Going into the final couple of weeks of the 2017 Spring-Summer Meet at Churchill Downs there is little doubt who are the leading contenders to win the riding and training titles.
Corey Lanerie, who has emerged as one of the top rides in the entire Midwest and now on the national scene, is once again dominating the jockey standings.
After last weekend, Lanerie now has 45 wins in 200 starts, with another 33 seconds and 37 thirds. His mounts have earned nearly $2,000,000 in purse money already – and one of the biggest weekends of the season is coming up on Saturday. The Grade 1, $500,000 Stephen F. Foster will highlight a card that has another four Graded Stakes on the card.
Four of the top five riders at the current meet have already earned over $1 million in purse money, while the fourth-leading rider in terms of number of wins, Ricardo Santana, has already moved his tack to New York’s Belmont Park.
The race for the trainer’s title is a bit closer. Steve Asmussen, who became only the third trainer to ever win 600 races or more at Churchill Downs earlier this meet, has a 3-win edge over Brad Cox going into this week’s racing.
Asmussen joined Hall of Famers Bill Mott and Dale Romans for most wins by a trainer at legendary Churchill Downs. In addition, he finished second in this year’s Kentucky Derby with Lookin At Lee, the only colt to make all three legs of this year’s Triple Crown.
If that’s not enough to celebrate already, Asmussen will saddle Gun Runner for the Stephen Foster Stakes on Saturday night, and he is the likely to be the prohibitive favorite for the winner’s share of that $500,000 purse.
Here is a closer look at the standings:
Corey Lanerie: 200 – 45-33-37 = $1,950,197
Brian J. Hernandez, Jr: 160 – 30-36-23 = $1,393,347
Julien Leparoux: 103 – 19-12-16 = $1,541,062
Ricardo Santana, Jr: 88-17-14-9 = $511,510
Florent Geroux: 98-17-10-18 = $1,121,389
Steve Asmussen: 71-15-11-9 = $940,511
Brad Cox: 58-12-11-12 = $828,989
Brendan Walsh: 31-12-6-2 = $441,262
Ian Wilkes: 55-12-5-13 = $713,637
Tom Amoss: 42-12-5-8 = $463,007