Time to catch up on last week’s horse racing happenings, highlighting the top jockeys at their respective circuits. As always, be sure to take part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
Javier Castellano continues to show the way at the Belmont fall meet. He leads John Velazquez, 13-12, after a four-win week that saw him take Sunday’s John Hettinger atop Fifty Five. He also leads all riders in top-3 finishes (35) and earnings ($902k). Velazquez matched Castellano’s production, taking Wednesday’s Joseph A. Gimma (Cartwheelin Lulu) in the process.
Manny Franco, third with 10 victories, also took down four races last week. He’s close behind Castellano in ITM finishes (34).
The brothers Ortiz, tied for fourth at nine wins each, are beginning to find their stride after slow starts. Jose won six last week, including Sunday’s Gallant Bloom (Union Strike), while Irad won five. The pair were at Parx on Saturday for Pennsylvania Derby day, and each came away with a stakes victory. Jose took the Alphabet Soup, while Irad snared the Gallant Bob.
It was a solid week for Kentucky mainstays Corey Lanerie and Julien Leparoux. Lanerie leads Leparoux 11-10 after a six-win week. Leparoux visited the winner’s circle eight times. Lanerie has a more comfortable lead in earnings heading into the final week of the fall meeting ($477k to $347k).
Heriberto Figueroa snared leading rider honors at the Los Al September meet, beating fellow apprentice Assael Espinoza 15-12. Figueroa won six times over the final four racing days compared to Espinoza’s three.
Tiago Pereira checked in third with 11 overall victories, winning three times last week.
The final stake of the meet, the Barretts Juvenile, went to Drayden Van Dyke and Galilean.
Racing in Southern California moves to Santa Anita Park starting this Friday. The Grade III Eddie D. Stakes on the hillside turf course will be the feature.
The ageless Mike Smith swept both the $1 million Cotillion (Midnight Bisou, via DQ) and the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (McKinzie) on Saturday.
64-year-old jockey Perry Ouzts rode his 7,000th winner at Belterra Park on Friday. He’s ninth all-time in wins and second among active riders, trailing only Edgar Prado (7,015).
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