It’s time to review the week that was in horse racing, centering on fall meet happenings from coast to coast.
As other riders abandon Belmont from time-to-time, Manny Franco has stayed and reaped the rewards. The leading mount-getter (161) is also first in wins with 30 at the fall meeting. Franco scored six times last week, highlighted by Saturday’s Champagne Stakes victory atop Tiz the Law.
Jose Lezcano, the spring meet champ, is currently second with 26 wins. He visited the winners’ circle nine times last week and won both the Matron (Alms) and Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational (Final Frontier) on Saturday.
Joel Rosario, among those splitting time at Belmont and Keeneland, is third at the New York oval with 19 strikes for the meet. He won five times overall last week, including three on Sunday. The highlight was his Grade I Frizette score atop Wicked Whisper.
Javier Castellano was the star on opening week of the fall meet at Keeneland, winning seven times. He began with a three-win Friday highlighted by his Grade I Alcibiades triumph aboard British Idiom. Castellano followed that with a Saturday hat-trick that included a victory in the Grade II TCA Stakes atop Spiced Perfection.
Jose Ortiz was second with five wins over the weekend. That included a stakes double, namely the Phoenix (Engage) and Breeders’ Futurity (Maxfield).
Florent Geroux was the only other rider to win more than twice over the first three racing days.
Abel Cedillo and Drayden Van Dyke share the lead (seven wins each) at Santa Anita’s fall meet through two weeks. Cedillo won three times last week, all on Friday. Van Dyke was much more impressive last week, winning six times. That was highlighted by a stakes triple on Saturday that included the L.A. Woman (Lady Ninja), City of Hope Mile (True Valor) and the Swingtime (Toinette).
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