(Jockey Miguel Mena / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)

A couple of weeks ago, we had the chance to chat with jockey Miguel Mena — one of the nicest people you will ever meet on a racetrack.

He was excited, thrilled and happy to be holding a narrow lead in the Jockey Standings for this year’s meet at the Fair Grounds.

He was dedicated, serious, and determined to get up every morning and work every horse he could so that he left no stone unturned on his way to this riding championship.

He pledged, promised, vowed to do his very best to finish the meet in style, and on top.

Then last week, something stopped Mena right in his tracks, and right in a race.

There was a spill at the Fair Grounds. Unfortunately for all, two riders — Kerwin Clark and Miguel Mena — were injured. Clark sustained a broken jaw and broken ribs. Mena, on the other hand, had suffered multiple fractures in an ankle.

Mena wouldn’t have a chance to ride the rest of the meet and win the title that he sorely wanted so badly. Sad. The man deserved better.

Yet, the race does go on, and it didn’t take long before the race for the top slot got real serious. With just 10 days left in this year’s marathon meet, Shaun Bridgmohan has emerged with a slight edge, but this is sure to be a race that will go down to the wire.

After Sunday’s races were concluded, Bridgmohan — who has been riding regularly for the barns of Steve Asmussen and Brad Cox — has now made 57 trips to the winner’s circle, two more than Mena. In 253 mounts, he has a record of 57-38-31 and a win percentage of .23.

But on the heels are several top riders, including newcomer Adam Beschizza, riding in the United States for the first time on a regular basis after shipping his tack from England. The top rider for the barn of trainer Joe Sharp has 54 wins, 43 seconds and 40 thirds in 297 mounts.

Just one win behind Beschizza is Florent Geroux, who may be the hottest rider on the grounds right now. Group has totaled 53 wins, 45 seconds and 37 thirds in 272 rides to date. That’s good enough for a 19% win rate.

Not to be counted out, just yet, is also Corey Lanerie. One of the best rides in the country, Lanerie has a record of 51 wins, 65 seconds and 58 thirds in 331 rides. His win percentage is .15. The only thing that may compromise his ability to reach the top of the win column is that Lanerie must serve out a suspension delved out by the racing stewards for a disqualification last week.

Here is a closer look at the top 25 riders this meet:

1 Corey J. Lanerie 331 51 65 58 $1,872,340 15% 174 53%
2 Florent Geroux 272 53 45 37 $1,735,270 19% 135 50%
3 Miguel Mena 356 55 42 43 $1,676,118 15% 140 39%
4 Shaun Bridgmohan 253 57 38 31 $1,646,477 23% 126 50%
5 Adam Beschizza 297 54 43 40 $1,426,620 18% 137 46%
6 Mitchell Murrill 397 47 49 66 $1,289,660 12% 162 41%
7 Joe Bravo 148 41 18 22 $1,255,205 28% 81 55%
8 Colby J. Hernandez 275 38 31 37 $1,036,870 14% 106 39%
9 Marcelino Pedroza 304 37 43 26 $913,970 12% 106 35%
10 James Graham 258 29 28 30 $908,071 11% 87 34%
11 Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr. 206 22 24 28 $834,035 11% 74 36%
12 Gabriel Saez 247 30 27 32 $804,850 12% 89 36%
13 Jose Valdivia, Jr. 221 19 29 28 $800,355 9% 76 34%
14 Jack Gilligan 202 24 25 25 $580,070 12% 74 37%
15 Robby Albarado 182 11 21 20 $504,170 6% 52 29%
16 Chantal Sutherland 165 15 21 18 $437,944 9% 54 33%
17 Jose Riquelme 161 15 25 11 $352,070 9% 51 32%
18 Calvin H. Borel 98 6 6 13 $270,730 6% 25 26%
19 Sophie Doyle 138 10 15 12 $269,750 7% 37 27%
20 Christopher A. Emigh 122 9 13 8 $244,120 7% 30 25%
21 Javier Castellano 13 2 2 1 $237,800 15% 5 38%
22 Jamie Theriot 91 8 6 11 $228,280 9% 25 27%
23 Diego Saenz 10 2 2 2 $199,638 20% 6 60%
24 Aubrie Green 88 8 6 14 $153,120 9% 28 32%
25 John R. Velazquez 7 1 1 2 $124,010 14% 4 57%