Weekly jockey review, 5/30/18; deep rider colonies at Belmont, Santa Anita lead to standings logjams

Time to recap the action from Memorial Day weekend and see which jockeys are excelling at their respective tracks. As always, be sure to take part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!


There’s a tie for first as well as third in the Belmont rider standings, and the latter pair trails by just one! Irad Ortiz Jr. won four, including Monday’s Mount Vernon and Critical Eye, to join Manny Franco at 21 victories. Franco won three but was shut out in terms of stakes.

Sitting in third are Jose Ortiz and John Velazquez, both of whom have spotted the top two significant mounts. Ortiz was quite productive this week, winning nine times, including Monday’s Bouwerie and Commentator. He also visited Monmouth on Saturday and took the John J. Reilly Handicap while placing in the Boiling Springs and Monmouth Stakes.

Velazquez won four, including Saturday’s Paradise Creek atop Gidu. As usual, he sacrificed quantity for quality in his assignments.

Patience is paying off for Luis Saez, who rode the whole week at Belmont and won seven times. He’s up to 19% on the meet but has spotted his rivals significant mounts so far.


This year’s spring/summer meet at Gulfstream has been a lot closer than anticipated, mainly due to Tyler Gaffalione’s occasional forays at other tracks. However, Gaffalione stayed home this week and racked up seven wins, securing a 42-41 lead over Nik Juarez. The latter won three times over the last five racing days.

Just behind Miguel Angel Vazquez and tied with Edgard Zayas for fourth (38) is Emisael Jaramillo. He won five times last week, including an impressive four straight scores on Saturday.

Santa Anita

Flavien Prat continues to lead the way despite missing some races due to suspension. He brought home three winners over the course of five days (12 starts), including Hunt in Monday’s Shoemaker Mile. He’s up to 23 victories for the meet, five clear of Joe Talamo and Geovanni Franco.

Talamo won four times from 14 starts over the five-day racing stanza and placed with Dr. Dorr in Saturday’s Gold Cup.

Mario Gutierrez, fourth with 17 wins, continues to ride at a high percentage (23%) this meet. He won three times last week but was shut out in the stakes.

Tiago Pereira turned in a five-win performance to secure fifth with 16 overall triumphs.

This has been one of the more competitive riding colonies in recent memory at Santa Anita. A quick perusal of the standings sees Drayden Van Dyke in sixth (15 wins) and Kent Desormeaux and Tyler Baze tied for 10th (nine). That’s not to mention some solid apprentices who’ve been earning significant mounts (Asa Espinoza and Franklin Ceballos) and some savvy veterans like Mike Smith and Gary Stevens all sharing the wealth.

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