We had Grade I action on both coasts last weekend; let’s review the drama here, paying careful attention to the achievements of the top riders at Del Mar and Saratoga. Be sure to apply this information toward FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
Irad Ortiz Jr. poured it on at “The Spa” last week, registering 11 wins and pulling away to a 40-28 lead over Javier Castellano. Chief among those scores was Wednesday’s Bolton Landing Stakes atop Stillwater Cove.
Castellano was held in check with just four wins last week, but he did manage to take Saturday’s Lake Placid aboard Rushing Fall. He’s doing just enough to hold off the surging Jose Ortiz for now.
Ortiz won eight races last week, springboarding into third with 26 victories for the meet. He swept the featured weekend stakes, taking the Alabama on Saturday (Eskimo Kisses) and Summer Colony on Sunday (Moonlit Garden).
Manny Franco won eight times last week, taking Thursday’s Union Avenue (Bonita Bianca) in the process. He’s up to 24 wins for the meet, one better than fifth-place Luis Saez, whose 0-for-38 showing last week torpedoed his chances at the leading rider title.
Drayden Van Dyke seized the lead in the jockey standings thanks mainly to a Del Mar record-tying seven-win Sunday. He’s now up on Flavien Prat 26-25. Van Dyke began his impressive stanza with two mid-week wins, including a score in Friday’s Green Flash Handicap (Stormy Liberal). He was shut out on Pacific Classic day but bounced back to snag wins on seven of his eight mounts on Sunday. That included the Del Mar Mile atop Catapult.
Prat was suspended from Friday through Saturday for causing interference in a race on Aug. 9, but was allowed to race in graded events. He won twice during the week before beginning his suspension. On Saturday, Prat guided Fashion Business home first in the Del Mar Handicap.
Joe Talamo managed to turn a corner last week with a five-win performance. He produced consecutive riding doubles on Friday and Saturday. However, Talamo remains far back with just eight tallies for the entire meet.
Former California mainstay Joel Rosario made his weekend trip to Del Mar highly memorable. He brought home four winners on Saturday, including Accelerate in the Pacific Classic, and added another victory on Sunday.
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