Joel Rosario Sets Record At Kentucky Downs, Voted Jockey of The Week

The Kentucky Downs meet may be short, just six racing days, but it is long on full fields, thrilling finishes and extraordinary individual accomplishments. Jockey Joel Rosario decided to skip the last two days of the Saratoga meet to ride at Kentucky Downs all six days. That decision lead to a record setting number of wins earning him Jockey of the Week for Sept. 7 through Sept. 12. The award, which is voted on by a panel of racing experts, is for jockeys who are members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 875 active riders in the United States as well as retired and permanently disabled jockeys.

After accumulating 10 wins the first two days of the meet, the Joel Rosario juggernaut continued in week two. On Wednesday, riding for trainer Shug McGaughey, Rosario won the third race. Thursday, he picked up two more wins, one each for trainers Mike Maker and Wesley Ward. No racing was scheduled for Friday. On Saturday, Rosario went winless for the day, setting himself up for closing day on Sunday with mounts in nine of the 10 races.

Trainers Shug McGaughey and Wayne Catalano were on the Rosario express train winning the second and third race respectively. Trainer Arnaud Delacour then gave a leg up to Rosario aboard Koala Princess in the Ainsworth Stakes for two-year-old fillies at 6-1/2 furlongs. Breaking from post position two in the field of 11, Koala Princess was eighth, five lengths back through the opening quarter. At the top of the stretch, they were a half-length behind the leader Mystic Eyes and continued along the rail to win by 2-1/2 lengths in 1:15.25.

“It looked like she was handling it really nice today,” said Rosario. “She showed a really good turn of foot turning for home.”

Rosario’s fourth win of the day came with the Brian Lynch-trained Tobys Heart in the Nelson’s Green Brier Whiskey Music City Stakes for three-year-old fillies at 6-1/2 furlongs. Tobys Heart and Rosario started in the middle of the field of 11 with Rosario guiding Tobys Heart inside to save ground. At the top of stretch with an opening along the fence, Rosario asked Tobys Heart who responded by pulling away to post a 2-3/4 length win in 1:14.75 as the favorite.

“It was perfect,” said Rosario. “The horse ran really well there, I was waiting to see if something would open up for her. They just decided to stay off the rail, and she just outran them when she was clear.”

“I have to thank all the people who gave me the opportunity at Kentucky Downs – the trainers, and owners who gave me a chance,” Rosario said. “I really feel blessed.”

Rosario’s statistics for the week were 34-7-4-3 for a 41% in-the-money rate. He won his first Kentucky Downs riding title with 17 wins from 53 mounts and just under $3 million in purses.

Rosario’s competition for Jockey of the Week included Richard Eramia with a 50% in-the-money statistic, Tyler Gaffalione who won three stakes races at Kentucky Downs, Jaime Rodriguez who won the most races during the week and Diego Saenz with an in-the-money rate of 70%.

The post Joel Rosario Sets Record At Kentucky Downs, Voted Jockey of The Week appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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