(Jockey Rafael Bejarano on Bango, who won at Turfway Park on Jeff Ruby Steaks Day / Photo by Courtney Snow)

The more things do change — and, after all, 2020 is a year of changes — the more things do stay the same. Or so it seems.

Once upon a time, a young Rafael Bejarano was the talk of the towns that host Thoroughbred racing in Kentucky. He was the next best thing. He was the rising star. He was the riding star.

Now, once again, Rafael Bejarano is the talk of the towns that are hosting Kentucky’s Thoroughbred racing. He is becoming the next best thing — again. He’s star is on the rise — again. He is a riding star — again.

After Sunday’s races were in the books, Bejarano stood atop of the Jockey Standings at Ellis Park. In the same place he has been nearly the entire race meet. Still.

So far, Bejarano has ridden 70 horses. He has compiled a record of 14 wins, 8 seconds and 13 thirds. His win percentage is a heady .20%. His horses have finished first, second or third on .50 of the time. And? His mounts have earned nearly $350,000 in purses.

Young Bejarano would have been proud of the numbers that the elder Bejarano is putting up. Now.

Four wins back in second is Miguel Mena, who has a 10-5-8 mark in 67 mounts so far. Another win back is Joe Talamo, who jumped up with a good week. He has a 9-5-9 record in just 44 rides so far.

Another win back and tied for 4th in the standings are Julien Leparoux and James Graham, with 8 wins apiece. Leparoux has had just 35 mounts, to date, while Graham has toed the irons on 48 occasions.

Here’s a closer look at the standings:

1 Rafael Bejarano 70 14 8 13 $347,377 20% 35 50%
2 Joseph Talamo 44 9 5 9 $305,419 20% 23 52%
3 Julien R. Leparoux 35 8 6 2 $277,367 23% 16 46%
4 Corey J. Lanerie 72 7 10 17 $262,895 10% 34 47%
5 Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr. 34 5 9 5 $191,245 15% 19 56%
6 James Graham 48 8 6 4 $178,110 17% 18 38%
7 Shaun Bridgmohan 23 5 4 2 $176,760 22% 11 48%
8 Miguel Mena 67 10 5 8 $150,384 15% 23 34%
9 Declan Cannon 49 5 9 9 $132,635 10% 23 47%
10 Adam Beschizza 48 7 9 7 $128,669 15% 23 48%
11 Joseph Rocco, Jr. 27 4 3 2 $93,056 15% 9 33%
12 Gerardo Corrales 36 5 4 2 $84,345 14% 11 31%
13 Colby J. Hernandez 31 2 3 7 $80,536 6% 12 39%
14 Martin Garcia 17 3 1 1 $78,062 18% 5 29%
15 Tyler Baze 38 4 3 4 $77,044 11% 11 29%
16 Florent Geroux 14 1 3 1 $67,296 7% 5 36%
17 Mitchell Murrill 30 2 4 5 $58,962 7% 11 37%
18 Chris Landeros 14 1 3 1 $48,793 7% 5 36%
19 Alex Achard 7 1 1 1 $38,325 14% 3 43%
20 Javier Padron-Barcenas 21 2 2 2 $36,230 10% 6 29%
21 Gabriel Saez 12 1 1 0 $35,558 8% 2 17%
22 Calvin H. Borel 16 1 3 3 $29,140 6% 7 44%
23 Crystal Conning 5 1 2 0 $27,385 20% 3 60%
24 Edgar Morales 15 2 2 0 $27,257 13% 4 27%
25 Chantal Sutherland 2 0 1 0 $20,950 0% 1 50%

(Stats Compiled by Equibase)