Jockeys to watch and wager on at Churchill Downs' September meet

September 10th, 2019

The annual September meet at Churchill Downs kicks off Friday, September 13, and the 2019-2020 Road to the Kentucky Derby begins a day later with the $200,000 Iroquois Stakes (G3).

There’s a lot to look forward to at this short but competitive meet, which runs through October 1. Planning to watch and wager on the races? Knowing which jockeys excel under certain circumstances can help point you in winning directions.

To help you identify the riders most likely to produce profitable plays, we’ve used Statsmaster to compile a list of jockeys to watch based on the results of the last five September meets at Churchill Downs. Good luck with your wagers!
  • The undisputed king of September at Churchill Downs is Corey Lanerie, who has won four of the last five riding titles at this meet. He’s been particularly strong during the last couple years, with strike rates of 26% (2017) and 27% (2018) and positive ROIs of +10% and +37%.
  • Looking for longshots? You can also count on Lanerie. Over the last two September meets, he has gone 7-for-33 (21%) aboard runners starting at 8-1 or higher, and betting them all would have produced hefty profits.
  • Favorites generally win about 33-40% of Thoroughbred horse races. Favorites ridden by Lanerie at the Churchill Downs September meet perform even better. Over the last two years Lanerie has compiled a 23-for-47 (49%) strike rate aboard favorites.
  • If you’re playing grass races, give extra attention to horses ridden by Julien Leparoux. Over the last five September meets, Leparoux’s  strike rate on the lawn is 30%. He was particularly successful in 2018, going 3-for-8 (38%) with a +16% ROI.
  • Watch out for 2-year-olds ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr.. His partnership with Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen usually lands Santana on some lives mounts. In 2014 he went 4-for-16 (25%) aboard juveniles, followed by 4-for-15 (27%) in 2015 and 3-for-8 (38%) in 2016. Then, following a quiet season in 2017, Santana bounced back by going 4-for-20 (20%) in 2018.
  • Calvin Borel doesn’t win as many races at Churchill Downs as he once did, but he still rides a longshot to victory on occasion. Betting all 36 of his mounts in 2018 would have yielded a +106% ROI off just four winners, and his 2-for-21 record in 2015 managed to produce a +57% ROI. Even less lucrative years like 2014 (4-for-30) and 2016 (3-for-45) produced only small wagering losses of -9%.