Junior Alvarado’s Perfect Timing Earns Jockey Draft Ride of the Week
In the seven furlong maiden special weight for New York-breds, GR’s Giant was an outsider despite finishing second in his last three starts. Although Alvarado broke GR’s Giant perfectly, he allowed the son of Frost Giant to settle well behind the speed-ball Dusk to Dawn. Sensing a brisk early pace, Alvarado was content in fifth place without asking his mount on the turn.
In recent races GR’s Giant had been closer to the front-runners, so there was a slight change in tactics.
At the head of the lane, GR’s Giant was asked for his best with a couple of taps with a left handed whip. Under a vintage strong Alvarado finish, GR’s Giant was able to make up more than five lengths and wear down the leader for a victory which paid $15.20 to his backers.
This may have seemed to be an easy two length win, but if Alvarado had not broken well (the top three favorites all experienced trouble at the start), had the confidence and patience to wait to make his move, and the strength to finish strongly, Dusk to Dawn would have been another wire-to-wire winner and GR’s Giant would have finished second again.
C.J. McMahon led North America in wins for the second week in a row with 11 and continues to dominate the Lone Star Park jockey standings. McMahon won 11 out of his 26 mounts and came in the money an impressive 77% of the time.
Rosemary Homeister had a great week in the Midwest as she won four of her ten mounts and came in the money 80% of the time. Homeister guided home America Mon Amie in the Northbound Pride Oaks at Canterbury Park.
Alex Cintron is the leading rider at Delaware Park and continued his hot streak by winning 35% and coming in the money on 75% of his mounts.
Victor Espinoza made the most out of his nine mounts by winning five of them including the Grade 2 Summertime Oaks at Santa Anita. Espinoza finished the week with five wins, one second, and one third for earnings of $270,430..
AQHA Quarter Horse Standings
Raul Ramirez Jr. (Delta Downs) remains on top of the wins leaderboard for the year with 83 from 371 mounts. John Hamilton (Delta Downs) ranks second with 82 wins from 415 starts and David Alvarez (Delta Downs) ranks third with 80 wins from 364 mounts.
GR Carter Jr. (Ruidoso) with earnings of $1,390,270 from 371 starts leads the AQHA earnings standings. Raul Ramirez Jr. is sitting in second in the standings with $1,331,982 and Larry Payne (Ruidoso) is third with $1,257,606.
Keep up with all the AQHA leaders here . . .
Lanerie, Leparoux Battle for Churchill Title
Lanerie has won seven of the last eight Churchill Downs titles, including five in a row. He enters Sunday’s action with a 37-36 edge over Leparoux.
“I’m real happy with the way the meet has gone,” Lanerie said. “I’ve got a lot of support behind with the trainers and everything. I get to ride a lot of the better horses this meet, so it feels good.
“I’ve had a great meet, trying to get the riding title. It means a lot to me, because I have won so many, so it’s kind of like I want to hold that spot. You would hate to give it up. If I don’t get it, there are a lot of other good riders here, too, and as long as I can keep winning and making a good living, I’ll be very happy. But I definitely want to get it. It’s a goal in mind to get it, so I’m going to give it every chance I’ve got.”
Lanerie scored the second grade I victory of his career with Bill Cubbedge’s 6-year-old mare Molly Morgan in the La Troienne on Kentucky Oaks Day—the highlight of his meet. His first was aboard Hooh Why in the 2009 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland.
“It was a big deal to win that race, especially on Oaks Day, (it was) pretty special,” Lanerie said.
Lanerie plans on shipping around to different tracks after the spring meet concludes, before going to upstate New York in late July to ride full-time at Saratoga Race Course throughout their summer meet.
Leparoux is a nine-time leading rider at Churchill Downs, but hasn’t won a local title since the 2011 fall meet.
Jersey Joe Bravo Dominates Ohio and Wins Jockey of the Week
Jockey Joe Bravo shipped in for just two mounts on Saturday’s Thistledown card and made the most of that trip by winning them both. One of those wins included a victory in the track’s premiere race of the meet, The Ohio Derby. That winning ride helped compel panelists to vote Bravo the Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week for June 15th – June 21st. 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.
Bravo took the call for the first time on the three-year-old Mr. Z for trainer D. Wayne Lukas and made the most of it going wire to wire to just hold off multiple challengers at the finish.
“It wasn’t a wasted plane flight today, was it?” said jockey Joe Bravo. “Top of the lane, the horses come to each side of this horse… he could have got beat today, but he just put his ears back and said ‘Come on, jock, we’re going to win today.’
“Mr. Z’s a fighter and you couldn’t underestimate this race. There were some really nice, talented horses that have been chasing American Pharoah all year long.”
The six wins from just 14 starters this week boosted the veteran rider’s all-time tally to 5,014 wins. That number puts him in 30th place on the lifetime win list for North American jockeys. Joe won his first race at Calder Racecourse in 1988 and has dominated the New Jersey racing circuit since the early 1990s. He has won nine riding titles at the Meadowlands Racetrack and 13 at Monmouth Park.
For the week Bravo went 6-2-1 from 14 mounts and led all riders in earnings with a total of $416,820.
Moore Establishes Royal Ascot Riding Record
The Aidan O’Brien-trained 3-year-old was the 5-2 favorite and beat Tommy Docc by half length. One day of racing remains at the meeting, June 20.
“I’m very lucky. I get to ride the best horses and that makes a big difference,” Moore said after the record win.
At the prestigious 304-year-old meeting west of London, Lester Piggott was the first jockey in recorded history to claim eight Royal Ascot winners in 1965. He repeated the feat a decade a later and Pat Eddery matched that total in 1989.
“Ryan Moore is a brilliant jockey,” Piggott said. “To win nine races during any week is a fantastic achievement, but to do it at Royal Ascot, where the competition is so tough, is extremely impressive. I’m sure Ryan will go on to break many more records during his career.”
As for the record-breaking race, Moore said nothing came easy aboard Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith’s Aloft in the two-mile race.
“It was a very messy race, I was slowly away and in a bad position, and having to pick my way, he was a bit rusty all the way round,” Moore said. “He’s a fair horse, this fellow. He’s open to all sorts of improvement. It’s his first run of the year and you wouldn’t know where he could end up.”
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.