Belmont and Keeneland are set to wrap up their fall meets this weekend, while Santa Anita has just two weeks remaining. Let’s take a look at which jockeys are faring the best as the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs looms. As always, don’t forget to take part in FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
Irad Ortiz Jr. has just about sewn up top rider honors at Belmont after a 10-win week. He now leads Manny Franco (who visited the winner’s circle three times last week), 39-30. Ortiz won four on Wednesday and three on Friday before taking Saturday’s Sleepy Hollow (Bankit) and Sunday’s Athenia (Rymska).
Javier Castellano won eight races at Belmont last week to get to 29 for the meet. He swept a Saturday Pick Three starting with Race 3, the Mohawk (Offering Plan), and earned his 5,000th career win in Race 4, the Hudson, atop Runaway Lute. Fifty Five helped Castellano add a final win in Race 5, the Ticonderoga. The $2 Pick Three paid $53.50.
Jose Ortiz and Julien Leparoux share the lead at 10 wins apiece heading into the final days of the Keeneland fall meet. Ortiz was victorious in four starts last week (29 mounts), while Leparoux scored five times (25 mounts).
Tyler Gaffalione is close behind the top pair at nine total wins. He had five triumphs last week, including Saturday’s Raven Run atop longshot Shamrock Rose ($39.40). Gaffalione continues to lead all riders in earnings as the only jockey to eclipse the $1 million mark so far.
Brian Hernandez Jr. has recovered from a disastrous start to the meet. He won five times last week to get to six overall and now shares sixth place with Ricardo Santana Jr.
Flavien Prat and Drayden Van Dyke remain tied going into the penultimate stanza of Santa Anita’s autumn meeting. They each won two races to get to 13 overall victories.
There were just two stakes on last week’s docket at “The Great Race Place.” Gary Stevens, tied for fourth with nine wins, took the inaugural Sunny Slope Stakes on Sunday with Sparky Ville. Joe Talamo, well within striking range of third (Assael Espinoza, 10 wins) with eight wins, took Saturday’s California Flag with a well-timed rally atop Brandothebartender.
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