Aqueduct and Del Mar wrapped up their fall meets last weekend, while Gulfstream just began their prestigious winter championship meet. Let’s review the action here and see which jockeys are thriving heading into the final month of the year. Be sure to note this information when playing FanXT’s Daily Fantasy Jockey game!
The fall meeting at Aqueduct concluded prematurely, as weather forced racing to be canceled on Sunday. Jose Ortiz stole the show on Saturday as he guided Patternrecognition to a gate-to-wire score in the Cigar Mile, but Manny Franco emerged with the riding crown for the month-long meet.
Franco won four races over the final stanza, including Saturday’s Demoiselle (Positive Spirit), to stave off Irad Ortiz Jr., 25-21. The latter won six over the latter few racing days but just couldn’t catch up.
Luis Saez finished third with 15 victories despite just one win in the final week.
Aqueduct’s winter meet commences on Friday.
Drayden Van Dyke and Flavien Prat went back-and-forth throughout the Del Mar fall meet, but it was the former who emerged victorious, 17-16. Van Dyke was shut-out stakes-wise but won twice on Saturday, including a maiden race for Bob Baffert atop Kentucky Derby prospect (and full brother to Mohaymen) Kingly. Prat won thrice over the final four racing days.
Geovanni Franco was held to one win in the final stanza and finished third (13). Joe Talamo recorded a pair of victories en route to a solid fourth-place result (11). Rafael Bejarano and Heriberto Figueroa tied for fifth (10).
Joel Rosario swiped both the Grade I Hollywood Derby (Raging Bull) and Matriarch (Uni), showing his turf-racing prowess.
Racing moves to Los Alamitos for an eight-day meeting that begins on Thursday.
With two days of racing in the books at the long winter meet, Tyler Gaffalione and Chris Landeros are knotted atop the leaderboard at three wins apiece. Landeros won two divisions of Saturday’s Claiming Crown, while Gaffalione recorded a Sunday hat-trick.
It’s still very early, but Gulfstream staples like Paco Lopez (0-for-20), Luis Saez (1-for-16) and Emisael Jaramillo (1-for-12) are all off to slow starts. Keep a close eye on them going forward.
Follow me on Twitter: @itsgood2beking