McLean Handicapping Update At Churchill Downs / Top Jockey Standings

Day Results10-2-6-2
2018 Overall 1706626-615-751
Win % of Top Pick36.69%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall38.92%
Top Selection ITM / CD Nov 51-8460.71%
Top Selection Win / CD Nov 25-8429.76%
“Key Horses” @ CD Nov: 18-5-4-127.78%

It has been a tough to pick winners so far at this November Meet at Churchill Downs. We are sitting at about 30% through the first 84 races, which included the two days of this year’s Breeders’ Cup.

On the other hand, our top selection is performing quite nicely when you look at the percentage of those hitting the board. Over the same span of race, our top pick is hitting the first three slots on the board an average of nearly 61% of the time.

So, what to make of it?

Who knows, truthfully, other than a larger number of long shots are proving worthy adversaries so far this meet. And, we hit with one of those on Sunday, as well. We hit an exacta that returned $107.90 for each $1 wagered, and we also had a winner that returned $33.60 for each $2 bet across the board. Those kind of hits can cure a lot of ills, if you know what I mean.

We will be back later this week and take another swing at picking some winners.

Until then…

Here’s a closer look at the current “Jockey Standings” after Sunday’s races were concluded:

1Joel Rosario15502$5,800,24033%747%
2Lanfranco Dettori3200$3,320,00067%267%
3Irad Ortiz, Jr.14231$2,792,00014%643%
4Javier Castellano12313$2,107,80025%758%
5Florent Geroux56788$1,812,50513%2341%
6John R. Velazquez9102$1,535,23011%333%
7Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.699146$1,293,81413%2942%
8Paco Lopez2100$1,100,00050%150%
9Ryan L. Moore8010$1,030,0000%113%
10Drayden Van Dyke9210$1,019,52022%333%
11Jose L. Ortiz25411$1,000,76216%624%
12William T. Buick5110$890,00020%240%
13Ricardo Santana, Jr.558813$856,23615%2953%
14Tyler Gaffalione50770$561,62714%1428%
15Christophe Soumillon1001$540,0000%1100%
16Albin Jimenez15333$476,76920%960%
17Corey J. Lanerie556910$435,05711%2545%
18Edgar Morales55895$396,63015%2240%
19Manuel Franco8101$368,30013%225%
20Julien R. Leparoux38653$338,25516%1437%
21Gabriel Saez33475$318,36712%1648%
22Flavien Prat6001$300,0000%117%
23Chris Landeros30609$262,24320%1550%
24Shaun Bridgmohan19402$213,81421%632%
25Wayne Lordan4001$210,0000%125%

(Stats Courtesy of Equibase)

Although some of the stats are a little skewed because of the purse money allocated for the two days of the Breeders’ Cup, the leading riders in terms of wins this meet is highly contested.

Locally based Brian J. Hernandez, Jr. tops the list so far with 9 winners from 69 mounts. He has an additional 14 seconds and 6 thirds on this tally sheet, and his horses have earned nearly $1.3 million this meet.

Just a win back in second is Richardo Santana, Jr., who normally rides first saddle for the well-connected barn of Steve Asmussen. Through the first couple of weeks of this November meet, Santana has amassed 8 wins, 8 seconds and 13 thirds in 55 rides to date, and his horses have earned over $856,000 in purses.

Apprentice Edgar Morales also has managed to get to the winner’s circle 8 times so far, with 9 seconds and 5 thirds in 55 rides. His horses have won nearly $400,000 in purse money.

Both Florent Geroux and Tyler Gaffalione are another win back in a tie for fourth with 7 wins.

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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