Brian Hernandez Jr. Making a Late Push for Lead In 2017 Jockey Race at Churchill Downs

LOUISVILLE, KY – Jockey Brian Hernandez – who rides regularly for trainer Ian Wilkes – is making a late bid to challenge perennial leader Corey Lanerie for the Churchill Downs’ Spring-Summer Meet riding title.

Going into this week’s schedule, which is slated for races again this coming Thursday evening, Lanerie still sits atop of the rider’s standings, but his lead has slipped to just eight wins over Hernandez – his closest competitor for the riding title.

After Sunday’s race card, Lanerie has 46 first-place finishes in 231 mounts, compared to Hernandez, who has 38 wins in 183 rides. In third position, is veteran Julien Leparoux, who has 25 wins in 125 starts, followed by Frenchman Florent Geroux, with 22.

Here is a closer look at the rider standings:

Name

Starts

1st

2nd

3rd

Earnings

Corey J. Lanerie

231

46

37

44

$2,059,832

Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.

183

38

37

24

$1,660,377

Julien R. Leparoux

125

25

13

17

$1,705,341

Florent Geroux

118

22

10

20

$1,552,384

James Graham

132

19

21

12

$791,818

Miguel Mena

150

17

22

21

$605,308

Ricardo Santana, Jr.

90

17

14

9

$518,580

Joseph Rocco, Jr.

120

11

12

13

$488,547

Chris Landeros

75

11

7

12

$397,071

Gabriel Saez

106

10

9

10

$341,119

Didiel A. Osorio

76

10

6

10

$201,489

Shaun Bridgmohan9691714$518,410
Declan Cannon917107$288,768
Jon Kenton Court69798$326,399
David Romero Flores30616$150,142
Channing Hill54598$229,569
Rayan Gazader48485$122,255
Robby Albarado34475$228,644
Calvin H. Borel72369$156,772
Jose Lezcano20332$186,651

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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