Jockey Joel Rosario won three graded stakes at two different racetracks and led all riders in both total earnings and stakes earnings on his way to being named this week’s Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week for January 22nd – January 31st. 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.
It was a busy and successful Saturday for veteran rider Joel Rosario when he won two graded stakes on the Gulfstream card then grabbed a seat on a west-bound flight to Houston to win his third graded event for the day at Sam Houston Race Park.
Rosario started the day off with a win aboard the impressive filly Cathryn Sophia in the Gr. 2 Forward Gal Stakes. The John Servis trainee had previously won her first two starts for fun, winning her debut by 12 ¾ lengths at Parx Oct. 20 and capturing the Gin Talking Stakes at Laurel Park by 16 ¼ lengths. The Maryland-bred filly was never threatened during those front-running performances, but she broke a bit slowly Saturday. Jockey Joel Rosario let her gather herself without rushing things and rated behind horses for the first time angling her off the rail in the later stages where she responded with a burst of speed that propelled her to a dominating victory without urging.
Later in the Gulfstream card, Rosario made another heady decision late in the Gr. 3 Sweetest Chant Stakes when piloting Pricedtoperfection. Rosario allowed Pricedtoperfection to edge closer to the front-runners entering the final turn and looked to be primed for victory, but was forced to tap on the brakes when the pacesetters began to tire. Rosario angled his mount to the rail, only to find that hole shut off. He switched back out and drove her between horses to get the win.
“We got bothered a little bit turning for home, I went to the inside and the horse in front of me came in; I went outside and he came out,” Rosario said. “For a second, I thought I wouldn’t get through, but she handled everything. She was fighting all the way. She was game today.”
Then it was off to Texas to ride Charles Fipke’s Forever Unbridled in the Gr. 3 Houston Ladies Classic Stakes at Sam Houston. The 4-year-old daughter of Unbridled’s Song is trained by Dallas Stewart. This was the first time the talented jockey has ridden at Sam Houston. He and fellow riders Joe Bravo and Julien Leparoux jetted from Florida to Houston together.
“I didn’t talk to Dallas, just to the assistant and he told me to ride her with confidence, that she was the best horse in the race,” said Rosario. “I just took my time; as I hit the 3/16th pole, she got a hold of the track and I knew we were in a good position.”
The 31 year-old Rosario won his second Jockey of the Week award for the month of January, finishing the week with six wins from 28 mounts, six second place finishes, and four thirds. His total earnings of $597,580 topped all riders in North America.
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, 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.