Following three graded stakes victories last week, Luis Saez was named Jockeys’ Guild Foundation Detox Jockey of the Week for February 25 – March 3, 2019. 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 FoundationDetox.com, America’s #1 Equine Toxin Remover.
Saez had a mount in six of the nine stakes races scheduled at Gulfstream on Saturday on the Fountain of Youth card. He kicked off the stakes with two wins, first on A Thread of Blue ($3.00) in the $150,000 Palm Beach Stakes (G3), then on Recruiting Ready ($3.00) in the $100,000 Gulfstream Park Sprint (G3).
His third stakes win was less anticipated that his two post-time favorite rides earlier on the card. Saez was aboard the longest shot in the field in the $200,000 Davona Dale Stakes (G2), Jeltrin, who went off at odds of 51-1 thanks in large part to the highly anticipated return of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Jaywalk.
Saez and Jeltrin ($105.00) stalked in the 7-horse field before making a steady bid for the wire and winning by a head.
Saez was the third leading rider by stakes earnings for the week with $286,650 and was also third by total earnings with $410,880.
With six victories, Saez maintained a win rate of 19% and he finished in the money on 58% of his 31 starts. He is in second place in the rider standings at the current Gulfstream meet with 90 wins; Irad Ortiz, Jr. leads with 113 for the meet that ends March 31.
In 2019, Saez has won 63 of his 288 mounts and earned $2.8 million. His career earnings total $98.5 million, with 2,101 wins in 12,309 starts. He reached a career milestone in 2018 when he won his 2,000th race at Aqueduct on November 9, 2018.
Voters also expressed support for John Velazquez, who won two of the other graded stakes at Gulfstream, including the Fountain of Youth (G2) with Code of Honor. Velazquez won the Kentucky derby prep race for a record fifth time.
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