March 12, 2015
John Velazquez named the Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week
John Velazquez was voted the Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week by winning 5 races and placing second twice in 12 mounts at Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs. On Friday, Johnny V started the weekend off right by winning the Islamorada Handicap at Gulfstream aboard Materiality. Velazquez then continued his impressive stakes form on Saturday at Tampa Bay by winning the Challenger Stakes aboard General a Rod, the Grade III Hillsborough Stakes aboard Stephanie’s Kitten, and the Grade II Tampa Bay Derby aboard Derby hopeful Carpe Diem. Read more . . .
People’s Choice: The Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week is selected by a blue ribbon panel of industry experts. Now, each Monday, any racing fan can cast a vote that will be aggregated for a voice on the selection panel. Visit JockeyTalk360.com on Monday for details.
Russell Baze (Golden Gate) had a week to remember by going 11-3-4 in 23 mounts. Baze’s 48% win percentage earned $132,952 and helped him stay atop of the jockey standings at Golden Gate. See the week’s top jockeys by winning percentage here.
TD Houghton (Mahoning Valley/Mountaineer) led the week in wins with 15 from 56 mounts. Houghton’s consistency also earned him 14 seconds and 5 thirds bringing his percentage in the money to over 60%. Christian Pilares (Mahoning Valley/Mountaineer) also had an impressive week winning 13 times from 43 mounts See the week’s top jockeys by wins here.
Mike Smith (Santa Anita) led all North American jockeys in earnings with $693,840. John Velazquez (Gulfstream/Tampa Bay)came in second in earnings with $420,128, and Javier Castellano (Gulfstream) rounded out the top 3 with $360,130 in earnings. See the week’s top jockeys by earnings here.
Omar Reyes (Remington Park) is leading the Quarter Horse standings in wins for 2015 with 42 from 184 starts. Rodrigo Vallejo ranks second with 33 wins from 136 starts and David Alvarez (Louisiana Downs) ranks third with 32 wins from 123 mounts.
Rodrigo Vallejo has earned $645,984 from 136 starts to lead the AQHA earnings standings, while Omar Reyes is second with $535,717, and Yordanis Amaro is third with $461,798. Keep up with all the AQHA leaders here . . .
Q. These days, the nation’s leading jockeys in money won usually exceeds $20 million in purse earnings for the year. In 1946, this jock became the first to top the $1 million mark in purses, who is he?
A) Eddie Arcaro
B) Bill Hartack
C) Ted Atkinson
D) Walter Blum
If you know the answer, you might win an autographed Joe Talamo trading card in JockeyTalk360’s Quiz #23.
Ride of the Week
In Saturday’s China Doll Stakes at Santa Anita, jockey Aaron Gryder piloted Singing Kitty to a 19-1 upset which earned the JockeyTalk360 Ride of the Week. A winner of more than 3,600 career victories, Gryder saved ground the entire one mile turf event. Singing Kitty broke sharp, and he took a hold of the three-year-old filly, who followed a hot pace set by She’s a Big Winner. Gryder stayed on the fence and got Singing Kitty to relax off a first quarter in 23.07. On the stretch, he was able to find seam and went up to the leader. Knowing that there would be some strong closers, he did not ask Singing Kitty until the top of the lane. And, she had plenty left for the win. Read more & view replay . . .
First win for Apprentice Eric Cancel
Apprentice jockey Eric Cancel tallied his first victory in the United States March 8 when he rode Acclaimed Racing Stable’s Little Baker to win a narrow win in the third race at Gulfstream Park. The mount was just the fourth of the current meet for Cancel, an 18-year-old native of Puerto Rico, where he won four of 32 races before moving to continue his riding career in South Florida. Read more . . .
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 Jockey of the Week is selected by a vote of representatives of America’s Best Racing, the Daily Racing Form, Equibase, the Jockeys’ Guild, the Paulick Report, the Thoroughbred Daily News, National Thoroughbred Racing Association, National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, Thoroughbred Racing Associations, Turf Publicists of America and racing fans.