It’s time to review the week that was in horse racing, emphasizing jockey achievements at Aqueduct, Churchill and Del Mar.
A five-win Monday propelled Irad Ortiz Jr. to the top of the Aqueduct jockey standings through two weeks. Ortiz Jr. swept the last three races on the special Veterans Day program, triggering a $366 Pick Three payoff. He won 11 events in all during the five-day stanza.
Junior Alvarado is second with eight wins to his credit. He struck a total of three times last week. In close pursuit of Alvarado is Jose Lezcano, who is third at seven victories and tied with Javier Castellano. Lezcano won three times last week while Castellano bagged a half-dozen strikes.
Taking down the majority of the weekend stakes was Joel Rosario, fifth with six scores on the meet. Saturday saw him swipe both the Pumpkin Pie (Saguaro Row) and Artie Schiller (Curlin’s Honor) before his score in Sunday’s Stewart Manor (Fly So Pretty).
Corey Lanerie maintained a five-win lead over Ricardo Santana Jr. as each rider took down four heats last week. Tyler Gaffalione, Brian Hernandez Jr. and James Graham are all tied at 10 wins apiece after three weeks of highly-competitive racing at Churchill.
The lone stake of the week, the Commonwealth Turf, went to Joe Rocco Jr. and Mr Dumas. Racing continues on Thursday after Wednesday’s card was canceled due to cold.
A brief three-day opening weekend realized a four-way tie atop the leaderboard at Del Mar. Abel Cedillo took three races from seven mounts on Sunday, including the Desi Arnaz atop Leucothea. Heriberto Figueroa tallied three wins between Saturday and Sunday, including the Let It Ride Stakes with Bob and Jackie.
Drayden Van Dyke and Tiago Pereira also recorded an opening-week hat-trick. Jorge Velez was the only other jockey to win more than one race at Del Mar between Friday and Sunday.
Follow me on Twitter: @itsgood2beking