(Trainer Tom Amoss and rider James Graham teamed up for a solid Winter/Spring at the Fair Grounds / Photo Courtesy of the Fair Grounds)
Before this meet ever began, Ellis Park officials bragged about the quality and the quantity of talent that would be occupying the jockey’s room for the hot summer meet along the river banks.
They named names.
They touted their games.
They pledged the best racing and riders in the history of the historic meet.
Now, with just a couple of weeks left in the meet, the riders are certainly doing their respective bests to make up on that pre-meet promise.
After Sunday’s races were all completed, there were four riders within 3 wins of each other for the title of the meet’s leading rider. In other words? You could throw a horse blanket over all four of them.
Going into this Friday’s racing, James Graham — who is having a fantastic 2019 — holds a slim 1-win lead in one of the hottest contested races of the meet, so far. After 111 rides so far, Graham has totaled 16 wins, 21 seconds and 17 thirds. His horses have earned over $578,000 in purse money.
Just one win back, and tied for second in the standings, are Corey Lanerie and Tyler Baze — who both tallied 15 wins so far. Lanerie has a 15-16-8 record in just 77 rides, while Baze — the California transplant — has a 15-16-14 mark in 120 rides so far.
Two wins farther back, and alone in fourth, is Miguel Mena. He has 13 wins, 15 seconds and 7 thirds in 101 rides, and is still within striking range of the title, too.
It is sure to make for exciting races. Both for the horses, and the riders
Here’s a closer look at the Top 25 riders this meet:
|2||Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.||87||11||9||11||$518,520||13%||31||36%|
|3||Corey J. Lanerie||77||15||16||8||$517,958||19%||39||51%|
|11||Calvin H. Borel||51||6||7||8||$221,152||12%||21||41%|
|19||Joseph Rocco, Jr.||40||5||2||7||$119,478||13%||14||35%|
|20||Jesus Lopez Castanon||16||3||2||3||$113,173||19%||8||50%|
|22||Jon Kenton Court||49||3||3||3||$89,252||6%||9||18%|
|25||Julien R. Leparoux||4||1||0||1||$40,150||25%||2||50%|
(Standings Courtesy of Equibase)