|2018 Overall 1835||679-654-807|
|Win % of Top Pick||37.00%|
|Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall||38.87%|
|Top Selection ITM / FG Nov-Mar 27-37||72.97%|
|Top Selection Win / FG Nov-Mar 18-37||48.65%|
|“Key Horses” @ FG Nov-Mar 8-6-2-0||75.00%|
It was a nice week to be handicapping the races at the Fair Grounds. And, for those that faithfully follow our selections, I hope that you were rewarded a bit, too. In the first week, we nailed 18 winners in the first 37 races. That averages out to a win percentage of a hefty 48.65%. Our top pick hit the board (finished first, second, or third) on 72.97%. And, our “Key Play of the Day” Selections? Well, they performed quite nicely, too. Of the 8 horses that we tabbed as “Key Plays,” 6 of them won and two ran second.
Not a bad week.
Racing returns this Thursday. And, we hope to keep the momentum rolling in the Big Easy. Come play along if you can.
(James Graham leads the Jockey Standings at the Fair Grounds this meet / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)
Leading Jockeys at the Fair Grounds:
The race for the leading rider title at this Fall/Winter/Spring meet at the Fair Grounds is off to a heated battle in the early stages. The mammoth meet won’t conclude until March 2019, but as they say in baseball — every win counts.
James Graham, a 39-year-old transfer from his home in Dublin, Ireland, is off to the quickest start this meet. Through the first 71 mounts this meet, Graham has managed to carve out a nice record of 15 wins, 16 seconds and 14 thirds. His win percentage is an impressive .21%, and his horses have hit the board a whopping .63% of the time.
Graham rode his first winner in the United States in 2003 at the old River Downs in Cincinnati. That was on July 1 and came aboard the horse B.J. Star. Since then he has made a nice career traveling to New Orleans for the winter and working the Midwest throughout the rest of the year.
Graham got his first Stakes win in 2004 at Canterbury Park on Lassie on Berbatim. He got his first Graded Stakes win in the 2004 Arlington Breeders’ Cup Oaks, a Grade 3 event, with Lovely Afternoon.
The first Grade 1 win came in 2009 with Hot Cha Cha in the Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup at Keeneland.
He has always been know for his patience, and being able to settle a horse and make a nice run at the end. And, he has always been known as a top grass rider in the markets that he has hung his tact. Now, though, Graham may be poised to show his entire versatility at this year’s Fair Grounds meet.
For now, he is off to a fast start.
Three wins behind in second is Mitchell Murrill, who has a 12-13-9 mark in 79 rides to date. Adam Beschizza, who had a tremendous meet in New Orleans a year ago when he switched his tack over from England and rode in the U.S. primarily for the first time, is 4 wins back in third. In 62 rides so far, Beschizza has a mark of 11-12-8.
Here’s a look at the top 25 riders so far:
|3||Colby J. Hernandez||80||9||17||13||$285,410||11%||39||49%|
|13||Jose Valdivia, Jr.||34||3||1||6||$99,440||9%||10||29%|
|17||Corey J. Lanerie||14||1||4||1||$49,790||7%||6||43%|
|20||Ricardo Santana, Jr.||3||1||0||1||$30,080||33%||2||67%|
|24||Carlos L. Marquez||4||0||1||1||$13,200||0%||2||50%|
|25||Thomas L. Pompell||2||0||0||0||$5,425||0%||0||0%|
(Data Courtesy of Equibase)