It’s time to discuss last week’s horse racing happenings, centering on jockey achievements from coast to coast.
Manny Franco and Jose Lezcano continue to dominate proceedings at Belmont this fall. Franco leads all riders with 37 victories, seven of which he earned last week. Lezcano, second at 32, found the winner’s circle five times in the same span.
Joel Rosario is a distant third at 24 wins, but he recorded a hat-trick on Saturday highlighted by his Sands Point Stakes score atop New and Improved. Rosario made a mid-week trip to Keeneland count when he took the Franklin County Stakes aboard Oleksandra.
The weekend stakes at Belmont were well-divided, as Junior Alvarado took Sunday’s Point of Entry (Red Knight) while Luis Saez scored in Monday’s Knickerbocker (Lucullan).
Javier Castellano remains in front at the Keeneland fall meet with 12 victories. He brought home five winners last week but was shut out stakes-wise. Jose Ortiz, close behind in second, scored five of his 11 total wins last week. That included his stakes score in the Jessamine atop Sweet Melania.
Julien Leparoux, third with seven victories, also won five races last week. The centerpiece stake of the weekend, Saturday’s QEII Challenge Cup, went to John Velazquez and Cambier Parc.
Florent Geroux, tied for fourth with Corey Lanerie at six scores, broke his sternum in a training accident on Sunday and is out indefinitely. He is in jeopardy of missing the Breeders’ Cup, where he is in line to ride Owendale in the Classic.
Two unfamiliar names grace the top of the jockey standings at the Santa Anita fall meeting through three weeks. Abel Cedillo is currently in first with 12 scores following a five-win week in which he took the Anoakia Stakes atop Leucothea. Jorge Velez is hot on his heels with 11 strikes, seven of which he earned last week.
Rafael Bejarano, just one behind Drayden Van Dyke at seven wins, went 5-for-13 last week with five additional ITM finishes.
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