Kevin Orozco won six races on one card at Portland Meadows and led all North American jockeys by number of wins last week to be named Jockeys’ Guild Jockey of the Week for the week ending November 26, 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.
Jockey Kevin Orozco is making a name for himself in the Pacific Northwest with recent success at Portland Meadows and Emerald Downs as well as Golden Gate. The JockeyTalk360 panel voted Orozco as Jockey of the Week after he led by number of wins and posted a remarkable number of victories in a single day.
On Tuesday, Orozco began the day in North Portland with nine mounts. By the end of the card, he had won six races, and finished second, third and fourth on his other three mounts that day. The six-win day included two sets of three consecutive wins, and he won by a combined 17 lengths. Three of the six were post-time favorites; five of the six were trained by current leading trainer Jonathan Nance.
The previous day, Orozco went four for four at Portland Meadows, giving him ten wins in just two days. He picked up win number 11 for the week on Saturday at Golden Gate, where he rode on Saturday and Sunday before returning to Portland to ride again on Monday.
The 11 wins, more than any other North American jockey last week, vaulted him up the rider standings at Portland Meadows. He is now in second place with 19 wins, six fewer than leading rider Jose Zunino, for the winter meet that runs through the end of January.
In his 19 starts last week, Orozco also picked up one second-place finish and two third-place finishes, maintaining a win rate of 58% and an in-the-money rate of 74%. He added $57,799 to his career earnings, which now exceed $1 million. To date, he has 94 wins in his 602 starts, but has finished in the money in nearly half of his races.
Originally from Southern California, Orozco was exposed to racing early in life through family that worked on the Southern California racing circuit. He worked closely with horses on their farm, breaking horses and honing his riding skills before becoming an exercise rider for trainer Eloy Navarro. He moved to Golden Gate to begin his career as a jockey and picked up his first win aboard Elle Woods Too in February 2016.
Orozco made his Portland Meadows debut to start the fall meet earlier this year and won five races on the card on November 7.
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.
Photo of Kevin Orozco at Portland Meadows courtesy of HorseWinPix.