Weekly jockey review, 6/6/18; Belmont, Penn, Santa Anita highlights

Belmont and Penn National shared the spotlight on the east coast on the Saturday before the Belmont Stakes, while Santa Anita featured stakes action out west all weekend long. We’ll see which jockeys fared best here. Don’t forget to take part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!


Jose Ortiz won six times last week to become the new leading rider at Belmont with 26 scores. He was second in the week’s lone stake, the Pennine Ridge, with Analyze It.

Irad Ortiz Jr. recorded a three-win week, bolstered by a sweep of Sunday’s early double, to get to 24 wins for the meet. He’s now a close second behind his younger brother going into Belmont Stakes week.

Tied for third at 22 wins apiece are Manny Franco and John Velazquez. The former won once locally and once at Penn National in Saturday’s Penn Mile (Hawkish). Velazquez won twice and also took a stake at Penn on Saturday (the New Start with Bronx Beauty).

Javier Castellano recorded a Saturday hat-trick at “Big Sandy” en route to a six-win performance last week. Chief among those triumphs was the aforementioned Pennine Ridge with Catholic Boy. He’s now tied for fifth with Luis Saez at 15 wins each.

Jose Lezcano is far back at the current Belmont meet (three wins from 47 starts) but he made his Saturday visit to Penn National worthwhile. He brought home Smooth B in the Danzig and Morticia in the Penn Ladies Dash.

Santa Anita

Flavien Prat hit the board in 10 of his 13 starts on the three-day racing week at Santa Anita, winning five times. He maintains a five-win cushion on Geovanni Franco, 27-22. Prat didn’t win any stakes but placed in both the Beholder Mile (Paradise Woods) and Possibly Perfect (Queen Blossom). Franco recorded four wins, including Sunday’s Melair (Loving Lynda) and Possibly Perfect (Causeforcommotion).

Joe Talamo won just once but made it count with a score in the Snow Chief aboard Take the One O One. He’s currently third with 19 victories.

Mike Smith and Unique Bella teamed up for the win in Saturday’s main event, the Grade I Beholder Mile. Smith is far back in volume of mounts but continues to ride at a solid 24% clip. He’ll be looking to complete the Triple Crown with Justify in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes.

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