The first weekend of August was filled to the brim with stakes action at Saratoga and Del Mar. We’ll recap the highlights here, focusing on jockey achievements.
The Ortiz brothers top the standings at Saratoga with four weeks of racing in the books. Jose leads older sibling Irad 27-22 after winning nine times last week. He failed to record a stakes victory but was a narrowly-beaten second in the Test with Serengeti Empress. Ortiz Jr. won 11 times last week, including a victory in Sunday’s Grade II Adirondack Stakes with Perfect Alibi.
Luis Saez and Javier Castellano are tied for third at 17 triumphs each. However, both riders hit somewhat of a rough patch. Saez won just twice last week but made the victories count as he took Saturday’s Lure Stakes (Lucullan) and Sunday’s Saratoga Derby (A Thread of Blue). Castellano visited the winner’s circle only three times last week but took the Grade III Waya atop Fools Gold. Jose Lezcano is close behind this pair at 16 wins after posting a four-win stanza.
Drayden Van Dyke forged a tie with Flavien Prat atop Del Mar’s leaderboard at 17 scores apiece on the strength of a five-win week. That included a victory by the narrowest of margins in Saturday’s featured Grade II Yellow Ribbon atop Beau Recall. Prat, who just finished serving a suspension and rode at Saratoga on Saturday, won twice on Sunday in his first full day back at the San Diego oval.
Rafael Bejarano posted a six-win week to get to 13 victories on the meet. That’s four better than the tandem of Ruben Fuentes and Abel Cedillo, who are tied for fourth.
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