McLean’s Updated Handicapping Statistics / Churchill Downs’ Jockey Standings

Day Results10/3-6-3
2019 Overall 719719/258-259-345
Win % of Top Pick35.88%
Payoff % of Top 3 Picks Overall39.96%
2019 Top Pick in the Money –490 of 71968.15%
Top Selection ITM / CD 90-14263.38%
Top Selection Win / CD 44-14230.99%
“Key Horses” @ CD 30-11-7-436.66%
“Key Horses” in 2019 145-58-30-1740.00%
Upset Special of the Day/ CD 8-1-1-012.50%

Got off to a great start on Sunday “Fun Day” at the Churchill Downs’ racing oval. Three wins in the first five races. Nice exacta scores that rendered $20.20, $15.50 and $38.80 for each $1 played. Was on our way to pay day.

Then we went a bit cold. Struck out the rest of the day.

But we did have a wonderful weekend at the best racing venue in the entire world. So, we have righted the ship and ready to rock and roll this week.

See you on Thursday.

Gabriel Saez, Miguel Mena Share Lead in Churchill Downs’ Jockey Standings:

3-23-2019 By My Standards, with Gabriel Saez aboard, pulls to the lead in the 106th running of the Grade II $1,000,000 Louisiana Derby at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir
3-5-2019 – Student Body, ridden by Miguel Mena and trained by Chris Davis, charges past the competitions in the 76th running of the Mardi Gras Stakes at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. Hodges Photography / Amanda Hodges Weir

A couple of good guys are having a good time this Spring at Churchill Downs.

Gabriel Saez and Miguel Mena — two of the most popular guys in the Jockey’s Room and on the backside — are having a field day so far this Spring/Summer meet under the Twin Spires. After Sunday’s racing was complete, the two of them are currently sitting atop of the rider standings at the historic racetrack.

Saez has been able to make 13 trips to the winner’s circle in 67 mounts to date, with 12 seconds and 10 thirds. His horses have earned a whopping $873,115 so far this meet.

Mena, who has had to overcome a serious ankle injury that knocked him out of racing for over a year, is now back to full power. Or so it seems. It had a terrific weekend, and now has piled up a 13-12-13 record in 73 rides so far. His horses have earned $636,658 in purse money.

But the two of them have a lot of close company in the rider standings. Julien Leparoux has 12 wins. James Graham, who had a fantastic meet at the Fair Grounds this winter, has 11. And, both Ricardo Santana, Jr. and Corey Lanerie have 10 wins each.

It figures to be a race to the finish in the Jockey Standings, too. Here’s a close look at the Top 25 riders so far this meet:

1Flavien Prat12310$2,052,34625%433%
2Irad Ortiz, Jr.23533$1,472,06222%1148%
3Ricardo Santana, Jr.451037$1,464,36322%2044%
4Jose L. Ortiz23416$1,305,63017%1148%
5Gabriel Saez67131210$873,11519%3552%
6John R. Velazquez19222$862,85311%632%
7Corey J. Lanerie7510189$828,33413%3749%
8Julien R. Leparoux601267$727,16120%2542%
9Miguel Mena73131213$636,65818%3852%
10Tyler Gaffalione649105$568,38914%2438%
11Mike E. Smith8120$555,06013%338%
12Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.61873$497,83813%1830%
13James Graham561158$450,79220%2443%
14Luis Saez28237$444,6927%1243%
15Shaun Bridgmohan30363$412,37910%1240%
16Joel Rosario23122$351,2594%522%
17Chris Landeros53476$335,1208%1732%
18Florent Geroux47565$322,49711%1634%
19Channing Hill16112$316,6226%425%
20Tyler Baze52844$297,92815%1631%
21Adam Beschizza42376$271,9187%1638%
22Manuel Franco11102$254,1719%327%
23Javier Castellano18122$224,0366%528%
24Declan Cannon22322$150,13514%732%
25Jack Gilligan36133$123,0203%719%

(Stats Courtesy of Equibase)

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 ...

    Full Bio >

More From Gene McLean