(Jockey Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr. / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

(Trainer Brad Cox / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

The rider’s race for this year’s leading jockey at the ole’ “Pea Patch” is beginning to tighten a bit, and getting a bit more interesting, too.

After Sunday’s races were completed, Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr., had inched out to a quiet lead with 12 wins under his riding helmet. But just three wins back of the leader is a duo of talented and determined riders who could easily match the top gun in a single day, if the horses and the luck turn  up just right.

All at nine wins apiece are Florent Geroux, and Chris Landeros, who both have just 22 mounts each going into this week’s action. Hernandez, on the other hand, has piloted 39 horses so far this meet.

Interesting days and races are sure to come.

On the trainer’s side of the equation, Louisville’s own Brad Cox — who is traveling the world these days winning Graded Stakes event all over the globe — has muscled his way to the head of the pack in the race for top conditioner at Ellis Park.

So far, after 20 starts, Cox has pinned 9 winners, 3 seconds and 2 thirds. That gives him a rather substantial 5-win lead over the runner-up, at this point, Ian Wilkes. Wilkes has a 4-4-4 record in 18 starts, to date.

Here’s a look at the Top 25 riders and trainers so far this meet:

Current Jockey Standings at Ellis Park:

1 Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr. 39 12 5 7 $425,658 31% 24 62%
2 Florent Geroux 22 9 2 2 $292,381 41% 13 59%
3 Corey J. Lanerie 35 7 4 8 $279,395 20% 19 54%
4 Chris Landeros 22 9 4 3 $275,405 41% 16 73%
5 James Graham 31 5 7 3 $224,470 16% 15 48%
6 Gabriel Saez 36 5 7 2 $181,723 14% 14 39%
7 Adam Beschizza 26 3 8 3 $180,105 12% 14 54%
8 Martin Garcia 23 5 2 7 $172,489 22% 14 61%
9 Joseph Talamo 28 3 6 4 $170,060 11% 13 46%
10 Francisco Arrieta 38 4 4 9 $147,666 11% 17 45%
11 Colby J. Hernandez 30 2 8 5 $123,826 7% 15 50%
12 Mitchell Murrill 20 2 5 3 $115,733 10% 10 50%
13 Marcelino Pedroza 14 4 2 0 $91,234 29% 6 43%
14 Rafael Bejarano 25 2 2 7 $82,220 8% 11 44%
15 Miguel Mena 28 1 7 3 $76,778 4% 11 39%
16 Joseph Rocco, Jr. 8 2 0 2 $70,840 25% 4 50%
17 Shaun Bridgmohan 4 2 2 0 $70,700 50% 4 100%
18 Declan Cannon 20 2 2 4 $62,740 10% 8 40%
19 Alex Achard 6 2 0 0 $51,250 33% 2 33%
20 Julien R. Leparoux 7 1 1 0 $47,360 14% 2 29%
21 Jon Kenton Court 8 1 1 0 $46,259 13% 2 25%
22 Edgar Morales 14 0 3 1 $25,178 0% 4 29%
23 Andrea C. Rodriguez 5 1 1 0 $21,433 20% 2 40%
24 Jesus Lopez Castanon 3 0 1 2 $18,550 0% 3 100%
25 Robby Albarado 9 0 0 1 $18,118 0% 1 11%

(Statistics Compiled by Equibase)

Current Trainer Standings at Ellis Park:

1 Brad H. Cox 20 9 3 2 $337,685 45% 14
2 Ian R. Wilkes 18 4 4 4 $165,980 22% 12
3 Gregory D. Foley 8 3 1 3 $134,010 38% 7
4 Steven M. Asmussen 22 3 4 7 $121,823 14% 14
5 Michael J. Maker 8 3 2 1 $100,398 38% 6
6 Mark E. Casse 7 3 2 0 $88,570 43% 5
7 Kenneth G. McPeek 15 2 0 2 $85,814 13% 4
8 Dane Kobiskie 8 2 1 0 $78,640 25% 3
9 William I. Mott 6 3 0 2 $74,530 50% 5
10 John Alexander Ortiz 10 1 3 0 $70,860 10% 4
11 Wesley A. Ward 3 2 0 0 $69,850 67% 2
12 Chris A. Hartman 6 2 1 2 $67,180 33% 5
13 Eddie Kenneally 9 2 1 3 $66,090 22% 6
14 Bernard S. Flint 3 2 0 0 $65,330 67% 2
15 Randy L. Morse 8 2 0 0 $65,318 25% 2
16 George R. Arnold, II 4 2 0 0 $64,314 50% 2
17 Jack Sisterson 13 1 3 2 $61,774 8% 6
18 Steve Margolis 4 1 1 2 $52,690 25% 4
19 Thomas M. Amoss 9 1 2 1 $51,264 11% 4
20 Albert M. Stall, Jr. 4 1 1 0 $50,910 25% 2
21 Brendan P. Walsh 8 1 1 1 $50,680 13% 3
22 Victoria H. Oliver 11 1 0 3 $50,443 9% 4
23 Paulo H. Lobo 5 2 0 0 $49,290 40% 2
24 D. Wayne Lukas 12 2 2 0 $48,664 17% 4
25 J. Reeve McGaughey 4 2 0 1 $46,330 50% 3

(Stastics Compiled by Equibase)