(Jockey Julien Leparoux / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)

My great friend Ed DeRosa, the Director of Marketing at Brisnet.com and one of the best handicappers in the game today, likes to say that Julien Leparoux is one of  the best riders in the entire world. On some days, when he has cashed a few bets on his favorite rider, Ed may even go so far as to say that Leparoux is “The Best.” 

As in?

The entire world of horse racing.

I don’t know if the soft spoken Julien Leparoux would go so far as to publicly confirm Ed’s staunch support and aggressive opinion, but Julien’s proud and vocally-accomplished wife, Shea, probably would sing his praises, too.

And, why not.

The man has undoubtedly become one of the best rides in the Midwest; one of the best jockeys at Churchill Downs, for sure; one of the more accomplished grass riders in the Continental United States of America; and, yes, one of the best rides in the entire world.

If anyone doubts the high praise, all you have to do is look at the opening weekend of Churchill Downs’ September Race Meet — which started last Friday.

It was proof positive.

It was positive proof.

It was Julie Leparoux “Tribute Weekend” so much that all of us — including Shea — can sing the praises.

After all, just consider:

In the first 12 rides of the meet, Leparoux booted home 6 winners, and carted home over $315,000 in purse money.

Any way you count it, that is a win percentage of a whopping .50%.

Any way you add it up, that is about $25,000-plus per mount.

Any way you cut it, that’s a pretty good weekend.

Here’s a closer look at the top riders after the first three days of the meet:

1 Julien R. Leparoux 12 6 0 0 $315,967 50% 6 50%
2 Corey J. Lanerie 25 4 3 0 $278,664 16% 7 28%
3 Florent Geroux 20 4 5 4 $271,689 20% 13 65%
4 Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr. 21 1 3 2 $198,977 5% 6 29%
5 Jose L. Ortiz 14 2 3 1 $162,362 14% 6 43%
6 Miguel Mena 21 3 1 4 $142,892 14% 8 38%
7 Irad Ortiz, Jr. 5 1 0 0 $132,488 20% 1 20%
8 Abel Cedillo 1 1 0 0 $120,280 100% 1 100%
9 Tyler Gaffalione 7 1 2 1 $108,248 14% 4 57%
10 James Graham 15 1 4 1 $101,416 7% 6 40%
11 Calvin H. Borel 9 1 0 0 $96,465 11% 1 11%
12 Joseph Rocco, Jr. 7 1 0 1 $65,249 14% 2 29%
13 Martin Chuan 4 1 0 0 $60,457 25% 1 25%
14 Tyler Baze 14 0 0 3 $58,002 0% 3 21%
15 Ricardo Santana, Jr. 12 1 1 0 $56,409 8% 2 17%
16 Edgar Morales 13 1 0 1 $46,276 8% 2 15%
17 Shaun Bridgmohan 5 0 0 2 $45,737 0% 2 40%
18 Jesus Lopez Castanon 4 1 2 0 $44,100 25% 3 75%
19 Declan Carroll 13 0 2 2 $41,603 0% 4 31%
20 Declan Cannon 4 0 1 1 $30,678 0% 2 50%
21 Jon Kenton Court 14 0 1 0 $28,489 0% 1 7%
22 Channing Hill 4 1 0 1 $26,666 25% 2 50%
23 Gabriel Saez 8 0 0 2 $25,516 0% 2 25%
24 Joe M. Johnson 2 1 0 0 $22,580 50% 1 50%
25 Trevor McCarthy 1 0 0 1 $19,000 0% 1 100%

(Stats provided by Equibase)