Valdivia Riding Tall At Arlington Park

The jockey’s title is all wrapped up at this year’s Arlington Park race meet. The lead is so big. The margin is so great. The rider is so good.

Jose Valdivia, Jr., is so far in front — with a 23-win lead — that it truly doesn’t matter who comes in, or who gets hot, or who else rides for whom. The man is on top. And, riding tall.

After Sunday’s races were all said and done, Jose Valdivia, Jr. has amassed an impressive record of 64 wins, 33 seconds and 34 thirds in just 216 mounts. That amounts to a win percentage of .30%. Most impressive, though, is that 61% of his horses have finished either first, second or third.

The next leading rider, some 23 wins behind, is Mitchell Murrill. He has 5 more mounts that Valdivia, but has 41 wins, 41 seconds and 28 thirds.

The next leading rider is 15 wins farther back with 26, and that is Carlos Marquez, Jr.

Here is a closer look at the top riders this meet at Arlington Park:

1Jose Valdivia, Jr.216643334$1,337,85830%13161%
2Mitchell Murrill221414128$945,99919%11050%
3Carlos H. Marquez, Jr.174262825$749,36415%7945%
4Sophie Doyle191253035$615,75313%9047%
5Julio E. Felix196253026$615,37813%8141%
6Christopher A. Emigh173272226$596,57016%7543%
7Edgar Perez174242222$515,67614%6839%
8Jose E. Lopez147171123$480,65312%5135%
9Harry Hernandez109111811$308,76410%4037%
10Constantino Roman147111618$288,8847%4531%
11Jermaine V. Bridgmohan77121010$287,78116%3242%
12Joseph Berrios6110611$186,87316%2744%
13Joe Bravo7302$157,64043%571%
14Santo Sanjur19430$132,63821%737%
15Jesse M. Campbell545810$130,6859%2343%
16Anthony Y. Nunez84388$130,6204%1923%
17Olaf Hernandez60276$84,1613%1525%
18Nicholas Meza50346$84,1026%1326%
19Channing Hill30353$83,76410%1137%
20Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.6110$74,22817%233%

(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 ...

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