Ricardo Santana, Jr., winner of the 2017 Oklahoma Derby (G3), won four of the nine stakes offered at Remington on Sunday on his way to earning Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week Honors for September 18-24, 2017. 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. Jockey of the Week is sponsored by Animal Element’s Foundation Detox and Product X Performance Enhancer.
The Oklahoma Derby card at Remington Park is the Oklahoma City track’s feature day of the Thoroughbred meet. With nine stakes and over $1.2 million on the line, the card attracted deep fields and competitive entries; there would be no walkovers.
Ricardo Santana, Jr. was well-mounted for trainer Steve Asmussen and was scheduled to ride in nine of the 12 races on the Sunday card, including eight stakes. In the $50,000 Flashy Lady Stakes, he defeated heavy favorite Wheatfield by a neck with Golden Mischief ($5.40), followed by another short margin of victory in the $100,000 Remington Green Stakes with Turbo Street ($8.40).
Santana returned to the winner’s circle in the $175,000 Governor’s Cup Stakes in the eighth race with Iron Fist ($4.20) in a ¾ length victory over a short field that included co-favorite American Dubai and second-choice Texas Chrome, last year’s Oklahoma Derby winner.
Santana’s final stakes win of the day came in the feature event, the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby (G3). Santana and Untrapped found themselves near the lead early as the field was uncomfortably tight in the first turn. The pair sat just off the pace before circling three-wide and making a strong stretch drive to pull away from post-time favorite Battle of Midway by nearly two lengths at the wire. Untrapped ($24.60) is trained by Steve Asmussen for owner Michael Langford, bred in Kentucky by Indian Creek and Jonathan Sheppard.
The Oklahoma Derby marked for the first win for Untrapped since he broke his maiden in 2016. Santana was aboard for the colt’s maiden victory at Churchill Downs last fall and returned to ride him in this year’s Kentucky Derby (G1). Though they finished far back in the Kentucky Derby, the pair returned to run third in both the Ohio Derby (G3) and the Indiana Derby (G3) this summer, using the longest layoff in the field to their advantage in Sunday’s win.
Between trips to the winner’s circle, Santana finished second in the $200,000 Remington Park Oaks with Ever So Clever, third in the $75,000 Kip Deville stakes with Flat Lucky, and third in the $150,000 David M. Vance Sprint Stakes with Counterforce.
In his 23 starts at Remington and Churchill Downs, Santana won four races, at 26% for the week. He was in the money on 61% of his starts, including five second-place finishes and 2 third-place finishes. His 2017 stats include 104 wins in 704 starts, with 892 career wins in 5,726 races.
Santana added $549,759 to his 2017 total of over $6 million, and he now has career earnings of $37,039,869. He was the fourth leading rider among North American jockeys by total and stakes earnings last week, with stakes earnings of $502,505.
The multiple graded stakes winning jockey earned his first career Grade 1 victory in the 2016 Arkansas Derby aboard Creator. Other notable mounts include Paid Up Subscriber, Tapiture and Terra Promessa. The Panama native earned his first riding title at Delaware Park in 2012 and has since earned five consecutive riding titles at Oaklawn Park.
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 Jockeys’ Guild 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.