Graham Continues to Sit Chilly Atop of Jockey Standings at the Fair Grounds

2/16/2019 – Jockey James Graham pilots Serengeti Empress into the stretch, then pulls away from the pack to win the 39th running of the Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds. Hodges Photography / Britt Benson.

(James Graham / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)

Talked to Tom Amoss last week, and we chatted a bit about rider James Graham — who does ride many of the horses in the barn.

Amoss spoke highly of Graham’s work ethic. Amoss spoke highly of his fitness and his ability to ride about any kind of horse — from speedster to closer. Amoss spoke of his ability to “stick to the script,” and his ability to “ad lib.”

It was easy to tell that Tom Amoss — one of the most successful trainers on the Louisiana circuit and throughout the Midwest — enjoys a great working relationship with his #1 rider. And, there are good reasons.

The man is tearing it up at the Fair Grounds. After Monday’s races were completed, Graham was still sitting chilly at the top of the current meet’s rider standings. After 333 mounts, Graham has posted a solid resume of 56 wins, 61 seconds and 40 thirds. His horses have earned over $1,763,070 this meet.

Proudly enough, Graham rode our very own Seek N Justice to a fourth place finish last week, as well. And, of that purse total, Seek N Justice added $960. We are proud to be part of the team, too! LOL.

Here’s a look at the top 25 riders at the current Fair Grounds meet:

1James Graham333566140$1,763,07017%15747%
2Adam Beschizza317543251$1,424,17017%13743%
3Colby J. Hernandez313415250$1,280,27013%14346%
4Florent Geroux178343124$1,276,29519%8950%
5Mitchell Murrill342414450$1,215,00012%13539%
6Shaun Bridgmohan188402418$1,208,56521%8244%
7Corey J. Lanerie207303124$1,145,49114%8541%
8Gabriel Saez219262732$919,22812%8539%
9Marcelino Pedroza283283429$834,29010%9132%
10Miguel Mena213272418$722,45013%6932%
11Jack Gilligan234202530$661,8359%7532%
12Joe Bravo7715159$602,94019%3951%
13Ricardo Santana, Jr.92161613$567,89017%4549%
14Ty Kennedy178162215$493,4009%5330%
15Tyler Gaffalione10422$487,20040%880%
16Chantal Sutherland177201222$402,44111%5431%
17Declan Carroll14791716$292,3406%4229%
18Sophie Doyle95121113$287,96013%3638%
19Aubrie Green17791117$252,1105%3721%
20Joseph Rocco, Jr.78558$243,5406%1823%
21Edgar Morales76975$218,46012%2128%
22Jose Valdivia, Jr.795514$194,3706%2430%
23Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.14301$185,86021%429%
24Channing Hill13321$175,57023%646%
25Ezequiel Lara1103910$130,5303%2220%

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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