(Jockey Rafael Bejarano stretched his lead in the Ellis Park Jockey Standings this week / Photo by Courtney Snow)

What once was a race is now beginning to look a lot like a romp.

Rafael Bejarano, one of the best riders in the country to vacate the West Coast in search of better days and better times in Kentucky full-time, is beginning to extend his lead as the current Ellis Park Summer Meet heads into the home stretch.

After Sunday’s races were done, Bejarano upped his win total to 18, with 9 more seconds and 15 thirds in 86 rides this meet. That gives the veteran reins man a comfortable 5-win lead over the “closing” Joe Talamo.

Talamo, another former rider in California and now a permanent on the Kentucky circuit, moved into second with 13 wins, 9 seconds and 11 thirds in 62 mounts this meet.

Two wins farther back is Miguel Mena, who has a 11-5-9 mark in 81 rides.

Here’s a look at the Top 25 riders so far this meet:

1 Joseph Talamo 62 13 9 11 $499,265 21% 33 53%
2 Rafael Bejarano 86 18 9 15 $480,176 21% 42 49%
3 Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr. 50 8 12 6 $387,573 16% 26 52%
4 Corey J. Lanerie 92 9 14 22 $372,811 10% 45 49%
5 Julien R. Leparoux 46 9 8 2 $306,678 20% 19 41%
6 Florent Geroux 23 5 4 1 $252,587 22% 10 43%
7 Shaun Bridgmohan 29 7 6 2 $237,515 24% 15 52%
8 James Graham 62 9 8 7 $229,585 15% 24 39%
9 Miguel Mena 81 11 5 9 $167,593 14% 25 31%
10 Adam Beschizza 64 8 11 7 $163,241 13% 26 41%
11 Declan Cannon 54 5 11 10 $140,080 9% 26 48%
12 Gerardo Corrales 44 8 4 3 $126,806 18% 15 34%
13 Joseph Rocco, Jr. 30 4 4 2 $115,228 13% 10 33%
14 Colby J. Hernandez 36 2 4 8 $104,314 6% 14 39%
15 Tyler Baze 49 4 3 5 $94,383 8% 12 24%
16 Mitchell Murrill 38 2 4 9 $87,935 5% 15 39%
17 Martin Garcia 21 3 1 2 $85,608 14% 6 29%
18 Gabriel Saez 22 2 1 2 $77,957 9% 5 23%
19 Chris Landeros 19 1 3 1 $53,214 5% 5 26%
20 Javier Padron-Barcenas 28 2 3 2 $40,695 7% 7 25%
21 Alex Achard 7 1 1 1 $38,325 14% 3 43%
22 Edgar Morales 24 2 2 1 $35,053 8% 5 21%
23 Calvin H. Borel 19 1 4 3 $32,890 5% 8 42%
24 Crystal Conning 5 1 2 0 $27,385 20% 3 60%
25 Chantal Sutherland 3 0 1 1 $25,250 0% 2 67%