Weekly jockey review, 10/25/17; contentious Keeneland rider race comes down to final week

The traditional fall meets at some of the nation’s top racing venues are entering their final weeks! Get a recap of last week’s thoroughbred action from a jockey angle and see which riders might build on their momentum as the Breeders’ Cup approaches. As always, be sure to take part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!

Belmont

Irad Ortiz Jr. had a commanding eight-win lead over Javier Castellano (45-37) going into the last racing week at Belmont. Ortiz won 10 last week (37 starts), including a five-win Thursday. He failed to score on Empire Showcase Day but Ortiz managed to win a high-level allowance on stakes-placed Call Provision on Friday and won a similar race on Sunday atop stakes-placed Life In Shambles.

Castellano is an isolated second, as he leads Joel Rosario 37-26. Castellano won eight times last week, including Saturday’s Empire Classic on Twisted Tom.

It was a slow week for Rosario, Luis Saez (23 wins) and John Velazquez (19 wins), who combined for four wins at the Elmont oval. That gave Manny Franco (18) a chance to play catch-up, as he scored five times last week. His biggest win came in the Empire Distaff aboard Verdant Pastures.

Keeneland

Julien Leparoux holds the narrowest of leads heading into the final four racing days at Keeneland. He won four times last week, including a Saturday hat trick, to boost his total to 13. Chief among those wins was Saturday’s Raven Run atop Miss Sunset.

Florent Geroux and Ricardo Santana Jr. currently share second at 12 wins apiece. Each jockey won four times last week, but Geroux won the Valley View Stakes on Lovely Bernadette.

Robby Albarado, fourth with 11 overall victories, won five times last week. He is well within striking distance of another career riding title.

Santa Anita

Kent Desormeaux was on the sidelines last week due to suspension, which enabled Evin Roman to regain the lead going into the last week of the fall meet at Santa Anita. Roman won twice to take a 13-12 advantage over Desormeaux.

Tyler Baze recorded a Sunday hat trick and five overall wins last week, taking his meet total up to 11. He currently sits third despite a slow start and could easily win the riding title with a solid final stanza.

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