Halfway through Saratoga, which jockeys are riding strongest?

Profile Picture: Keeler Johnson

August 7th, 2019

With four weeks down and four still to come at the 2019 Saratoga summer meet, a handful of jockeys have reaped most of the victories.

Just seven riders have ridden 10 or more winners at Saratoga, and they’re also the only riders to exceed 11% wins from 10 or more rides. With strike rates ranging from 23% to 14%, Jose Ortiz, Irad Ortiz Jr., Javier Castellano, Luis Saez, Jose Lezcano, Joel Rosario and Junior Alvarado are enjoying the majority of the success among jockeys at Saratoga.

But these riders aren’t excelling equally in every category. Some are more dominant under certain conditions. In a follow-up to our pre-meet jockey stats story, let's use Statsmaster to dig through the numbers and see where the top jockeys at Saratoga are performing best.
  • So far, the Ortiz brothers are dominating the jockey standings, with Jose Ortiz riding 27 winners from 116 mounts (23% wins, +1% ROI) and Irad Ortiz Jr. guiding 22 horses to the winner’s circle from 115 mounts (19% wins, -19% ROI). Jose Ortiz’s 23% strike rate is the highest among jockeys with 10 or more rides.
  • Among jockeys with limited mounts, David Cohen has made the most of his opportunities, at 3-for-5 (60%) with a +242% ROI.
  • While the Ortiz brothers have been dominant on the main track, Castellano is narrowly the top rider on turf, with 11 wins from 47 rides (23% wins, -11% ROI).
  • The most underrated jockey of the meet might be Lezcano, whose record stands at 16 wins from 81 mounts, good for a 20% strike rate and a +53% ROI. His mounts have generated profitable ROIs on both dirt and turf, and he has guided four horses to victory at 8-1 or higher.
  • Lezcano also knows how to get the job done on a favorite. He’s ridden a dozen favorites so far, and eight have made their way to the winner’s circle, an impressive 67% strike rate good for a +79% ROI. Irad Ortiz Jr. has also done well aboard favorites, at 10-for-21 (48%) with a +28% ROI.
  • Much like Lezcano, Alvarado is an underrated jockey who rides equally well on dirt and turf, with positive ROIs on both surfaces. Overall he’s gone 10-for-73 (14%) with a +13% ROI.