After winning four stakes races at Churchill Downs over the holiday weekend, Brian Hernandez, Jr. was named Shuffle Bean Coffee Jockey of the Week for the week of November 21-27, 2016. The award is voted on by a panel of experts for riding accomplishments by members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 950 riders in North America.
Hernandez began the weekend with a victory in the Grade 3, $100,000 River City Handicap aboard Thatcher Street on Churchill Downs’ Thanksgiving Day card, defeating Taghleeb and The Pizza Man. He returned on Friday to win two stakes: the Grade 2, $200,000 Mrs. Revere Stakes with Linda and the $80,000 Dream Supreme Stakes with Finley’sluckycharm.
On Saturday, Hernandez clinched the award with his fourth stakes win of the weekend as he guided McCraken to a closing finish in the Grade 2, $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. Hernandez is the regular rider for the undefeated 2-year-old Ghostzapper colt, who earned 10 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby with Saturday’s win. Hernandez partnered with trainer Ian Wilkes for his three graded stakes victories of the weekend.
Last week, Hernandez was the fourth leading rider by stakes earnings and the fifth leading rider by total earnings with $470,996. The 2004 Eclipse Award winner for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey is currently ranked 23rd among North American jockeys by earnings this year, pushing his total to $7,437,711 in 961 starts in 2016.
JockeyTalk360.com spotlights the riders across North America and around the world who may be the bravest, toughest and most accomplished of all athletes. The Shuffle Bean Coffee Jockey of the Week is selected by a vote of representatives of America’s Best Racing, The Daily Racing Form, Equibase, Horse Racing Nation, The Jockeys’ Guild, The Paulick Report, The Thoroughbred Daily News, National Thoroughbred Racing Association, National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, Thoroughbred Racing Associations, and Turf Publicists of America.