Weekly jockey review, 8/8/18; Irad Ortiz Jr. soars to the top at Saratoga

Time to check in on the weekly happenings at Saratoga and Del Mar. We’ll see which jockeys are hot and which are cold here. Don’t forget to take part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!


Irad Ortiz Jr. leapfrogged to the top of the Saratoga leaderboard with an 11-win performance. He won three stakes over the last six racing days, headlined by Saturday’s Whitney atop Diversify. Ortiz Jr. now leads Luis Saez 23-17.

Saez took a step back after a huge Week 2 outing but still managed four victories, though none were stakes.

Javier Castellano is third with 16 triumphs after visiting the winner’s circle six times last week. His stanza was highlighted by a strike in the Shine Again Stakes with Your Love.

Joel Rosario won Friday’s Hall of Fame Stakes atop Raging Bull en route to a four-win week. He’s now tied for fifth with Manny Franco at 12 wins each, though Rosario has raced far fewer times. Rosario also registered ITM finishes in the Test (Kelly’s Humor) and Whitney (Mind Your Biscuits) on Saturday.

Jose Ortiz and Junior Alvarado may have turned the corner after slow starts at Saratoga. Ortiz took the Test with Separationofpowers and the Troy atop Sandy’z Slew to record a six-win week. He hit the board with 73% of his horses and is currently eighth with 10 wins for the meet.

Alvarado rode at a much lower volume than Ortiz but bagged four winner last week. He upset Sunday’s Alydar Stakes atop Realm, which helped him get to eight wins through three weeks (ninth place).

Del Mar

Flavien Prat maintains a one-win lead (16-15) over Drayden Van Dyke after the pair won six races apiece last week. Prat, the first rider to crack the $1 million earnings plateau at the meet, recorded a stakes double on Sunday, taking the Sorrento (Bellafina) and La Jolla (River Boyne).

Van Dyke took the centerpiece stake of the week, the Grade II Yellow Ribbon, atop much-the-best Cambodia. He also scored in the Graduation Stakes with Tap the Wire. Van Dyke, along with Prat, is firing at a robust 27% at Del Mar.

A six-win week propelled Tyler Baze into third place with 12 wins for the meet. That included a riding triple on Saturday. He’s clear by two over apprentice Assael Espinoza (formerly Asa Espinoza), who recorded four victories last week.

Rafael Bejarano won Friday’s Daisycutter Handicap (Go On Mary) to stay within shouting distance of the leaders. After a two-win stanza, Bejarano is up to six victories on the meet and is tied for eighth with Tiago Pereira.

Two veterans that have struggled mightily are Kent Desormeaux (3-for-50) and Joe Talamo (2-for-53). The pair are hardly even hitting the board of late, so you may want to avoid using them for a while.

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