Belmont’s meet is about to end, while Churchill’s concluded over the weekend. Meanwhile, Los Alamitos just opened for business on Saturday. Here are the jockey highlights for the week that was.
The final week of Belmont’s spring/summer meet has arrived, and Jose Lezcano’s once-commanding lead has shrunk to a narrow two wins over Luis Saez (41-39). Lezcano won only twice during the five-day racing week that was, settling for second behind Jose Ortiz and Dunbar Road in the Mother Goose aboard Classic Fit.
Saez cooled off after a dazzling dozen-win week, bagging just six victories in the most recent stanza at “Big Sandy.” In striking distance for the meet lead at 37 wins is Irad Ortiz Jr., who also scored six times last week.
Joel Rosario had a seven-win week to boost his meet total to 35 victories. That included Saturday’s score in the Perfect Sting Stakes with Uni.
Corey Lanerie coasted to an incredible 17th career riding title at Churchill Downs, winning 43 races over the 38-day meet. He struck five times in the final three days, taking Saturday’s Kelly’s Landing Stakes with Line Judge in the process.
Miguel Mena was shut out in the meet’s final stanza but still managed a second-place finish with 29 triumphs. Julien Leparoux was third at the highly-competitive meet with 27 victories, followed by Ricardo Santana Jr. and Brian Hernandez Jr., who tied for fourth at 25 first-place finishes apiece.
Apprentice J.C. Diaz Jr. won four times in the first two racing days at Los Alamitos to take an early lead against some accomplished California circuit veterans. Geovanni Franco and Edwin Maldonado were the only jockeys to win two times over the weekend, so they share second heading into week two of three.
Ruben Fuentes made only one start over the weekend but it was a winning one with Queen Bee to You in Saturday’s featured Bertrando Stakes. The summer meet continues at Los Alamitos on July 4 with a nine-race program.
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