Summer racing is in full swing with Belmont and Monmouth going strong on the east coast. Meanwhile, out west, Santa Anita’s marathon meet that was marred with controversy came to a close last weekend. We’ll review all the action here, highlighting jockey achievements.
Jose Lezcano is still the leading rider at Belmont as the spring/summer meet nears its conclusion, but Luis Saez is trying to make a race of it. The latter brought home 12 winners over the last five racing days to boost his meet total to 33, six behind Lezcano.
Saez was at Monmouth on Saturday, and though he was shut out in stakes competition there, he was able to win a division of the New York Stallion Stakes series at Belmont on Sunday with Rinaldi.
Lezcano won three times at “Big Sandy” last week and made a stop at Monmouth on Saturday. He was able to win their Grade III Philip H. Iselin Stakes with Monongahela.
Jose Ortiz, eighth in the rider standings at 26 wins (though just five behind Irad Ortiz Jr. for third), struck five times at Belmont last week. He too was at Monmouth on Saturday, and he took down the Lady’s Secret Stakes with Pink Sands.
Jose Ferrer was able to cut into Nik Juarez’s lead at Monmouth, winning six races compared to Juarez’s three. However, Paco Lopez was the star of the week. He tallied a stakes triple on the weekend, highlighted by his upset score in the Grade I United Nations atop Hunter O’Riley.
The curtain came down on the nearly six-month Santa Anita meeting last weekend, and Flavien Prat emerged the clear victor with 82 wins. He won just once in the week’s final stanza, but it occurred in Saturday’s Wilshire Stakes atop Simply Breathless. Racing moves to Los Alamitos for a 10-day meet beginning on Saturday, June 29.
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