Weekly jockey review, 12/13/17; Irad Ortiz Jr. has huge week at Aqueduct, Gulfstream

Time to review the week that was in horse racing from a jockey perspective. See how your favorite riders are doing here, and don’t forget to play FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!

Aqueduct

Irad Ortiz Jr. couldn’t be contained at Aqueduct last week, winning 11 times in four days. Of the 24 mounts he took at “The Big A” last week, Ortiz Jr. missed hitting the board on just four of them (83% ITM). He now enjoys an 11-win lead over Manny Franco. Ortiz Jr. also went to Gulfstream on Saturday and won a trio of stakes, including the Caribbean Classic (Jala Jala).

Franco, one behind the idle Jose Ortiz at 21 wins, won a trio of races last week to stave off Kendrick Carmouche (18 wins), who won seven times in the same span.

Fair Grounds

Colby Hernandez is out to a surprising lead less than month into the meet at the Fair Grounds. He’s one ahead of Miguel Mena (15-14) after winning four times last week. Mena won just thrice.

Shaun Bridgmohan and Mitchell Murrill, third and fourth respectively, are the only other riders with double-digit wins (11 and 10, respectively) as the New Orleans oval hits the one-month mark later this week.

Florent Geroux got a late start to the meet, hence why he’s looking up at six other riders with only seven victories. Still, he won just twice from 21 mounts last week.

Joe Bravo continues to be productive when in town. He won three races and placed in two others from seven starts spread over three days last week. Bravo spent Saturday at Aqueduct, and while he didn’t win a race, he hit the board in all six starts.

Gulfstream

Luis Saez, last year’s defending champ, is back on top after the first full racing week at Gulfstream. He picked up nine wins, which was good for the lead through seven total racing days.  He won Saturday’s Wait A While Stakes (Malibu Saint) as well as a Sunday allowance on stakes-placed Giuseppe The Great.

Tyler Gaffalione, second with seven triumphs, won five times last week, including the Hut Hut Stakes atop Miss Mo Mentum. That was good enough to catch Emisael Jaramillo, who is back to third with six victories at the meet.

Los Alamitos

The first week of the Los Al December meet was dominated by Evin Roman, save for stakes races won by opportunistic veterans. It was more of the same in week two, as Roman forged a near-insurmountable eight-win lead over Drayden Van Dyke (13-5) with just one week remaining. Van Dyke, however, won Saturday’s Grade I Starlet Stakes atop Dream Tree.

Joe Talamo, Edwin Maldonado and Tyler Baze each have four wins and are tied for third.

Mike Smith continues to pick his spots well at the meet. He won Saturday’s Grade I Los Al Futurity atop McKinzie (via DQ) and now has three victories from just five total starts.

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