week. Castellano remains second, trailing Ortiz 35-29, but boasts a high win percentage (24%).

Joel Rosario, third at 24 wins, also missed some racing days to ride at Woodbine and Keeneland but won four times at Belmont. There were no stakes wins to report for Rosario, but he did manage to place in both the Futurity (Barry Lee) and the Pebbles (Party Boat).

Luis Saez had an underwhelming week, winning just twice in 26 tries, but kept fourth in the standings. He’s at 22 scores for the meet. John Velazquez is up to 18 victories after a four-win week and is now in fifth place.

Jose Ortiz won both the Futurity and Pebbles Stakes on Saturday with Engage and Rubilinda, respectively. He’s taken far fewer mounts than his chief competition this meet but is sixth with 17 total scores.

Keeneland

Julien Leparoux won just twice last week but did well enough to keep the lead after eight days of racing. He has a one-win advantage over Florent Geroux and Ricardo Santana Jr., who are tied at eight wins each. Geroux won six races last week while Santana won seven.

Robby Albarado visited the Keeneland winner’s circle on two occasions last week. That was good enough to secure fourth from Corey Lanerie, who won four times. Albarado leads Lanerie 6-5.

Jose Lezcano has won just three times from 24 mounts over two racing weeks but he was victorious in the Grade III Franklin County Stakes (Morticia) and the Grade I QE II Challenge Cup (La Coronel).

Santa Anita

Kent Desormeaux leads Evin Roman 12-11 with just two weeks to go at “The Great Race Place.” Desormeaux won four races last week while Roman won three.

Corey Nakatani, third with nine total triumphs, might have his fine meet derailed by a three-day suspension for “failing to ride to the finish” in Saturday’s fifth race. It is unclear at this time if he will appeal.

Tiago Pereira had a strong five-win week to climb into a share of fifth with Tyler Baze (six wins). Chief among those wins was Saturday’s California Distaff Handicap on Barbara Beatrice.

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