(Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan wins the rider’s title at the Fair Grounds meet / Photo Courtesy of NYRA)

The meet started way back in November of 2017. Before Thanksgiving. And, it went all the way to March 31. And, when the meet started, all the horsemen and horsewomen and nearly all the race fans knew the name and game of rider Shaun Bridgmohan. He had been riding on this circuit for years, with many accomplishments and victories.

At the same time, very few people knew the name or the game of rider Adam Beschizza. After all, he was from London, as in England. He had never ridden in the United States on a regular basis, or, for that matter, on any kind of basis. About the only two guys that knew who he was where Joe Sharp, who befriended the rider when he had come over several years back to ride a few horses in the morning for his boss at the time, Michael Stidham.

On Saturday, most everybody at the Fair Grounds knew both riders. Pretty well. And, most everyone knew that the two jockeys were locked in a race to the wire. After a torrid start on Saturday, when he won three of the first four races, Beschizza had rallied to tie Bridgmohan for the leading rider at the meet.

It didn’t go down to the last race, but it almost did. A bit later, Bridgmohan was able to coax one more horse across the wire in front to win the championship in one of the tightest rider battles in recent history. After Saturday’s races were over, Bridgmohan had a record of 66-44-40 in 301 rides and had amassed over $1.942 million in purses earned.

Beschizza, on the other hand, had a pretty impressive record in his own right, whet 65 wins, 46 seconds and 43 thirds and his horses had earned over $1.633 million in purses in 351 races.

Three wins off the winning pace was Florent Geroux, who had a record of 63-56-44 and over $2.138 million in purses earned in 325 mounts.

Here is a closer look at the Top 25 riders for the meet:

1 Florent Geroux 325 63 56 44 $2,138,050 19% 163 50%
2 Corey J. Lanerie 348 54 67 59 $1,967,460 16% 180 52%
3 Shaun Bridgmohan 301 66 44 40 $1,942,377 22% 150 50%
4 Mitchell Murrill 468 57 63 74 $1,774,385 12% 194 41%
5 Miguel Mena 356 55 42 43 $1,676,118 15% 140 39%
6 Adam Beschizza 351 65 46 43 $1,633,875 19% 154 44%
7 Joe Bravo 155 42 19 23 $1,473,885 27% 84 54%
8 James Graham 302 32 33 35 $1,219,231 11% 100 33%
9 Colby J. Hernandez 335 45 41 47 $1,215,220 13% 133 40%
10 Marcelino Pedroza 343 43 46 32 $1,059,810 13% 121 35%
11 Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr. 230 28 25 30 $980,455 12% 83 36%
12 Gabriel Saez 298 37 34 40 $976,940 12% 111 37%
13 Jose Valdivia, Jr. 231 20 32 29 $822,175 9% 81 35%
14 John R. Velazquez 10 2 1 3 $767,010 20% 6 60%
15 Jack Gilligan 243 28 31 29 $678,310 12% 88 36%
16 Robby Albarado 182 11 21 20 $504,170 6% 52 29%
17 Chantal Sutherland 165 15 21 18 $437,944 9% 54 33%
18 Jose Riquelme 197 16 26 15 $380,910 8% 57 29%
19 Javier Castellano 19 2 3 2 $358,650 11% 7 37%
20 Diego Saenz 18 4 3 2 $293,998 22% 9 50%
21 Calvin H. Borel 118 6 7 14 $285,610 5% 27 23%
22 Sophie Doyle 138 10 15 12 $269,750 7% 37 27%
23 Joel Rosario 3 2 0 0 $264,600 67% 2 67%
24 Christopher A. Emigh 122 9 13 8 $244,120 7% 30 25%
25 Jamie Theriot 91 8 6 11 $228,280 9% 25 27%