Weekly jockey review, 10/17/18; Van Dyke soars to top at Santa Anita

The traditional Breeders’ Cup preps are behind us, but the fall meets continue at Belmont, Keeneland and Santa Anita. We’ll review the action at each circuit here, zeroing in on which jockeys are outperforming the competition. As always, be sure to take part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!


Irad Ortiz Jr. has taken over the lead in the Belmont jockey standings from Manny Franco, 29-28. Ortiz won six times last week, though none were stakes. He did, however, head to Woodbine on Saturday and took down the Grade I Nearctic atop Hembree.

Franco won four starts at Belmont last week, recording riding doubles on Saturday and Sunday, but was also shut out in the stakes department.

Three riders, Jose Ortiz, Javier Castellano and Joel Rosario, are tied for third at 21 wins apiece entering the penultimate week of racing at Belmont. None of them recorded more than two wins during the week, as they split their time at Keeneland, which we’ll dive into shortly.

Luis Saez had one of the best weeks of any jockey on the grounds, winning six starts, but he’s still far back at just 13 wins for the meet. However, Saez hasn’t been present for half the meet, taking just 76 mounts.

The weekend stakes were well-divided, as Maryland mainstay Julien Pimentel swiped Saturday’s Floral Park aboard Fire Key before Eric Cancel got the win atop Stella di Camelot in the Pebbles. Sunday’s Point of Entry went to John Velazquez and Hello Don Julio.


Jose Ortiz struggled to a two-win week but still has the lead in the Keeneland fall standings. However, he shares the top with apprentice Edgar Morales, who won four last week to tie Ortiz at six wins apiece. Julien Leparoux also won a pair and is close behind the top two at five total victories.

Javier Castellano invaded with success on Saturday, recording a hat-trick that included the Grade I QEII Challenge Cup (Rushing Fall). That brought him up to four total triumphs, which ties him for fourth.

Struggling mightily at the meet are Kentucky regulars Florent Geroux (3-for-38) and Corey Lanerie (1-for 47). It might be best to stay away from their mounts for the moment.

Santa Anita

Drayden Van Dyke rallied for five wins last week to tie Flavien Prat for first at 11 victories. That included a strike in the Anoakia Stakes atop Chasing Yesterday on Sunday. Prat was shut out from seven starts after an unsuccessful mid-week sojourn to Keeneland.

Assael Espinoza won three times to maintain third. Gary Stevens won three in one day on Friday and four overall to jump to fourth with eight total victories.

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