Here are ten jockey’s to watch as Oaklawn opening day rapidly approaches.
Berry has won the riding title the past two years at Oaklawn. He comes into this meet off yet another riding title at Remington Park this Fall, and should be set up nicely once again for another run. When it comes to Lone Star, Remington, and Oaklawn nobody has been able to match what this guy has done.
Terry Thompson has been a model of consistency over his career. He last won the Oaklawn riding title in 2010, but finished 2nd in both 2011 and 2012. Thompson is well-connected many of the top trainers at Oaklawn which makes his job much easier.
One of the big early stories of the Oaklawn meet will be Calvin Borel. He’s just one win shy of 5,000 for his career, and will likely get it on opening weekend. Oaklawn will print trading cards to hand out to fans in attendance the day he breaks the record. Borel is always solid at Oaklawn, but his business has slipped just a bit the last two years. Maybe 2013 will be a bounce back year for him.
Robby Albardado is a new addition to the Oaklawn jockey colony this year, and he could certainly make a big impact. Albarado has had some personal problems that has caused his business to decline, but Oaklawn can sometimes be a place where you can find your stride again. I look for Albarado to use Oaklawn much like Corey Nakatani did in 2o1o…as a way to bounce out of a mini-slump.
Quinonez comes into Oaklawn off an excellent Remington meet where he closed hard in the last two weeks and almost beat out Cliff Berry for the riding title. He’s no stranger to success at Oaklawn, and after a small slump in 2010-2011 he bounced back in a huge way in 2012. Look for him to have a big meet.
Alex has enjoyed great success over the last two years at Oaklawn, as he finished 3rd in the standings both years. In 2012 he also won the riding title at Prairie Meadows where he almost got to 100 victories for the meet. He’s the main rider for Jamie Ness and Midwest Thoroughbreds at Oaklawn, which really helps out his numbers.
Court is another rider that is consistent, and he normally has some quality mounts that you need to be aware of throughout the meet. He’s known mostly as a speed rider, which fits the style of jockey that D Wayne Lukas likes. Watch for him to pick up a Derby contender from that barn.
Yet another jockey that just consistently wins races. Israel won’t blow you away with numbers, but when looking up his stats you notice he’s always in the top 5 or so at any track he’s running at. Look for him to be in the mix at Oaklawn from day one.
Up and coming young rider made a nice impact in 2012. He won 21 races at Oaklawn which placed him at 8th in the rider standings, and I look for those numbers to improve this year. He rode many horses for trainer Chris Richard here last year, and also rode a lot of C.R. Trout over the summer and fall.
Rosemary Homeister Jr.
Here is a new addition to the Oaklawn colony. Homeister won 125 races in 2012, and is coming off a 3rd place finish in the standings at Arlington. It’s unknown how many mounts she’ll have, but she’s probably one to keep an eye on.