Weekly jockey review, 5/23/18; Smith, Santana Jr. shine at Pimlico

Another big racing weekend is in the books as the Preakness came and went on Saturday. We’ll analyze the results at Pimlico as well as Belmont and Santa Anita in this week’s jockey review. Don’t forget to consider these trends when playing FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!


Manny Franco, still in front by one over Irad Ortiz Jr, won twice at Belmont on Thursday before taking Saturday’s off-the-turf Dixie at Pimlico. Ortiz Jr. was also at Pimlico on Preakness weekend but managed to win three times at Belmont last week. Ortiz Jr. went 2-for-12 at “Old Hilltop,” including a win in the Jim McKay Turf Sprint atop Imprimus.

John Velazquez took advantage of his main rivals’ absence and won six times from Wednesday to Friday at Belmont, highlighted by a Friday hat-trick. He now sits at 16 wins, two off the lead.

Joel Rosario stayed at Belmont all five racing days and won five times to get to 10 for the meet. He’s one off fourth place, which is held by Jose Ortiz.


Ricardo Santana Jr. was most impressive on Preakness weekend, winning five times from 11 starts. All five of those victories were stakes, including two Grade IIIs (The Allaire DuPont Distaff and Maryland Sprint).

Mike Smith unsurprisingly led the way in earnings after taking the Preakness with Justify as well as the Sir Barton with Ax Man.

The remaining stakes were fairly well-divided, but Jose Ortiz and Javier Castellano outshined their competition by each hitting the board eight times from 14 starts. Ortiz nabbed the Pimlico Special and Gallorette while Castellano took the The Very One.

Santa Anita

Flavien Prat won twice last week to extend his lead over the suspended Geovanni Franco to four (20-16).

Joe Talamo won just once from 17 starts but held onto third with Mario Gutierrez, who won four last week. They are each six wins off the lead.

Drayden Van Dyke and Asa Espinoza, tied for fifth at 12 wins apiece, each recorded a strong recent stanza. Van Dyke won four times while Espinoza won three (all on Thursday).

Hall-of-Famer Gary Stevens recorded his first win since returning to Southern California in Saturday’s Fran’s Valentine Stakes with Cordiality.

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