Weekly jockey review, 3/14/18; Van Dyke, Smith shine at Santa Anita

Let’s review the stakes-laden week that was in horse racing and see which jockeys rose to the occasion. As always, be sure to apply this information when playing FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!


Manny Franco posted his first career five-win day on Sunday to pass Dylan Davis for first in the Aqueduct jockey standings. Franco swept a $225.50 Pick Three that day for his seventh, eighth and ninth wins of the week. He now leads Davis 45-43. Davis’ week was not too shabby, as he won four races, including Saturday’s Stymie Stakes atop Harlan Punch.

Junior Alvarado won three times last week, including Saturday’s centerpiece race, the Gotham Stakes, with Enticed. He currently sits third with 32 overall victories.

Fair Grounds

The jockey’s race is getting crowded late in the meeting as Miguel Mena continues to slump. Mena still has a meet-high 55 wins, but he won just once last week after getting shut out the week before.

Shaun Bridgmohan won three races last week, including the LaCombe Memorial Stakes atop Kabella, to get to 54 wins for the season.

Adam Beschizza (50 wins) took command of third place with a five-win outing, taking the Menard Memorial Stakes with Triple Chelsea in the process. He leads Corey Lanerie by just one going into the antepenultimate racing week.


Luis Saez had a solid weekend, winning seven times, to put even more distance between himself and the pack. He now stands at 112 wins for the meet, which has just three weeks left to go.

Irad Ortiz Jr. started slowly last week but still managed to record five wins. He was out of town on Saturday, taking three races at Tampa Bay Downs, highlighted by the Grade II Hillsborough Stakes (Fourstar Crook).

Santa Anita

It was a surprisingly lean “Big ‘Cap” week for many of Santa Anita’s top jockeys. Evin Roman, still in front with 38 wins, was shut out from 21 mounts. Flavien Prat, trailing Roman by two, won just twice last week. Kent Desormeaux, third with 29 wins, won just once.

Drayden Van Dyke (27 wins) climbed into fourth after a five-win week, four of which came on Saturday. In fact, Van Dyke swept the first four races on the card, including the Grade I Triple Bend Stakes atop City of Light. Van Dyke is now second in earnings behind Prat and has the second-best win percentage of any rider in the top 10 (21%).

First in that category is Mike Smith, who had a phenomenal five-win week and was controversially DQ’d out of a sixth win in the San Felipe Stakes with McKinzie. He’ll serve a three-day suspension for the incident which elevated Bolt d’Oro to first.

Smith was aboard the highly-regarded Justify, who won a three-year-old allowance race on Sunday to get to 2-for-2 lifetime. He’s now considered one the top Kentucky Derby contenders despite currently having zero Derby points for trainer Bob Baffert.

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